Mobile applications – an alternative to Internet banking

Large banking institutions offer customers the opportunity to install mobile applications with which they can manage settlement accounts, carry out payment transactions and monitor previous transactions.

Mobile applications are a modern alternative to classic Internet banking sites. These programs are designed for use only on smartphones.

1. Functions of mobile banking applications

Banking programs have an extensive set of features. The functionality of such apps and websites is usually the same. Clients can make transfers, receive notifications, exchange currencies, collect information about completed transactions and communicate with the technical support of the organization.

Mobile banking services include:

  1. Providing account information.
  2. Formation of mini-statements.
  3. Checking the history of completed transactions.
  4. Notifications about funds expenditure.
  5. Making transfers between accounts.
  6. Payment for various services and goods.
  7. Activating necessary services.
  8. Contacting technical support.
  9. Search for the nearest ATMs and bank offices.
  10. Monitoring of deposits, cards, accounts and loans.

Mobile banking allows you to carry out numerous financial transactions remotely using a portable device connected to the Internet. The user needs to download and install the banking app.

Unlike Internet banking, the application for smartphones has a simplified interface. Modern-style mobile banking features the functionality, which isn’t inferior to the web version of the personal account. The application can be used around the clock. However, some financial establishments set temporary restrictions on access to accounts and use limits on transactions for customers, including currency exchange and money transfer.

2. Using the bank’s mobile application

Downloading and installing banking software is no different from using any other mobile application. Apps are developed for gadgets running on iOS and Android operating systems. The installation files for the latest versions of the application can usually be downloaded from the bank’s website or through the App Store and Google Play. It is strongly recommended not to use unverified sources to download solutions related to making transactions.

To use mobile banking you need to:

  1. Download the .ipa installation file for iPhone or .apk for Android.
  2. Install the software and grant all requested access.
  3. Register an account or log in with a financial phone number.
  4. Customize the application for personal needs by adjusting the notifications and authentication methods.

Regular updates can be performed automatically or manually by the user. If necessary, this option to update the app without you can be temporarily disabled. Remember that updates are not only about new features. They are also about fixing various bugs, including security issues. 

Configuring the app will allow you to:

  • Select the frequency of receiving push notifications and their types.
  • Adjust SMS and email receipt.
  • Define means to protect sensitive data.
  • Add payment tools for remote management.
  • Make adjustments to the interface.
  • Enable or disable user-accessible features.
  • Take advantage of the automation of various operations.
  • Set useful limits on your funds.

For portable hardware running Windows, many banking institutions refuse to develop applications. This because banking websites are sharpened for desktop operating systems. In addition, the development, updating and maintenance of applications involve increasing costs, so banks customize their solutions only for the needs of iOS and Android users.

3. The concept of mobile banking

Mobile banking aims to be just a more convenient analogue of banking websites. Like Internet banking, the application allows you to remotely get access to financial services. The scope of services offered often depends on the bank’s current product line. In theory and in practice, using smartphones, you can perform any payment transactions and receive services related to the administration of your account.

The main directions of mobile banking:

  • Accounting of operations and collecting statistical information.
  • Providing access to personal data and information about completed transactions.
  • Formation and subsequent printing of statements from settlement accounts.
  • Implementation of transactions related to payments, transfers and currency exchange.
  • Activating services and disabling them.
  • Getting professional help by contacting technical support.

Perhaps the main advantage of banking applications is accessibility. Today, a smartphone is the most versatile communication tool. Such a device is at hand around the clock, while the connection to 3G and 4G provides free access to the Internet at any time.

Applications are flexible in settings, and any transactions are processed instantly. On the other hand, the possibility of making payments through a smartphone increases the risk of confidential data leakage. As a result, application users have to pay attention to the protection of personal information.

4. Problems of mobile banking

In order to safely use mobile banking, a secure Internet connection is required. Banks pay special attention to data protection on mobile devices. Transactions are carried out instantly, but you must first log in to the system and then use the authentication mechanism to make a payment. To confirm the operations, it is enough to enter the password and the code received by SMS or in a push notification.

