August 28, 2015
Technological advancements have opened new doors for the banking industry, allowing for the development of enhanced money management tools and financial resources. The emergence of online banking in the late 1990’s was an innovative convenience that gave customers the ability to bank on their own schedule at their own convenience. By December 2001, 19 million households in the United States were accessing their banking information through an online platform. 2007 marked the start of the smartphone era, which acted as a gateway for additional banking capabilities, including mobile banking.
Internet accessibility by means of mobile devices opened up the market for mobile banking. Based on a study conducted in 2014 by the Federal Reserve Board, 39 percent of all mobile phone users with a bank account had used mobile banking within the past 12 months. While the most common uses for mobile banking apps are monitoring balances, checking recent transactions and transferring money between accounts, an increasingly popular feature is mobile deposit. In the previous 12 months leading up to the survey mentioned prior, 51 percent of mobile banking users have deposited checks via the mobile deposit feature of their mobile banking app.
With the convenience-focused technology at their fingertips, why are only 51 percent of mobile banking users taking advantage of a mobile deposit feature? Predominantly, the most common hesitancy is related to security concerns. Apprehension is justified with personal information on the line, but know that security is the top priority. Sophisticated mitigation techniques are in place to optimize safety and security.
Checks deposited via mobile device are done so by using the device’s camera to capture the image of the check within the app. This image contains all of the necessary information the bank needs. To finalize the transaction the bank receiving the image verifies the routing numbers on the check against a database to ensure the check is valid and has not already been deposited. Mobile banking apps need to transmit the information from the device to the bank safely without interception, a common concern amongst those who do not use remote deposit. Data is protected with encryption technology, making any potentially intercepted information impossible to decode and worthless to hackers.
Additional skepticism about mobile banking is often credited to the concern that lost or stolen mobile devices could give someone the opportunity to steal your money. Take note, images that are taken of checks through the banking app are never stored on the device itself and are not automatically saved to your photo gallery. To prevent any unauthorized individuals from accessing your sensitive information, create a complex password that must be entered each time you wish to access the mobile app. Further safeguard your mobile device by setting a passcode that is necessary for using the device itself.
Since the beginning of the mobile banking era, the userbase has grown significantly, benefitting a greater audience and wider demographic. As the technology continues to evolve, security and convenience features are expected to adapt to suit the ever-changing needs of consumers. As secure as the features are, it is important to be conscious of the potential risks and stay proactive to keep information secure. The FDIC has published recommendations for mobile banking users to help ensure the security of the user’s information. For more information on how to keep your mobile banking information secure please visit the FDIC web page, www.fdic.gov. If you would like to learn more about mobile banking and mobile deposit, speak with a local banking representative and request a demo.