After the online banking craze spread like wildfire throughout America, a new trend caught on: mobile banking. We in the states love flexibility, convenience and information at our fingertips on the go; we also love smartphones. With the advent of mobile banking and during the evolution leading the way to smarter, web-enabled phones, we ditched the desktops and laptops in favor of banking on the run; a savvy move, since mobile banking gives us the ability to monitor our money no matter where we may roam, at any time of the day or night. The buck doesn’t stop there, however, mobile banking also saves money, in five remarkably different ways.
One consumer common sin is not tracking spending when “out and about”. You might be familiar with this scenario: if you are completing your grocery shopping and other various errands in the same day, it can be difficult to measure and manage your finances on the got. Mobile banking helps curb potential overspending, giving you the option to check your bank balance after every transaction, no matter where you may be. In addition, many mobile banking apps and transaction alarms provide the consumer to sign up for text messaging alerts for low balances or daily balance checkups; creating a seamless environment for sensible money handling habits.
Smart phone banking apps are also considerable time savers, and time is money. For example, banking titans like J.P. Morgan Chase and USAA give consumers the ability to deposit a paper check via their mobile banking app. All you have to do is take a photo of the check on your smart phone and send that through your mobile banking app, and viola, the deposit is credited to your account.
These days, nearly everything is automated. From our customer service phone calls to our banking, we press one number and are routed to the right place. While there is some lively debate surrounding the usefulness of automated customer service calls, when it comes to mobile banking options, automation is a godsend. Through these handy apps, you can set up regular transfers to savings and investment applications from anywhere, without having to set foot in your bank or even bother with logging on your computer.
Of course, if you don’t have a budget, mobile banking probably won’t work well for you. Thankfully, services like Mint.com offer online and mobile budgeting solutions that travel with you, constantly accessible from your smart phone and already synched up with your online banking profiles. This service sends out alerts and emails based on your budgeting parameters and because of its relationship with your online banking profile, this means you can check your balance against your budget at all times, and check your spending long before it gets out of control.
*Identity Theft Protection
There is a lot of buzz in the media and banking venues about protecting yourself from identity theft. While an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure for credit theft, the same level of protection isn’t always on par when it comes to debit cards or checking accounts. Mobile banking applications and text based banking alerts can be used to be sent to you every time a transaction exceeds a certain amount, or customized based on your financial needs.
This means, when you are at home, cuddling on the couch and watching movies with your sweetheart and you get a text alert that someone made a $300 ATM withdrawal, you have an opportunity to head the perpetrator off at the pass and immediately report the fraud to your bank. This feature saves time, money and aggravation in the end, thanks to a nifty smart phone alert setting.
Mobile banking has become a staple in the daily lives of discerning consumers. If you aren’t taking full advantage of your mobile alerts, you are missing out. Of course, mobile banking won’t solve all of your financial woes, unless you make financially fit choices, but it does provide guidance in the right direction to building excellent money management habits while saving you money in the process.