Modern technology has changed the way we live!

Smart phones should make us smarter. Corny, but I say it all the time. 

I appreciate having a device, that fits in my hand, that can access information on just about any topic. This is why I rely heavily on my iphone and my iPad. I research & store so much information on them and after an unfortunate theft-situation, I also learned to use a passcode at all times.

If you are not using your smartphone or tablet for mobile banking and text alerts, you might be missing out on tools and features that will help improve your budgeting and financial planning!

Consider these numbers:

  • Mobile banking hit 95 million users in 2013 – up 40% from 2012!
  • It is predicted to hit 149 million users by 2018.
    Javelin Research (March, 2014)

In other words, this is our current situation, always on our cell phones.
 
I personally use my bank’s mobile banking features to help manage my budget and spending.
I use SMS text alerts to keep me informed of certain planned and unplanned transactions.

Sidebar: Just recently, I purchased an airline ticket using my debit card. Within an hour of my purchase I received an email, a phone call and a text alert of SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY cited on my account. The purchase triggered these 3 notifications and a partial freeze on my account. I had to respond and acknowledge that the purchase was mine before my account could be used further.  All of the alerts were a total surprise but in our climate of data breaches and compromises, it felt good that my bank knows me and my normal spending patterns.

NOW…

it stands to reason that if my bank will invest in knowing how I spend my money,

 I should do no less.


So, how can you use your bank’s mobile services and features to help you manage your spending and make banking faster and easier?

Here is my list of 3 ways that you should be taking advantage of mobile banking features:
  1. Use your bank’s mobile banking app! Sounds simple enough, right? But this is different than logging onto your bank’s website from your phone or tablet. The app should be faster and more streamlined than opening your account on your phone’s internet browser. The capabilities of your bank’s app will vary but most banks are pushing towards offering more and more services.
  2. Make check deposits from your phone or tablet – I gotta admit that I love this little feature. It’s a “check-selfie!” When I need to deposit a check, I use my bank’s app to capture a picture of the front and the back of the check, and I can easily select which account to be used for the deposit. This saves me time by avoiding a visit to the branch, the forms to complete, and the hassle of locating an ATM machine.
  3. I use Text alerts to monitor activity in my account. This one is huge and saves me a lot of anxiety. Here are the text alerts I use:
  • Low balance threshold: balance below $___ . This is a major trigger for me. If an account goes below my threshold, let’s say $40, I receive a text alert. Now with careful planning, you should always know your balance, but this is still a great opportunity to stay on top of things. Once the text is received, log into your account and make sure you’re not at risk of an overdraft or NSF (non-sufficient) fee.
  • Direct deposit credited to your account. I have total faith that my direct deposits from work will occur as scheduled but I still appreciate this little notification.
  • Mortgage Payment Posted. For convenience, our mortgage payment is auto-drafted by our lender. Normally I am opposed to auto-drafts by a creditor but I relax my rules for the mortgage payment. This reminder confirms that the payment has been made! Check, check, check!
There you have it. With our busy and rush, rush, modern lives, seek ways to simplify and streamline. If used properly, mobile banking can do just that!