Some days it feels like we never stop. Between budget meetings, Zoom calls, car pools, fitness classes, and weekend barbecues, we live life on the move. Fortunately, today’s technology empowers our lifestyles, allowing us the freedom to work, shop, socialize, and even bank anywhere at any time.
This ability to access almost any resource remotely from a laptop, smartphone, or other mobile device is liberating, for sure. But is it safe? The answer to this question is especially important when we’re talking about mobile banking and online money transfers.
The Benefits of Online and Mobile Money Transfers
As with most new endeavors, getting started is one of the hardest parts of the process. To help you kick off your financial freedom journey, let’s walk through a few of the most effective, time-tested methods for reducing expenses, controlling spending, and setting you up for financial independence.
Many people don’t think twice about sending money for goods and services using payment apps such as Venmo, PayPal, Zelle, or Google Pay. Using these apps for mobile money transfers is low-friction because with just a few taps, the app automatically pulls funds from your credit or bank account.
Online money transfers are slightly more involved. Instead of using an app, you log into your online banking platform on a desktop, laptop, or mobile device; enter your credentials; designate which funds to send where; and authorize the transfer.
Whichever method you use to transfer money—mobile or online—there are a lot of benefits that simplify the process compared with more traditional ways of banking:
Online and mobile transfers let you make payments from anywhere. There’s no need to find a bank branch or ATM to move funds.
Mobile payments are instantaneous in many cases, making funds available to the recipient immediately. Online bill pay takes a bit longer but generally no longer than a day or two.
Online money transfers normally incur no or low service fees, unlike commercial money transfer services that charge a significant percentage of the transfer amount.
Paperless money transfers put less strain on the environment by eliminating waste and pollution from manufacturing, shipping, printing, and disposing of paper documents.
Are Mobile and Online Money Transfers Safe?
Yes! Banks and other reputable online and mobile money transfer service providers are committed to keeping your funds safe before, during, and after a transfer.
In fact, transferring money electronically is often safer than carrying around cash or credit cards. Online and mobile transfers are protected both technologically and legally, which makes the process extremely secure.
Here are a few ways your bank or payment app provider keeps your data—and your money—safe:
Data encryption takes human-readable text and scrambles it into a seemingly random set of characters. Converting the data back to text requires an encryption key. Without the key, the text is unreadable, rendering it useless if it is stolen.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a security technology that requires a user to input two or more pieces of proof (credentials) that they are who they say they are before they can log in to the payment application.
Security questions are often used as one piece in a larger security strategy. For example, a user may be asked to answer a security question as one of the “factors” in MFA.
Confirmation of Payee
Confirmation of payee security checks prevent misdirection of funds during an electronic transfer by confirming that the intended recipient of the money transfer is in fact the owner of the account where the money is being sent.
Bank Transfer Regulations
In the U.S., banks are regulated at the state and federal level. As banking becomes more technology-driven, many regulations have been put in place to help prevent fraud and protect consumers when making online money transfers.
Factors That Can Affect the Security of Your Online and Mobile Money Transfers
Despite having extensive security measures in place to protect money transfers, unfortunately, it is possible for your money to end up in the wrong hands.
In many cases, this is a result of simple human error, but on occasion there may be something more malicious going on:
Incorrect Account Number
Before pushing send on a transfer, you should check and double-check that all of the information is correct, including recipient name, account number, and email—and then check again. Once the money is out of your account, it’s hard to get it back, especially when you’re working with incorrect information.
Phishing victims receive an email or text message that appears to be from a legitimate source. This message normally contains a link to a site where the victim is tricked into entering passwords, account numbers, or other information the criminal can use to access bank or credit card accounts.
Malware refers to malicious programs, such as viruses and spyware, that are loaded onto your computer or device through phishing, infected email attachments, or unsafe internet use. These programs give criminals access to your computer and your confidential information.
Free Wi-Fi may be convenient, but it’s not always secure. Hackers can easily get between your device and the connection point, intercepting all of the information you send over the network, including bank account login credentials and credit card numbers.
Personal Precautions You Can Take to Protect Your Money Transfers
Even with security measures in place, it’s smart to take a proactive approach to protecting your banking information online. Here are a few ways to secure both your home and your mobile devices to reduce the risk of confidential information being compromised:
Password-Protect Your Devices
Require a password or finger scan to unlock your smartphone, tablet, or laptop to prevent unauthorized use if the device is lost or stolen.
Set Strong Passwords
Protect all of your accounts with strong, unique passwords—the longer the better. Use a mix of numbers, uppercase letters, lowercase letters, and special characters.
Use Verified Apps
Reduce your risk of malware by only downloading mobile banking apps from your bank’s website or through a trusted app store.
Choose Your Network Wisely
As mentioned above, public Wi-Fi is easy to hack. Save money transfers and online banking for when you have access to a secure internet network or data connection.
Keep Apps and Software up to Date
Missed security updates give hackers an easy way in. Don’t ignore those update notifications; install security patches on your devices as soon as they are released.
How to Make Mobile and Online Money Transfers with Your First State Community Bank Account
First State Community Bank makes it easy to bank on the go. With both online and mobile money transfer options available you can make a payment when you want, where you want.
Pay a Bill
Pay a Bill is a fast, simple solution that lets you quickly organize and pay bills online. With just a few clicks, you can set up one-time or recurring payments that are delivered in a few as two days.
Pay a Bill also makes it easy to view your payment history and set up alerts to receive email reminders when e-bills are due, so you can stay on top of your spending.
Picture Pay is FSCB’s mobile bill payment service that allows you to pay bills using the camera on your mobile device.
To get started, install the First State Community Bank mobile app, select "Pay A Bill" from the menu, and click "Pay with a Photo." Then you can take a picture of any invoice and our built-in AI technology will read the invoice, process the information, and create a payee in the system. Once a payee record is created, it will be available until you remove it, so all you need to do is select when to pay the bill and how much to pay, and click.
Mobile and Online Money Transfers Are Safe, Secure, and Essential
Today’s busy lifestyles require almost-constant connectivity. From work to play, we need to be able to take care of our important tasks on the go.
Mobile and online money transfers make it easy to make bill payments, pay for goods and services, or even send cash to a family member with just a few clicks from wherever you are and whenever it is convenient. First State Community Bank provides all of the digital banking services you need to stay mobile with the personalized customer experience you expect when you bank locally.
Download Why You Should Switch to a Community Bank to discover all the benefits and advantages your community bank has to offer.