In recent years, new technology has allowed us to do most of our banking both online and on the go. But how does it work? Is it safe? We’re going to take you through the “ins and outs” of mobile banking.
Choosing Your Mobile Money Device
Almost any device that can access the internet is capable of performing mobile banking. This means that if you have a laptop, tablet, iPad or smartphone with an internet connection, then you’ve got everything you need to get started!
If you’re using a laptop, you just need to open your web-browser and navigate to your bank’s official website. From there, you should find a button to let you log on to your account. Enter your details and you’re away.
Most smartphones and tablets work on a different operating system to computers and, while you can use online banking via your web-browser, there are superior apps and online banking software available instead. These official apps are created by each individual bank and offer a much more mobile-friendly user experience. To find these, you’ll have to look on the App Store, Marketplace or Google Play (depending on your device). Just type your bank’s name into the search function and download the (official) one created by your bank.
Many UK banks will offer extra free software too – such as Barclay’s “Branch Finder” app. These are often practical and worth a download if the app title or description interests you.
SMS and Mobile to Mobile Banking
In case you’re away from Internet service, many banks offer handy SMS services too, allowing you to check your balance and recent transactions via text message. Your bank may often alert you to large withdrawals from your account via SMS, or send you a code to input when making transactions. This lets you know exactly what’s going on with your account at all times.
Services such as Paypal, allow you to “send” money via email. This is a little misleading however, as the email simply prompts you to log on to the Paypal website to conduct the transaction from there. In other words, the money is still being sent via Paypal’s online interface (not through an email per-se) – you’re simply being notified via email.
The Importance of Online Security – Keeping Safe Online
Online banking may be nifty, but it can be hazardous if proper safety measures aren’t taken.
Your banking details, such as password and account numbers, should always remain secret. Before entering them into ANY website or app, check that it is endorsed by the bank and a licenced piece of software. Some apps or software may be malicious and simply a way for criminals to find and record information you put into them – so check things out first.
If you’re using a laptop, install some antivirus software. This can protect you from viruses and other spyware that track your activity and record your bank details (and gain access to your account) when they’re entered into official sites. Be very cautious about opening unidentifiable emails with website-links or attachments – as these can often contain said viruses.
You’ll want to choose a strong password for your bank accounts to avoid having other people guess or crack it. A good password contains more than 7-8 characters and should include a combination uppercase letters, lowercase letters and numbers. Avoid using easily guessed phrases like “password” or your name/date of birth.
Many browsers offer to save your email/account number and password on banking websites. You should refuse this convenience, as storing the information on your computer increases the risk of someone else being able to access it – store it in your own brain instead.
If you need to transfer money overseas with your mobile device, OrbitRemit can help you send money online. We offer generous exchange rates and low fees. Check out our calculator on the top right hand side of the screen to find out more!