Bank5 Connect: Online and Mobile Banking

mobile banking illustration iconAccording to a 2013 Pew Research Center report, more than half of the adults in the country use online banking and nearly a third bank with their cell phones. Banks have modified their websites and created apps to keep up with the latest online banking trends, giving you the opportunity to conduct all of your banking through your personal devices. Here are answers to a few of the questions clients have asked regarding several of the latest changes in online banking and the new features accessible through websites and smartphone apps.

Can I Use an Online-Only Checking Account as My Primary Account?

With many online banking options, you can use your online-only account as your primary checking account. The same transaction abilities inherent to a traditional checking account are available with the online version: any account-related action a teller could take at a brick-and-mortar branch can be done remotely through your online-only account. If your bank offers these services, you have no doubt received flyers, emails, and letters explaining how to set up online banking and encouraging you to go paperless.

Thanks to improved website navigation options, you can also check your balance, your recent transactions, and a history of your withdrawals using online services with a few clicks. Many banks also offer additional benefits for using online services, such as ATM fee rebates or discounts on other services.

Can Online Banking Eliminate the Need to Visit an Actual Bank?

If you use mobile banking, you may not need to visit a bank branch at all. Most mobile apps allow you to deposit checks digitally by using your phone's camera to take a picture of the check. The app will then process the deposit, just as if you handed a signed check to a teller. In addition, the chat features allow you to conduct more complex activities online, such as renewing a CD. With the full capabilities of online and mobile banking, you no longer need to depend on a physical branch to get your banking done. The efficiency this new method represents allows your bank to save money, which any reputable bank will pass back on to you in a number of ways.

man using phone for mobile banking

What if I Have Questions Or Don’t Understand Something about Online Banking?

In adopting online banking, banks have also embraced a number of online customer service options. One of the most useful features is the online chat functions, which usually appear as a button in your navigation menu that allows you to immediately chat with a customer service representative in real time. The representative can walk you through a transaction, help you find a tool, or complete more complex transactions with you.

If you want a more audible approach you can call the bank directly. Phone-based customer service representatives are also equipped to help you deal with online issues, as long as you specify that you have a website question.


Can I continue to receive traditional statements even though I am using online banking?

That is up to the customer. Banks typically offer traditional, physical bank statements mailed to your home with or without online banking. However, you may also have access e-documents, at which point you probably receive your bank statements electronically. In this case, you will receive an email notifying you about your electronic statement, and you can access the statement through your bank's website at any time. This is a greener, faster option, but some people prefer hard copy statements, so both options are typically available.

How do I know if I have the option for mobile banking?

Check to see if your bank offers a mobile app you can download on your smartphone and access banking options on the go. These apps vary quite a bit, though most include options to check your balances and make immediate transactions, just like a traditional website. Some offer more advanced capabilities, such as highlighting nearby ATMs and branches using your location-based services. Mobile banking services can also offer you the ability schedule alerts and texted reminders for bills that are coming due, allowing you to immediate pay and cross the item off your list even if you aren't at home.

icon for mobile bill bayHow does mobile deposit capture work?

Deposit capture is one of the newest options offered by mobile banking apps. While large banks are more likely to offer this ability, it is being adopted by many smaller, more local, banks as well. This service allows you to remotely deposit a check by snapping a picture of it.

Deposit capture tools require several things in order to function properly. First, they need a clear image of the front of the check—clear enough to ensure the check is legitimate and to read the bank and routing numbers. If the image is blurry, users will have to take another photo. The service also needs a clear picture of the back of the check, showing your endorsement and possibly an indication that the check is intended for mobile banking.

Once processed, the check is deposited into the specified account just like a regular deposit. However, it is still a good idea to hold onto the check for a few days to make sure it successfully clears. Then the check can safely be destroyed. This is just one example of how the new world of digital banking can save you time and help you manage your finances more easily!

For more information on mobile banking talk to a representative from your bank or visit their website. If you do not have access to mobile banking, then it may be worth switching banks to receive all of the benefits these new services offer.