Mobile banking – safe as well as convenient?
Mobile technology is all about portability, of course. But more
than that, it’s about the convenience and accessibility that this portability
Equal to the convenience of instant communication is the ability
to perform tasks which once took time – and possibly required taking to the
high street and joining the back of a queue. One way that mobile technology
puts this power of accessibility in your pocket – and more in charge of your
financial life – is with mobile banking services.
Red alert – and managing on the move
At its most basic, mobile phone
banking is simply a convenient way of keeping in touch with where your
finances are. Many banks offer the opportunity to get text message alerts which
remind you about certain aspects of your account usage. For example, a weekly
notification of your balance, or warning if you go close to your overdraft limit.
Generally, you can configure these text
alerts to suit your lifestyle – in terms of personalising amounts and
timings, for example.
Beyond this, there is the chance to move beyond passively
receiving updates about your finances, and actually take control of them on the
move. While you could simply use the browser on your mobile, by managing your
accounts using an app you can take the most important aspects of online banking
and get your money moving while you are on the go – or even just using the
convenience of your phone from the comfort of your sofa. With some services,
you can also take control of your credit card, loans or mortgages.
The numbers of people using mobile banking services are rising
rapidly – in fact a recent report said that there could be one billion users by
2017. For the time being, the number is rather smaller; those using their
smartphones for mobile banking services are still in the minority – and part of
the reason could be due to confusion about the perceived insecurity.
Think about the following if you want to use mobile banking while
enjoying peace of mind:
Use the official app, as this establishes a secure link between your phone and your bank. Even if someone takes your phone,
they will have to know your username and password to access your account. Some
may also offer a ‘portal’ for a site which is tailored for mobile use –
pared-down for functionality, without slow-loading images etc. – which means you can use your mobile banking
easily across several devices, without being tethered to one installed app.
- Whatever device you are using, always make the
most of its security measures. Be sure to password protect your phone, so if
you lose it or it’s stolen, no-one can access your home screen. To keep
security tight, avoid using the same passcode for your phone as you do for
accessing your banking app.
- Mobile networks are not totally fallible, but
they typically have a far higher level of encryption than a Wi-Fi network, so
using the mobile internet is generally better for on-the-go banking than using
public Wi-Fi in a café, for instance.
- Remember that banks will never ask you for
your bank details by email – if anyone asks you for this, it is likely a ‘phishing’
attempt to access your precious details. Also, be wary of unknown senders of
emails – and avoid downloading any files from them to your phone.
- If you use your phone a lot – particularly for
mobile banking – consider investing in anti-virus software.
This article has been
written for information and interest purposes only and should not be construed
as advice or used to make financial decisions. Expert financial advice should
always be sought and any links contained within this article are included for
information purposes only. Links to third party websites are not an
endorsement by us of products and services on such websites. You have entered a
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Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in
retail banking (bank accounts and instant access savings
accounts), credit cards, corporate banking,
investment banking, wealth management and investment management services, with
an extensive international presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia.
With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in
over 50 countries and employs over 140,000 people. Barclays moves, invests and
protects money and provides ISAs, home insurance, life insurance, a
mortgage calculator, guides on how to buy shares and other services for
over 49 million customers and clients worldwide. For further information about
Barclays, please visit our website www.barclays.co.uk.
Issued by Barclays Bank PLC. Registered
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Services Authority (FSA). Registered No 1026167. Registered Office: 1
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