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Steps to Mobile Banking



Banking used to be time consuming, and generally inconvenient –especially for people with full-time employment.

“Customers can be reluctant to visit branches, and it is more likely than ever that these customers will switch their main banking relationship. To cope with this change, banks today are striving to provide a strong digital channels offering,” says Ahmid Khidir of Misys Banking Solutions.

Mobile banking is one solution that is making the necessity of using your bank a simpler and faster process and an overall better experience. Are you thinking about getting started, but not sure where to begin? Here is a beginner’s guide to banking on your phone.

Registration

There are a number of different mobile apps that will allow you to bank from your phone. They are typically offered through your bank though there are third-party apps as well. If you’re just getting started with mobile apps, steer clear of the third-party applications. They may have security risks that apps don’t.

Text alerts vs. service applications

Stay on top of your account activity by having your bank send you a text message when your balance has reached below a certain amount or when a bill needs to be paid. They are also used to prevent fraud, such as in situations where someone may be trying to gain access to your online account.

Alternatively, you can download an app. "A technology-savvy consumer will use an application to pay bills or buy a mobile ticket and pay for the transaction in an intuitive way. A number literate person may prefer IVR (interactive voice response) or menu-driven means," says Srinivas Nidugondi, head of mobile financial solutions at Comviva.

Security

It was alluded to above – use service-provider applications (i.e. ones from your bank) primarily. Don’t click banking links you received in a text message or email unless you have specifically requested it at that point in time. You may enter your information for someone else to steal.

Ensure that you are not connected to public networks when using apps on your phone. Wi-Fi is easily hacked, so you shouldn’t share sensitive information while connected to them.

Keep a lock on your phone with a difficult password, or better yet always log out of your mobile banking. If you lose your phone, information can end up in the wrong hands.

Always download the app updates as they often contain repairs for flaws in security.

Functionalities

Banking apps are offering more functions than just checking your balance and receiving alerts. Here are a few.

Transferring and Depositing Money

Apps such as the Barclays PingIt App allow you to transfer money to friends and family using just their mobile number, which makes it even more secure. Chase also allows customers to deposit cheques by taking a photo of it and having it verified by the bank.

Paying Bills

Add and remove billers from your handset, as well as pay the bills as you receive them.

Online Shopping

A number of Merchants are now offering mobile payments – you use your phone as a credit or debit card for different payments.

"Airtel Money has merchant partnerships with over 1,800 brands across the country, including utility providers, insurance companies, mutual funds and local chemist and grocery stores," says Sriram Jagannathan, CEO of Airtel M Commerce Services.

The app for the Mercantile Bank of Michigan has partnered with PayPal, which allows you to use their service through your phone. It’s great for when those eBay auctions end during work hours!

Budgeting and Financial Planning

Simple, a third-party app, allows you to keep track of your expenses and will also inform you as to whether you can afford a prospective purchase.

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