Consumer Reports: Banking on the go
April 4, 2011 (WPVI) -- Banking on the go is easy and convenient. But you need safety precautions to protect your money and your information.
Katy Rosati does almost all her banking on her phone: "I don't need to find an ATM or a computer to know what's going on in my bank account."
Consumer Reports Money Adviser says banking on a cell phone is like having an ATM in your pocket, and you don't even need a smart phone. Greg Daugherty, of Consumer Reports: "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."
If you do have a smart phone, like Katy does, 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," Daugherty says. "Chase, for example, will let you take a picture of your check with your camera phone and deposit it."
But you do need to make sure your banking on the go is secure.
"Never do mobile banking on a public Wi-Fi network," Daugherty warns. "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."
It's also a good idea to install security software on your phone. And you can also find some helpful apps to download in case your phone is lost or stolen. For instance, MobileMe for iPhones lets you view your phone's location, lock your phone, set a password and even wipe the information from your phone, all from a remote online location.
By taking these steps - you can safely join Katy and 39 million other Americans who are already saving time and hassle by banking on the go.
"I know exactly what's in my account, when things have cleared, Rosati said, "When money is coming out. I feel very on top of my finances."
Along with the convenience, Consumer Reports Money Adviser says there's another plus with banking on your cell phone - Banks typically don't charge extra fees for the service.
banking, cell phones, economy, computers, identity theft, consumer news
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