11 Ways to Make the Most of Your Mobile Banking App

Do you use a mobile banking app? If the answer is yes, you are not alone. One survey found that 89% of all Americans and 97% of Millennials used a mobile app for at least some of their banking needs.

Our Addition Financial members can download our mobile banking app to access their accounts on their mobile devices 24 hours a day. Of course, there's no point in having a banking app on your phone if you aren't taking full advantage of its features.

With that in mind, we've compiled this list of 11 ways to make the most of your mobile banking app. Here they are.

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#1: Enable Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication is a popular security measure that allows people to add an extra layer of protection to their online and mobile accounts. Once you enable multi-factor authentication, having your password won't be enough to get access to your bank account even if someone has your phone. 

The most common multi-factor authentication methods are text codes and fingerprints. With the former, you'll receive a text message with a code you'll need to enter to gain access to your account. With the later, you'll do an in-app scan of your fingerprint to confirm your identity. A third method that is gaining popularity is facial recognition, which uses your phone's camera to scan your face and match your features with a stored photo.

#2: Monitor Your Account Activity

Most of us have our mobile devices by our sides all day, every day. You can use your financial institution's mobile app to monitor your account activity and keep track of your money.

Monitoring your account will ensure you know how much money you have and which transactions have been completed. If you monitor your account daily, you will be sure to catch any suspicious activity as soon as it occurs. While your liability for fraudulent credit card transactions is limited to $50, you could lose more than that if someone steals your debit card information.

#3: Sign Up for Text Alerts

Text alerts can take the place of monitoring your account and offer an easy way to keep an eye on your money. With many mobile banking apps you can sign up for alerts for specific types of activity:

  • A direct or mobile deposit is made to your account
  • A large payment (electronic or check) is processed on your account
  • Your account balance goes below a specified threshold
  • Your account is overdrawn
  • There is suspicious activity on your account
  • There is a purchase of any kind on your account

Many parents use the last item to receive alerts about their kids' spending through online banking. Receiving text alerts allows you to learn about important transactions and account activity in real time.

#4: Deposit Checks from Home

Going to your credit union or bank to deposit a check was a chore even before the COVID-19 pandemic put us into a new reality. The good news is that you can use your mobile banking app to deposit checks from home or anywhere else.

With the Addition Financial mobile app (available on iPhone or Android through the app store on your mobile phone), you can deposit checks by endorsing the back and then taking photos of the front and back of the check. We ask members to hold onto the deposited check for a few days to ensure it clears. After that, they can destroy it by shredding or tearing it.

With mobile deposits, you can deposit a check at any hour of the day and in many cases, get access to the money sooner than you would with an in-person deposit with a teller or ATM.

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#5: Review Pending Activity

One of the most common reasons that account holders get overdrawn is that a transaction is processed more quickly – or a deposit is processed more slowly – than they anticipated. With a mobile banking app, you can review pending activity to get a clear picture of upcoming account activity.

When you review pending activity and notice a potential problem, you may be able to rectify the situation by moving money between your accounts. In other words, it's a tool that allows you to avoid overdraft fees and other problems with your account.

#6: Save Trees with Paperless Banking

We all know that the Earth has limited resources and that it is important to minimize our use of them where we can. One way that mobile banking apps can help is by eliminating the need for mailed, paper statements.

You can make the most of your mobile banking app by accessing your account statements through the app and using them to balance your account. Most banks allow account holders to click a paperless banking option and opt out of receiving printed account statements and notifications. This saves time and money as well as being good for the planet.

#7: Transfer Money Between Accounts

Our next mobile banking tip is related to the last one. One of the best things about using a banking app is that it is easy to transfer money between your accounts at the same financial institution. In fact, it can usually be done with a few taps of the finger!

If you have a large transaction pending or want to transfer funds to meet your monthly savings goal, you can do it in less than a minute from your mobile app. There's no need to worry about where your money is because you can manage it all from your phone or tablet.

#8: Send Person-to-Person Payments

Every one of us has been in a situation where we needed to pay a friend or family member back for something. Whether your friend paid for movie tickets or your sister picked up groceries when your kids were sick, you need to get money to them quickly. 

Many mobile banking apps offer users the chance to transfer money to people they know using Zelle or another mobile payment option. You can transmit money from your account to your friends and family in just a few minutes. Once they receive it, they can transfer it to their own account. You may also be able to request money from people you know from your banking app.

#9: Pay Your Bills

Paying bills can be a chore if you must handle them one at a time, reviewing statements and sending payments. Even if you pay electronically, it can take time when you are required to log in to multiple sites.

With many mobile banking apps, you can set up automatic bill payments for recurring expenses. For example, you can link your mobile banking app to your cell phone account and pay your bill automatically each month. The same is true of your cable bill. Most apps will allow you to specify the date of payment and set up alerts, so you know when the payment is going out.

#10: Protect Yourself from Fraud and Theft

There's no question that online fraud is a big problem and one that can put your identity and your credit card or bank accounts at risk. It is essential to protect yourself in any way you can, and the good news is that banking with a mobile app allows you to do so.

What happens if you log into your account and you see a suspicious transaction? In the days before mobile banking, you might have been required to call your financial institution and wait on hold until you got somebody on the line. It was a stressful and time-consuming process.

Thanks to mobile technology, you can log into your app and lock your credit or debit card in a few seconds. Locking your card prevents anyone from using it until or unless you unlock it. The locking option can be useful if you have misplaced your card, too. You can have the peace of mind you need while you search for your card – and you can always unlock it once you locate it.

#11: Bank from Wherever You Are

Arguably the biggest benefit of using a mobile banking app is that you can bank from wherever you are. Even when you are traveling, you can access your account using your mobile device. That makes it easy to stay on top of payments, review your account balances and deposit checks when you're not home.

On a related note, many mobile banking apps have GPS locators embedded in them. They can notify you if your card is being used in an unusual location. For example, if you used your card in Tampa in the morning and an hour later, it was used in Japan, that would be useful information to have.

Using a mobile banking app can help you to manage your money and accounts quickly and efficiently. You won't need to waste time traveling to the bank or searching for an ATM to deposit a check. With the 11 tips we have listed here, you'll be sure to make the most of your mobile banking app.

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With a personal checking account at Addition Financial, you can get our mobile app for free and use it to manage your money. Click here to open an account today!

The content provided here is not legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. Please consult with legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific needs or questions you may have. We do not make any guarantees as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not support any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability or legal obligations for your use of this information.