Mobile Banking: Put your money where your phone is

By Alexia Mersola 

Trending Editor 

Photo courtesy of AP images 

Mobile banking survey:

As technology advances, accessibility is becoming a major demand among the younger generations who use their cellphones for almost everything. Mobile banking refers to the use of a smartphone or other cellular device to perform online banking tasks while away from your home computer. Mobile banking in this day and age is an extremely useful tool for the life of someone on the go, with easy accessibility it makes it simple for consumers to deposit and withdrawal funds from their account, tracking one’s account summary and or making transfers; and most bank branches have caught on to the current trend. As early as  2007, some of the largest bank branches: Bank of America, Citibank, Wachovia, Washington Mutual (Now Chase) , Wells Fargo and ING Direct- gave access to mobile phone users to online banking from wherever they happened to be.

In the ten years of advancement in the mobile banking industry, there are now many options for consumers on where and how they transfer their money. According to the survey, the results showed that majority of those who responded used both a regular banking mobile app along with apps that were not directly connected with their bank.

Unlike normal banking apps, these apps are actually designed for peer-to- peer payment services (P2P), which seems to be on the rise now more than ever. The services allow users to send money to others online or through apps and continues to gain popularity in the U.S. for their convenience. While you may be only familiar with apps such as Google Wallet and Venmo, there are a countless number of services out there. Finding the one that is right for you may be tricky, but all the information to find the right app can be found on their websites.

Venmo: Is one of the most popular P2P services out there, highly rated on both the IOS and Android apps. It allows users to be a little more social when making transactions. This app allows effortless transactions between friends and even makes it easy to split checks between friends with the split option.

Google wallet: unlike Venmo, this app is both a web and mobile app, and can be used by anyone with a google account. This apps main feature is the ability to be able to send P2P payments via text message.  It can also pay for other goods and services, such as Youtube movie rentals. This app also has the highest spending limit ($9,999 single transaction limit; $50,000 limit in a 5-day period.), compared to Venmo ($2,999 daily spending limit).

Zelle: This app was not mentioned by survey takers, however, it seems to be the only one connected to the actual bank you are apart of. The tool allows interbank money transfers between more than 30 major U.S. banks through each company’s app, so you don’t have to download an entire new app. You’ll be able to use the Zelle P2P service from within the bank app you probably already have on your phone (more room for games). Although this app may seem redundant to some, this app offers something that the others don’t. For example, because you don’t have to share your banking information with a third-party service, security isn’t as big of a factor. Unlike Apple Pay or Venmo, funds will transfer directly into your checking or savings account. Funds sent using Zelle will become available to the recipient within minutes.

With this rising trend of mobile banking and peer-to-peer payments, it is important to keep in mind that security is a big factor against these types of apps and to always use precaution with them. As the trend continues to become more and more popular we could quite possibly see a decrease in paper money used amongst peers, and more advances in the apps themselves, making it safer and smarter for one to use them.

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