These days you can do just about anything from your mobile phone. Email, text, make phone calls and even do banking all from one device. Thanks to the introduction of the iPhone and its unlimited amount of applications, more consumers are turning to the use of mobile banking, but the biggest question on everyone’s mind is whether or not mobile banking is actually safe. According to PC World and a recent study conducted by ABC News, mobile banking is more secure than accessing your bank account from your computer, but only if you exercise a little caution.
There are three options for mobile banking that includes downloading a dedicated application designed for a particular phone platform (i.e. Blackberry, Android or iPhone), accessing mobile banking through a phone’s browser or using SMS messages.
From this study, it was concluded that the mobile applications that allow consumers to bank online are the most secure of the three options. This is because these applications are specifically designed using cutting edge innovations and technology. Furthermore, downloadable apps come automatically equipped with limitations, which will further protect the consumer. For example, a mobile application designed by USAA does not allow a consumer to store names or other information in their banking application. However, they can access their accounts, check balances and transfer money as long as they know their username, password and PIN that they use on the website itself. Applications automatically log off the moment a user exits from them, which means their bank account information and credentials are not stored on the phone. This is especially helpful if a consumer loses their phone or it is stolen by another individual.
Tips for Additional Safety
Though the applications for mobile banking have proven to be effective and safe, there are still some precautions a consumer can take to ensure that they keep their mobile banking experiences safe:
• Consumers should always know where their phones are at all times. This is especially true in public settings where a phone can be accidentally left on a table or seat.
• Consumers should never allow their mobile application to store their log-in credentials. Instead, the consumer should input this information at each log-in to prevent someone from picking up their phone and automatically logging in.
• Consumers should regularly review their bank account activity to ensure that there are no irregularities. Even though a hacker may not have gotten access directly through their mobile phone, a user should always verify how their account was accessed and take steps to prevent it in the future.
In conclusion, mobile banking is secure, but it also depends on the user. If a user allows their credentials to be stored in their phone and then is careless about where they leave it, they open their banking up to severe security risks that are technically not the fault of the mobile application itself.
[Image via businesstech]