Jun 10 2013

Online Banking Gets a Boost from Mobile

Anywhere, anytime banking is on pace to become the norm in the United States.

More people trust their smartphones with their banking, according to the results of a recent survey by SWACHA, an electronic payments association. According to the survey, 33 percent of respondents said they use mobile banking applications, compared with 20 percent in 2011.

Adjusting to the increasingly on-the-go nature of customers’ lives, most major banks now offer free mobile apps that customers can utilize to access their accounts.

Mobile banking apps allow a variety of functions, such as depositing checks and paying bills, and the survey data suggests that consumers have become more comfortable using their phones for financial transactions.

Check deposits made via a mobile device jumped 30 percentage points — 46 percent of those surveyed deposit checks with a mobile banking application, compared to just 16 percent in 2011.

Mobile apps also can help avoid nonsufficient funds fees. A bank balance is easy to acquire via a mobile app, and 86 percent of those surveyed use a mobile device to do just that.

As mobile banking becomes more popular, questions of security will arise. To account for this, many banking apps use encryption technology to transfer the banking data across a wireless network. Check your bank’s website for a statement of its security measures.

The results of this study point toward the growing influence mobility has in users’ adopting online banking. The bank is no longer exclusively encased in a brick-and-mortar building; it’s in your pocket. If you thought the ATM was a breakthrough in banking technology, wait until you see what your smartphone can do.