Tips to successfully bank with your mobile device

Apple products iPhone and iPad

April 8, 2011 6:11:01 PM PDT
Banking on your computer may have already become so yesterday. Now it's all about banking on your cell phone. Here are some benefits of mobile banking and the security precautions you need to take.

Like a growing number of people, Katy Rosati does almost all her banking on her smart phone.

"I don't need to find an ATM or a computer to know what's going on in my bank account," she said.

Consumer Reports money adviser Greg Daugherty said banking on a cell phone is like having an ATM in your pocket.

"Text banking can be done with the simplest of phones. You send messages to get your account balances, and you get text messages when your balance is low or when your withdrawals or deposits are posted," he said.

If you have a smart phone, like Rosati, or a tablet computer, you can transfer money and pay bills, too.

"There are also banking applications designed specifically for your bank and model of phone. Chase for example, will let you take a picture of your check with your camera phone and deposit it," Daugherty said.

But you do need to make sure your banking on the go is secure.

"Never do mobile banking on a public Wi-Fi network. And when you're on your bank's website, always look for the little lock symbol in the browser to know that you're on a secure site," Daugherty said.

It's also a good idea to install security software. That way, you can safely join Rosati and 39 million other Americans who already do mobile banking.

"I know exactly what's in my account, when things have cleared, you know, when money is coming out. I feel very on top of my finances," she said.

Consumer Reports says there's another plus to banking on your cell phone and banks typically don't charge fees for this service.

Consumer Reports is published by Consumers Union. Both Consumer Reports and Consumers Union are not-for-profit organizations that accept no advertising. Neither has any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.

(All Consumer Reports Material Copyright 2010. Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

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