Commentary

Top of my wish list: Usable mobile banking

It’s no big secret that college students are typically short on money. Even the most responsible among us forget to note daily trips to coffee shops, or fail to write in exact amounts of our bi-monthly checks. One of the things we generally do spend money on: tech gadgets.

It has become glaringly apparent in the past few months since the purchase of my own smartphone that making online banking more usable on these mobile devices would be more than a convenience, it would become a necessity. I will be the first to admit that I really only have a vague idea of the exact amount I have in my bank account. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve waited in line at the store trying frantically to remember the amount I have in checking, or recalling my last five purchases. Currently I can’t access my online banking site remotely at all. There have to be systems, providers and banks which allow this kind of mobile interaction, but I have yet to find one. I’ve heard this is partially due to the newness of the mobile interfaces, questions about security, viruses, etc.

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So if mobile banking is too “dangerous”, what other options do we have to receive this information wherever we happen to be? A colleague of mine suggested a text messaging system from your bank of choice which could send a text with the current account balance and a list of the past several purchases. This would be great and certainly usable. Another friend suggested an application which, when opened, would list previous purchases directly from the navigation screens of any mobile phone- like emails delivered from difference online sources to one mobile hub. I think this is probably even less likely.

The fact is that these devices are always with us, and because most of our lives are converging onto our phones, it only makes sense that mobile banking will (hopefully) be a feature on phones soon. Who will make it happen?

2 comments about "Top of my wish list: Usable mobile banking".
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  1. james simpson, June 23, 2008 at 7:16 p.m.

    I have been getting what you're asking banks to give you for a couple of years. Believe me, I'm no fan of banks but I LOVE Chase Bank. They have a free (www.chase.com) service that notifies me daily of my balance and warns me if the balance drops below a number (that I set) with an automated call to both my home phone and my mobile. By email my Blackberry gets my current balance before I get up in the morning with a list of last nights deposits and debits. Give it a try, you'll love it. I'm never out of touch with my "financial" situation.

    Jim Simpson

  2. Aldo Bender from SmartSystems Media Group, June 24, 2008 at 12:01 p.m.

    BofA is starting to get into the banking game too with some abilities accessible via cellphone but we are light years behind what is happening in Europe with true mobile banking and other advanced payment services (via cell). Not to worry Amanda, as with many other worldwide trends, we will eventually get pummeled into usable mobile banking...

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