A man holding smartphone with mobile banking application on a screen. Closeup shot.

Six Mobile Banking Tips for Beginners

At the rapid pace of internet banking adoption we have been experiencing in recent years, there is a very good chance that you will be handling most of your financial transactions on a mobile banking app in the near future. 

According to a 2019 Harris Poll conducted among young Americans who are members of the Millennial Generation cohort, 65% would not think twice about leaving their current banks if they did not offer mobile banking options. These are the same banking customers who expect that their banks will be implementing mobile payments solutions over the next couple of years.

What we are seeing with mobile banking now is similar to what took place when online banking was first introduced in the United States almost two decades ago, but things are moving a lot faster this time around. Whereas there was some initial hesitancy with internet banking, the overall sentiment towards mobile banking has been far more enthusiastic. With regard to innovative features, they are being added very quickly to mobile apps, and this is a welcome contrast when compared to the first online banking revolution.

To make the most out of your mobile banking experience, we recommend the following:

Be Sure You Are Dealing With a Bank

Providers of alternative financial services have emerged as options to individuals who cannot get or do not want to use traditional banking services for some reason. Nearly all of these providers offer account access through smartphone apps, but this does not make them chartered banks, which means that your deposits may not be protected by the FDIC.

Install the App From a Trusted Source

Try to get a link, QR code, or exact name and version of the mobile app directly from the bank. Hackers have been known to take advantage of accidental misspellings and confused search queries on app marketplaces; they do this for the purpose of tricking bank customers into installing malicious apps.

Set Up Secure Storage for Bank Documents

If you choose to receive statements and other bank documents in paperless for on your smartphone, you will have the option to download them as PDF files. These documents may contain sensitive information that should not fall into the wrong hands in case the mobile device is lost or stolen. Look into secure digital storage options where you can safely keep these documents.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication or Biometrics

Many smartphones these days include fingerprint reader features that can be activated for added security. If you have an app installed for mobile banking, you will want to enable biometrics or two-factor authentication. Some security experts will argue that both measures should become the new standard of online and mobile banking, but enabling at least one of them can go a long way in terms of keeping your account and personal information safe.

Do Not Discard Paper Checks Immediately

If your banking app offers the option of scanning checks for deposit, you should hold onto the paper versions for a few days just in case issues arise. Banking analysts believe that paper checks will be used for a few more years before completely disappearing.

Take Advantage of Free Money Transfers

One of the most convenient features of mobile banking is the ability to transfer money between your own accounts or to others within the same bank. Since these transfers are conducted free of charge, you can save considerably on additional fees.