Financial Facts

Mobile Banking: Is It Safe?

Cell phones have certainly evolved over the years. The first mobile phone call was actually made more than 35 years ago. This made way for the brick phone that was popular in the 1980s, then the flip phone of the 1990s and on to the multi-purpose devices we use today.* With the variety of Internet, video, music and messaging options that we enjoy today – who knows what’s next? Let’s talk mobile banking.

Mobile banking has actually been around for a few years now, and more and more financial institutions are offering this service. But is banking from your cell phone really safe? After all, most people probably know someone who has lost their cell phone or had it stolen. The truth is that banking with your cell phone may be even safer than banking with your PC.

There are a few different ways you can bank with your mobile phone:

  1. Download a dedicated program or app to your phone.
  2. Access online banking through your phone’s Internet browser.
  3. Send a text message to your financial institution.

How Safe Is It?

The upside of banking the mobile way is that cell phones currently aren’t susceptible to malware that scammers can install on PCs to steal password information. And if you log in through an Internet browser, you still need to enter your online banking login and password to access your accounts. In addition, text message banking is typically reserved simply for checking balances or getting transaction alerts, so thieves can’t access private account information that would put you at risk.**

Try Mobile Banking Today

American Southwest Credit Union takes your security seriously. Both our online banking and mobile banking services encrypt any information that is exchanged between you and the credit union. You can be confident that your information is safe with us. For more information or to sign up for online or mobile banking today, visit www.americansouthwestcu.org.

* Source: "From Bricks to Slick: A History of Mobile Phones," www.wired.com, Feb. 23, 2009.
** Source: "Mobile-Phone Banking: Convenient and Safe?" www.pcworld.com, Sept. 24, 2009.

Mobile Safety Tips

  1. American Southwest Credit Union will never call, text or email you requesting your personal financial information. Don’t respond to a text that asks for your login, password, account number, Social Security number, etc.
  2. Make your mobile device extra secure through password protection. That way even if your phone is lost or stolen, thieves can’t access any of the personal information you stored on your phone.
  3. Consider remote-wipe technology for smart phones. You will likely have to pay a fee for this service, but if your phone is lost or stolen, you can wipe out all of the information on your phone remotely.
  4. Don’t send or store private financial information in emails that could put you at risk. Email accounts can be accessed by thieves online and they can learn a lot about you by reading through your emails.

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