The benefits and risks of mobile banking

Efficient mobile banking options are becoming indispensable to both institutions and customers. With the widespread use of smartphones and tablets, customers expect their bank to provide a range of online banking options, from balance inquiries to instant check cashing through photo imaging. Banks are learning that if these expectations aren't met, the customers will switch to more mobile-friendly options.

According to data from New York-based consulting firm AlixPartners, about 60 percent of smartphone or tablet users who switched banks in the fourth quarter said mobile banking was an important factor in the decision, up from 7 percent in the second quarter of 2010. The consumers that were unsatisfied with their bank's mobile banking service most often complained about how well the app functions and its design rather than with the actual banking features of the app, the report notes.

Risk Management In The Banking Sector

However, not everyone is convinced about the utility of mobile banking, and security concerns are the culprit. Just over half of mobile banking users (56 percent) say it's "somewhat safe." 

"It's always advisable to use a bank app rather than going through a browser," said Adam Levin, chairman and co-founder of Credit.com and Identity Theft 911. "Banking apps tend to be generally more secure." Experts advise mobile bankers to make a habit of checking account balances daily, and make credit risk assessments by regularly checking their credit score.

As mobile applications continue to play a larger role in the banking sector, institutions will need to match their efforts to provide convenience to customers with risk management solutions that ensure all transactions are secure and serve the interests of both borrowers and lenders.

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