Pay bills, transfer funds and or find the closest ATM through your mobile banking app.
Mobile banking lets you do a range of banking tasks without visiting a branch or logging onto a computer. Most mobile banking applications or apps allow you to keep track of your finances on the go with a range of features and services. Common banking app features include finding the closest ATM, branches or bank locations, paying bills, transferring funds to other accounts as well as online investing tools and calculators.
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What is mobile banking?
It’s a system that lets you, the customer of a financial institution, process financial transactions through an app, accessed via a mobile device or smartphone. This is not to be confused with contactless payments, which uses Near Field Communications (NFC) technology to allow you to use your smartphone (in place of a debit or credit card) to pay for goods and services by tapping it near another device. Mobile banking has been most successful with the iPhone and some Google Android devices.
Mobile banking apps and features
Almost all Australian banks have a mobile banking app that allows their customers to perform a range of tasks. Here's what the Big Four have to offer.
|Mobile banking app||Features|
|CommBank app (formerly known as CommBank Kaching)Available on the App Store and Google Play|
|ANZ Available on the App Store and Google Play|
|NABAvailable on the App Store, Google Play and the Windows Phone Store|
|Westpac Mobile BankingAvailable on the App Store, Google Play and the Windows Phone Store|
Images: Google Play
How does mobile banking work?
To access mobile banking, you will first need to download the app that corresponds with your bank. Your bank’s website will usually have a link for you to download the app from. After you’ve downloaded the app, follow the prompts to set up your account. It may ask you to confirm your username and password as well as send you an SMS to confirm your identity. If you have any problems with setting it up, it’s best to go into a branch for assistance. When you’ve finished setting it up, you’ll be able to perform banking services as you would on a computer. Some typical features include:
- View your account balance
- Making BPAY payments
- Set up scheduled payments
- Transferring funds between accounts
- Transferring funds to another account
- Monitoring investments
- Customer service and support
What to look out for...
Before you start mobile banking, here's what you should look out for.
- Security of financial transactions are paramount to any mobile banking app. Ensure that all your financial details are kept safe with authentication by having a user ID, password and PIN. Encryption of data is also important so that hackers won’t be able to access your information - the same applies if you lose your phone.
- Ensure the app is compatible with your device. With the number of different mobile phone devices available today, you need to ensure that your bank has created a banking solution that suits your particular mobile phone. Some mobile phone models may only cater for a number of the functionalities that the banking app is capable of.
- Access to customer service. Banks have a lot of customers, so they need to able to produce a mobile banking infrastructure to handle large volumes of transactions at a time. Services should be available 24/7 and all systems should be working within the app.
- Is mobile banking available for your bank? Your bank will be the main decider as to what mobile banking platform you should be using. This is because you can’t access your bank account details through another bank. If you’re looking to switch bank accounts then the quality of mobile banking provided by other financial institutions could be a factor in your decision.
What are the advantages of mobile banking?
- Save on time and complete a host of tasks without leaving the building. Instead of allocating time to walk into a bank, you can check account balances, schedule and receive payments, transfer money and organise your accounts when you’re on the go.
- Convenient for managing funds on-the-go. Do your banking at a time and place that suits you, instead of waiting in queues.
- Security measures are built into the app. Generally, good mobile banking apps have a security guarantee or send you a SMS verification code you need to input to authorise a payment for added security.
Something to consider...Most mobile banking apps need an internet connection to be able to operate, so if you live in a rural area or experience problems with your internet connection, then you won’t be able to access your account. The same applies if your mobile phone runs out of battery.
How can I ensure my information is secure?
While most banking apps take into account security in the development of the app, it's still crucial that you observe best practice when using the app. Mobile phone apps can only do so much on their own to ensure you’re secure, such as logging you out after a certain amount of inactivity or making you provide password or SMS codes. If you’re careless about your own security, such as doing your banking on a public Wi-Fi connection, then you risk your details being stolen regardless of how secure a mobile banking app is.