Mobile banking has been around for a bit longer than we may realise, but it has been the advent of the smartphone which has seen its use grow rapidly. Earlier forms of mobile banking involved SMS messaging and only really allowed you to check your balance at any given time on a fairly rudimentary device.
However, as mobile phones have transformed into mini-computers, online banking has followed and now most banks and building societies have their own dedicated mobile banking app. Not only that but there has been a raft of fintech and challenger banks popping up over the last few years which exist only in digital form getting in on the mobile action.
Mobile Banking Apps
With so many banks and financial institutions to choose from, both established and digital-only, there is a huge range of mobile banking apps available. Most smartphones run on either Apple or Android Operating Systems, so you can find mobile banking apps in the relevant app stores on those phones.
You then just download the app for your banking provider, sign in and start using it. You will need to get prior authorisation from your bank for using online banking, which includes mobile banking. You will be issued with a customer number and/or passcode and also be required to come up with a password too.
Many mobile banking apps will also require biometric sign-ins, that means fingerprint or face recognition.
What can You do With Them?
Mobile banking has come a long way since the SMS days, which means there are many more options for customers using them. You can quickly check your bank balance on your phone as well as any pending transactions, which gives you a good overview of how much money is available to you.
Many of the features of standard online banking has now been incorporated into mobile banking. These include:
- Transferring money between accounts
- Sending money to an individual
- Paying off bills
- Setting up direct debits or regular payments
- Ability to put money aside in separate “envelopes” or “pots”
Mobile banking apps can also help you find ATMs nearby. Depending on your bank, you may be able to apply for certain products, such as overdrafts and loans through the app and this can often speed up the process, making sure funds are in your account quicker than was previously possible.
Is a Mobile Banking App Safe to Use?
There are some security issues to consider when using your mobile banking app. With many banks offering biometric access, it can be extremely difficult for anyone other than you to access your banking app on your phone. In fact, many phones themselves require a passcode or other security measure to unlock them, so even if you lose your phone, or it is stolen, it can be difficult for someone to access your banking app.
You should only use a mobile banking app when on a connection you trust. That should be your home WIFI network. Never use a public WIFI connection or mobile data, such as 4G or 5G to access your mobile banking app as these can be easily hacked.