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Mobile banking on the rise, but users must be cautious


As technology continutes to improve, more individuals are taking advantage of the numerous benefits, including mobile banking. According to a recent survey conducted by Fiserv Inc, a financial technology company, people are much more apt to bank online or with their smartphones than ever before.

According to the survey, 50 percent of all bill payments of Americans who have internet access are done online. Also, 25 percent of homes have used mobile banking and 40 percent of those have paid a bill on a phone. The numbers have even increased dramatically after only one year.

“Consumers are moving beyond using the mobile channel solely for informational purposes, such as checking balances or locating an ATM, to using it for transactions such as bill payments and money transfers,” officials from Fiserv said in a statement. “Forty percent of mobile banking users have paid a bill using their mobile phone as compared to 28 percent in 2010. Thirty-two percent used their mobile phone to transfer money versus 25 percent in 2010.”

Those who choose to take advantage of mobile banking may want to be extra cautious and keep an eye out for any unauthorized use. It is important for individuals to be aware of their bank’s policies and also keep an eye out for any questionable transactions.

The main issue is that it isn’t smartphone transactions don’t have the same protections in place as traditional cred card usage or online banking. For instance, consumers should take the time to see whether they are using debit or credit card transactions through their cell phone, as the fraudulent transaction policies can differ.
However, banks are doing their best to ease the minds of consumers, as they have mostly been on top of things thus far.

“The security of mobile payments, while having the potential to be problematic, have not been a material issue to date,” said Jerry O’Flanagan, the chief credit officer for First National Bank of Omaha. “Banks have done a good job implementing data encryption protocols that have been proven effective so far.”

Individuals who are worried about someone tapping into a cell phone or computer may want to invest in computer monitoring software, which can keep track of what is going on with a device.