Mobile Financial Management
One of the benefits attracting consumers to mobile banking is the ability to monitor your accounts carefully when you're on the go. If you're shopping or traveling, it's helpful to be able to monitor credits and debits to your account in real-time, and having the ability to obtain up-to-the-minute account balances can help users avoid expensive overdraft fees.
Mobile banking allows consumers to take advantage of a number of benefits, including the convenience of checking their balances instantly and the ability to pay bills or to make account transfers without having to log on via the Web. By entering a password and making a few clicks, people can take care of basic banking transactions regardless of where they are.
Mobile banking can also be a more immediate and interactive experience than online or in-person banking, with many banks offering text alerts if your account balances are low or if suspicious activity takes place within your account. By registering for the types of alerts you'd like to see on your handset, you can be kept informed about what's going on with your account without the need to log on.
In most instances, logging onto your bank's Web site over a cellular network loads a mobile-specific version of the site designed to load quickly and efficiently over your wireless connection.
Consumers traveling can also schedule future payments ahead of time so they can enjoy their trips without having to remember to access their account.
Web and App Access
To provide a faster experience and greater security, a number of leading banks have developed mobile banking applications designed to run on smartphones. These bank-sponsored applications allow customers to log on and check their balances, make payments or transfer fund between accounts over cellular networks or Wi-Fi connections. Because the applications match the banks' interfaces and offer a number of security features, customers can be assured they are interacting with their banks and conducting transactions safely.
Online brokers including E*Trade have released mobile applications that allow users to check their account balances and place trade orders wirelessly. As with online banking applications, a number of security features help protect your brokerage account against unauthorized access or activity.
A number of third-party applications, such as Pocket Money, Mint.com and a mobile Quicken app, have been developed to integrate mobile banking data with other financial management programs. These applications can combine data from several accounts and give users an instant, on-screen view of their entire financial picture.
Similar financial management applications such as Billchecker and Checkbook allow users to keep track of incoming and pending bills to ensure payments are made on schedule.