TomorrowMakers ™

What makes mobile banking safe?

06 January 2017
With mobile banking becoming a necessity, it’s natural to wonder if it’s safe. Here’s what you need to know.
 
 

Kanika was on her way to the airport when she realised she had not paid her electricity bill. It was 3 AM, but that did not stop her, she simply logged into the mobile banking app on her smartphone... There! Her bill was paid.

Mobile banking has made our lives a lot simpler. You can do a host of financial tasks while on the move via your financial service provider’s phone app, from simple tasks like account checking balances, viewing investment details as well as doing transactions online.,. Customers can also track their Investment account (MF account) through mobile, place requests for cheque books, start term deposits, opt for loans etc.

Digitalisation is now at its peak, and banks and other financial institutions have made it easy to use mobile banking – it’s simple, safe, and saves a lot of time and effort.

But is mobile banking safe?

Many people worry about the safety of mobile banking. Fair enough, after all, you would want to know who has access to your sensitive bank details, wouldn’t you?

Can the mobile provider hack into your banking app? What happens if the phone is stolen? How can you authenticate the authenticity of the mobile banking transactions?

The good news is that financial institutions have made safety their first priority when offering mobile banking facilities. You need to cross many security layers before just logging in to the app, with different banks using features like an MPIN, a password, and a one-time password (OTP) for transactions like fund transfers and bill payments. The exact procedure changes from one bank to another.

And once logged in, you also get immediate notifications via SMS and email after you make any transaction. This keeps you in the loop constantly. Even if there is any suspicious activity at a remote location by someone other than yourself, you receive information about it right away and can take the necessary action to report it.

Safe technology in Mobile Banking Applications:

Banks have started investing heavily into their mobile banking applications to make it safer for the customers. Since the apps are specifically built for a particular bank and its customers only, they have a secure connection by using technology like SSL encryption and a two-factor authentication. These ensure safety of the data.

Moreover, if someone gets your phone, your app still needs a username and/or a password to unlock and if available, go through a two -factor authentication in order to get access to the account details. This adds additional layers of security.

Theft Fraud Prevention Mechanism:

Along with the mentioned security features, some banks have started a third method of security, in the form of profiling a person. So, if the banking transactions are not in tune with your profile as saved in the banks, they immediately call to cross verify the same.

Unified Payment Interface:

Nowadays a common option is the Unified Payment Interface. UPI is a payment gateway which allows you to transfer funds between two bank accounts by the help of your smartphone. You can also pay directly to another phone number provided the same is linked to a bank account without having to share your account details with that person. This comes with its own layers of security, making mobile banking safer.

Related: How Unified Payment Interface (UPI) can change the way you bank

Mobile banking v/s conventional banking

Let us look at some of the factors that make mobile banking better and safer than traditional banking.

  • Cashless transactions: Perhaps you have to transfer money to a friend, or you need to pay a bill? You can carry out these tasks via cashless transactions on your mobile banking app.
  • Remote access: Unlike conventional banking, mobile banking can be carried out at any time on any day. Say you wish to send money to your parents on a Saturday night. You do not have to wait until 9 AM on a Monday morning for the bank to open. Use your smartphone and complete the transaction then and there.
  • Reduced black money reserves: Prime Minister has been quoted as saying that shifting to cashless transactions may help curb black money since it would reduce the traditional wallet and the need to carry currency in your pocket.

Additional Tips for Safe Mobile Banking:

  • Random Passwords

Use completely random passwords with a mix of capital letters, numbers as well as special characters. Although most applications are programmed to check your passwords according to their requirement, it makes a lot more sense to do that check by yourself. You can also try using a sentence with a number in between like ‘love4ever$’.

  • Type the URL:

One important way to ensure safe banking is to type your banking URL and not follow previously typed links. That’s the safest way to keep phishers off! Also, ensure your banking URL is https:// and not just http://. The ‘s’ is for “secured” websites!

  • Go incognito:

For all your banking transactions, it makes a lot of sense to open an incognito widow on your browser and then conduct your online transactions so that your cache memory and passwords are not saved.

  • Use Safe Wi-Fi ONLY:

Never undertake your banking transactions in unsecure Wi-Fi as this is one of the easiest ways to get hacked into your personal details. Use your phone internet for the same.

  • Lock your phone with a complicated password as well as biometric codes:

That makes a hackers life more difficult to open the passcode and undertake mobile banking transactions. It also adds another layer of security.

Mobile banking is a modern-day boon. Besides, almost every bank and financial institution offers this service. So, if you have not started using mobile banking yet. Download your provider’s app, log on, and get ready to discover its benefits.

Topic: banking
 
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