Top Mobile Banking App Features to Look For

There are dozens of mobile banking apps out there, which can make it tricky to figure out the best one for you. Luckily, there are several must-have features you can look for to determine whether a mobile banking app will work for you.

Mobile check deposit 

In the past, depositing a check meant physically going to the bank. Today, you can deposit a check from your phone using a mobile check deposit. 

To deposit a check using a mobile banking app, you will likely need to snap a photo of the front and back, add the check amount to the app, and hit “deposit.” Depending on your bank, you may be able to access the funds quickly. For some institutions, you may have to wait a few days for your check to clear.

Chime’s mobile check deposit guide explains the process of depositing a check right in the Chime app.

Mobile payment app support

Mobile payments, or digital wallets, have exploded in popularity in recent years. Many mobile banking apps integrate with mobile payment apps like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. 

Choosing a mobile banking app that supports your digital wallet means you can leave your physical cards at home and pay for your goods with a simple tap from your phone.

Virtual credit card

With virtual credit cards, you can pay for goods and services online without needing your physical card

This feature is helpful if your card gets stolen or lost, leaving you without your primary payment method while you wait for the replacement. Some mobile bank apps have virtual card information handy, so you can make online purchases while waiting for your physical card to arrive.

Security features

Keeping your account information safe when using a mobile banking app is vital. The security features of your mobile app should make you feel confident that your money is secure.

One important feature is the ability to disable your card instantly if you notice a fraudulent transaction. With the touch of a button, you can block transactions if you see a charge you didn’t make or if you lose your debit card. That means no one can use your card while you report it missing or stolen and request a new one.

Choose a mobile banking app with features that make it harder for others to access your account. Look for features like touch or face ID that use your biometric information to allow access to the app. Using these features rather than a PIN or a password can help prevent unauthorized users from accessing your banking information. 

Automatic savings 

Saving money is important, but remembering to save each month is a hassle. Many mobile banking apps offer automatic savings features to simplify the process. Set up a scheduled transaction to move money from your checking to your savings account, and watch your savings build up automatically.

You can choose the amount of money to move and the frequency. If your financial situation changes, you can automatically update the amount you transfer to savings. Got a raise from your job? Increase your automatic savings amount. Need to pay installments on a hospital bill? Lower your automatic savings and use the money to help pay the bill.

Peer-to-peer payments

Need to pay a friend for lunch or contribute to a colleague’s wedding gift? Peer-to-peer payments through your mobile app make it easy. 

Mobile banking apps usually use a third-party payment network like Zelle to transfer money to friends or family for free and to help you avoid a trip to the bank to make a transfer. Chime members can use Pay Anyone for payments between friends and family.

App notifications

App notifications help you track your money. Some mobile banking apps require you to log in to check your account balance. Others will send messages to tell you about a new transaction. 

By seeing purchases in real time, you can quickly identify suspicious transactions and disable your card to prevent any further purchases. Push notifications can alert you to check deposits, direct deposits, and transactions when they happen.

Check mailing

Although you might not use checks often, sometimes they are necessary. Rather than writing a check, finding a stamp, and mailing it to the recipient, a mobile banking app can do the work for you.

If a banking app has this feature, you will need to specify the amount to send and the recipient. Your financial institution will mail the check on your behalf. This sometimes-overlooked feature can save you time and hassle when paying by check.

ATM and bank locator

Finding the closest ATM can be frustrating when it takes time, which is why some mobile apps offer a built-in ATM and bank locator. You can use this feature to find fee-free ATMs when you need to grab some cash. 

Cardless ATM withdrawal

Some mobile banking apps allow you to withdraw money from an ATM without touching it. Depending on the app, you might scan a QR code or use your digital wallet to access your account rather than inserting your card into the ATM. 

Cashless ATM withdrawal can simplify the process and minimize contact even if you don’t use cash often.

In-app customer support

Calling your bank can take a big chunk of time out of your day. Some banks have started including voice-activated virtual assistants and chat support in their apps to help you get the answers you need. 

Using in-app customer support, you can check your balance, schedule payments, and get insights into your spending habits. These features make it easier for you to stay on top of your finances.

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