As much of the country has become mobile-reliant, it makes sense to check out the available mobile apps and features in regard to your banking needs. Mobile apps can be useful in many ways, especially when you’re on the go and need to take care of your finances. Apps make it easy to keep track of your bank accounts as well as your personal finances as a whole.
Many of the banks offering mobile apps provide four important features: the management of bank accounts, the ability to make bill payments to creditors, the ability to transfer funds from one bank account to another and deposit checks remotely. There are also many applications that are bank-specific to help customers locate the nearest ATM or branch location via their smartphone technology.
According to a survey conducted by Juniper Research, it is estimated that there are nearly 400 million people engaged in mobile banking technology in 2012.
What to look for in a banking app
Not all banks are up-to-speed on mobile banking technology. Most of the larger financial institutions are offering similar products to their customers with new technologies for mobile devices being developed all the time.
If you have been leery about signing up for online banking services and downloading mobile apps to your phone or other device, it may be time to delve a bit further and get more out of your bank. Mobile and online technology is as secure as it can be. It is your responsibility as an account holder to continually monitor your own accounts for mistakes or incidents of fraud.
Three services banking apps should have
- Account alerts: in the event your bank account has been overdrawn or there has been unauthorized activity on your account, you need to know what is going on right away to prevent further issues. Mobile banking apps should offer you the ability to receive alerts via text messaging or SMS directly to your phone so you can monitor the activity on your banking debit card or credit card at all times. In the event something does happen, you can report the activity immediately to your bank.
- Blocking stolen or lost bank cards: make sure your banking app allows you to block the information on your bank card if it’s lost or stolen. When the card information is physically lost, it can only take minutes for your entire bank account to be wiped out. By blocking access to the card immediately, you will be more protected from any fraudulent activity attempts occurring on your card.
- Paying bills: banks are pushing many of their customers to sign up for online bill pay. You also have this ability to pay bills through your smartphone. When bills are due, you can use the app to make a payment or set up the accounts to be paid automatically.
Here are a few of the sleeker applications may also be available to you through your bank:
- Mobile Check Deposit from Citi: Citibank offers customers the ability to deposit a check from virtually anywhere you can use your phone. This is a free service which allows you to use the app on iPod touch, Android, and iPhone devices. Whenever you receive a paper check endorsed to you, you can take a picture of the check, snap a photo of the front and back, and submit the check photo for deposit all done through your mobile device.
- Popmoney® from Ally Bank: Ally Bank’s mobile banking services offer the ability to pay other people conveniently through their Popmoney® service. All you need is an email address or phone number and your bank account information is kept secure. This service is free with Ally’s Online Banking service. You can learn more about peer-to-peer payments through Ally here.
- Chase Mobile App from Chase: Chase Bank offers a typical app for their banking customers. You can download the app to a number of mobile devices including iPhones, iPads, Windows Phones, Android,, Blackberry, and Kindle Fire. You can also access balance on your bank accounts, review history of transactions, pay your bills and credit cards, move money between Chase accounts, deposit checks via your smartphone, and locate Chase ATM and bank branches near you.