Mobile banking is the process of conducting financial transactions using a mobile phone or tablet. It’s offered by most banks, and other financial institutions to increase their reach and flexibility among users.
The earliest form of mobile banking was popularly referred to as “SMS Banking”. With SMS Banking customers receive information about their accounts. Users had to register their phone numbers with the bank, to access the mobile banking platform. With SMS banking via text messages customers could read their account balance, transfer funds, and even get alerts on any unusual activity.
SMS banking evolved into mobile banking. More than just the SMS banking option, it has now incorporated mobile web and banking apps with great cross-platform capabilities thanks to FinTech, more specifically the blockchain technology. When using the mobile browser, this process is very similar to online banking. Users must log in to their account’s profile mobile banking platform on the bank’s website. They then are able to check balances, pay bills, deposit, withdraw and even apply for loans.
More recently, mobile banking has expanded the use of mobile applications. It gives the customer access to almost every banking service without having to visit the bank or log into websites. The banking apps can also be synced with other financial apps to help with budgeting and savings, which could be beneficial for the users if they implement the necessary safeguards for their financial information. Basically, mobile banking is integrating online banking features in its processes.
BENEFITS OF MOBILE BANKING
– ACCESSIBILITY AND SETTLEMENT
With Mobile or SMS banking, you have access to your bank whenever and wherever as long as you have your phone with you as it depends mostly on your mobile phone line. The old-style phones, that the elderly are very familiar with and are now more affordable for lower-income citizens, can be used for sms banking. The banking apps are available 24/7, every day of the week, including holidays. The required internet for the apps is provided by the mobile service provider or sometimes not even required for the system to work which is an important aspect for potential customers living in remote areas.
Mobile banking offers instant settlement which in turn facilitates instant digital reconciliation. Everyone would prefer to receive their money on the same day instead of waiting 2 to 3 days for the completion of the clearing settlement process. Instant reconciliation reduces the risk of fraud and human error which is higher with paper-based reconciliation.
– CONVENIENCE AND CONTROL
Mobile banking eliminates the need to spend time at your local bank’s branch just to check your account balance or pay some bills. The technology supports micropayments without additional costs which is an important aspect when we compare it with online banking where bank charges are added to your account on transactions from left to right, and where you even must have a minimum balance in order for the account to remain active. Mobile banking is a great asset to provide underserved, and unbanked communities access to the financial system.
With mobile apps, you can check your balance, pay bills, send funds, and even apply for loans. You can even opt for bill alerts from the apps to remind you to make timely payments.
– GOING PAPERLESS
The fact that you have all your details and records on your mobile means that you no longer must bear with all those paper-based mail from your bank. It eliminates the use of paper, which is much safer and friendly to the environment.
– ROBUST SECURITY
Because of the ever-rising cyber-crime cases, most m-banking providers have become keen on security. Most apps and websites use top-of-the-line security features, including two authentication security, among others. Therefore, even if your phone falls in the wrong hands, your banking can be partially secured. It all depends on the login security features of the app, your own habits with passwords, and whether you lock your phone or not.
CHALLENGES OF MOBILE BANKING
– TECHNOLOGICAL HURDLES
While mobile banking is an impressive technology, some banks are yet to streamline their banking apps. This means that some of the novice tech users might find this model frustrating. Moreover, it’s limited to users with mobile phones, and so, without a phone, users can’t access their accounts.
– CYBER SECURITY FACTORS
Mobile banking is still a new concept for most bank customers in underserved areas. As such, it’s not full proof against cyber-attacks and hacking. This puts off some customers. Furthermore, with banking on phones, it becomes very easy for customers to give up or share their banking details with third parties increasing the risks of becoming victims of identity theft and scams.
– FOSTERS BAD ‘SPENDING’ HABITS
Thanks to the convenience of having a bank account readily available, customers become prone to overspending due to the consumeristic culture imposed by the west through social media and advertisements. The ease of applying and getting loans also puts customers into more debt. The concept of saving money for critical times has been ignored for decades and now we’ve experienced its consequences during this pandemic and hopefully, we’ve realized how much money we spend on things we don’t really need.
Mobile Banking same as Online Banking is convenient and has its benefits and challenges we just can’t ignore. Just take a minute and answer this: does your phone has the same internet security measures as your laptop including a firewall, an antivirus program, a VPN? Remember your phone is a mini-computer and should be treated as such. Right?
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