The main problems in the development and use of mobile banking applications are:

  1. Unavailability of a stable connection to the Internet in some regions.
  2. Lack of a unified international standard for mobile banking services.
  3. Difficulties with infrastructure expansion for stable growth of the customer base.
  4. Over-the-air (OTA) update and software component synchronization failures.
  5. Reluctance of conservative clients to adapt to new technological opportunities.
  6. The possibility of loss, theft and damage to the device with the installed program.
  7. A striking difference between the interface of Internet banking and the app design.
  8. Risk of confidential data leakage due to encryption issues.

Applications can experience various annoying crashes that can be resolved by updating or reinstalling the software. These are usually regular crashes, inability to perform authorization, user interface problems, app freezes, and other minor problems.

Mobile application developers, banking service providers and telecommunications service firms have together managed to increase the security of financial information transmission channels. Modern wireless networks use secure connections, and employees of IT and technical departments solve the problems associated with protecting information about completed transactions.

5. Safe use of mobile banking

The real danger for users of mobile applications is only holes in security, which threaten to accidentally reveal secret information to malefactors. Experts recommend that users of banking applications pay attention to the authorization process. Do not forget about complex passwords and fingerprint scanners.

The security of transactions and confidential information is ensured by:

  • Encryption of data transmitted over the Internet and stored on the device.
  • Physical protection of the device against damage, theft and loss.
  • The use of one-time passwords to confirm the operations performed.
  • Setting up a dual authentication system via SMS.
  • The use of QR codes when making transactions.
  • Applying passwords to access the application and the device itself.
  • Automatic locking of the application after the loss or damage of the gadget.

Reducing the risk of unauthorized use of a mobile application involves protection from remote hacking through spam, viruses and spyware that enter the phone when “infected” applications are installed. To eliminate the likelihood of revealing details, in particular your credit card, we recommend you refuse to install unverified programs. You should constantly update related software, including components of operating systems.

6. The future of mobile banking

The number of mobile banking users is growing rapidly. Experts study key industry trends based on international research to create a list of necessary feature to enhance applications. The developers of such programs are trying to make the transaction process more convenient and safer for the audience. Attention is also paid to the design in order to develop a high-end user interface with logical navigation and great usability.

Advantages of mobile banking:

  • Accessibility to a wide audience.
  • The ability to make transactions without territorial binding.
  • Reduce the cost of payment processing and customer service.
  • No need to visit bank branches.
  • Instant processing of non-cash payments and money transfers.
  • Free information about the receipts and expenditure of funds.

Mobile banking is not designed to work with cash. However, with the help of apps, customers are able to make orders for currency exchange and funds withdrawal. Unfortunately, in any case, the client will have to visit a branch or find the nearest ATM to withdraw money. Among the additional options of applications, a useful electronic map is often available, with which you can find offices and self-service points of the bank.

Among the innovative features of mobile applications, it should be noted:

  1. Contactless payments using a phone on which the utility is installed.
  2. Interactive menu elements, which allow banks to operate in new market segments.
  3. Video communication to improve the conditions of communication and interaction with bank representatives.
  4. Comprehensive “Mobile Wallet” with an extended set of options for managing accounts.
  5. Development of specialized banking services that are available only in the application.
  6. Improved tools for personalizing the interface and application configuration.

In the future, mobile banking will replace traditional payment platforms familiar to the audience. Typically, applications are used to obtain information about account balances, view a list of recent transactions, and make payments and currency transfers. Such solutions with enhanced functionality are able to attract new users who are interested in regular access to popular banking services.

7. Conclusion

Thus, the use of applications makes financial transactions more accessible to a wide audience. Mobile banking is created to instantly make payments and receive information about transactions. However, the main distinguishing feature of banking applications is availability at any time, regardless of your current location.

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