6 Reasons Mobile Banking is More Secure Than You Think
Trust. It was the founding principle of banking when the practice was invented nearly 4,000 years ago.
“Will you hold my money for me? And can you make sure it’s ready when I need it? Oh, and please don’t lose it or let anyone steal it. OK? It’s everything I have.”
Times have changed dramatically, but the principle is just as true today—the first deposit you make into a financial institution is trust. That goes for their people and branch offices, but also their mobile apps. Trusting mobile apps to handle everything from our daily schedule to our taxes has skyrocketed in the last few years. However, not everyone is ready to trust an app with their money, their account information and their livelihood.
This mistrust is rooted in the early days of mobile apps where security was outweighed by convenience. Fortunately, technology has evolved since then and banking apps have become secure enough to earn that trust. It’s more complex than a vault, but the principle is the same. Here are 6 ways banking apps keep your money (and your information) safe.
1) Your Info Isn’t Really There to be Stolen
A key learning from early-gen banking apps was that keeping data within the app itself makes the phone a target. Today, quality banking apps store encrypted information on secured cloud servers. This means that even if someone gets ahold of your phone, they won’t get anything out of it because the information’s not there. The person would still need to gain access to your app the same way you do. While some user data does need to be housed in the app, that data is also encrypted.
2) Security on the Digital Streets
Think of how an armored car protects physical money when it goes from one place to another, and now think of it being a digital armored car. Communications between the app and data centers encrypt that data while it’s “on the road” between destinations.
3) Personalized Access
Passwords and log-in information are just the first line of defense when it comes to keeping people out of your banking app should they gain access to your phone. Multi-factor authentication layers on additional verification requirements like security questions, access codes and biometric data, which is far more difficult to get through.
4) Device Authorization
Not only does the bank know it’s definitely you through personal authentication features (PIN, fingerprint, etc.), they also know it’s your device they’re communicating with. If someone were to steal all of your login info, they’d still need your specific device. Otherwise, they’ll get rejected. If someone tries to log in from an unverified device, the app will send you an alert so you can stay on top of it.
5) 24-Hour Monitoring
Nobody knows your spending habits better than you do. So, apps are built with alerts that you can customize, letting you know when a purchase above a certain dollar amount has been made. You can set these as high or as low as you like, confident that if someone makes a purchase from your account, you’ll know about it. There are also alerts if someone tries to log in to your account from an unverified device or browser, adding another layer of defense without you having to do anything.
6) “Paper” Trail
More accurate than a file full of papers, apps logs all activity for you—and you can review it if you think someone has gotten through. Retrace your steps and make sure it wasn’t you who made that 2 a.m. impulse buy. If it wasn’t, mobile banking apps let you address the situation immediately rather than wait until a branch opens.
In addition to every way modern banking mobile apps keep your money and information safe, here are three things you can do to feel even more secure:
1) Lock Your Phone
Set up multiple layers of access to your phone like a PIN or swipe password. If your phone has the capabilities, upgrade to facial recognition or a fingerprint key.
2) Don’t Bank Using Public WiFi
Scammers can find security flaws in public WiFi networks that leave your device vulnerable. Checking Facebook is one thing but transferring money should be done on a network you trust.
3) Keep Your App Up to Date
It’s critical to make sure your app is up to date, as updates often address threats that have been identified in a previous version of the app. Letting the app fall behind makes those threats greater.