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How to decide if mobile banking is right for you

Young woman looks out the window of a bus with yellow earphones on her head. She holds her cellphone in her hand and smiles.
November 05, 2020

By Claire Hegstrom

As technology continues to skyrocket and the need for cash rapidly decreases, online and mobile banking is becoming more sophisticated, and can even offer a one-stop-shop solution for those looking to wave goodbye to a traditional banking experience altogether.

Over the past decade, we’ve seen the birth of peer-to-peer apps, which makes transferring cash instantaneous to friends and family, and banking security has reached new levels of sophistication to keep consumers and their money safer than ever before.

If you’ve been pondering switching to a digital financial institution, but haven’t decided if it’s right for you, here are some key reasons millions of people across the country prefer online banking.

Online accounts travel with you

If you love to travel or if you are relocated for work often, an online checking account gives you the freedom you need to move without worrying about finding a new bank or credit union. A digital financial institution also offers a flexible solution to college students who haven’t quite decided where they will be living permanently, but need a safe place to park their paychecks.

Wondering how you’ll get cash when you need it? Some online checking accounts give you access to a large ATM network. For example, Alliant High-Rate Checking gives members access to more than 80,000 ATMs nationwide, and even offers ATM rebates for the times members can’t find an in-network ATM close by.

Digital accounts help you save faster

If you need help saving, an eBanking account can assist you in reaching your savings goals quicker. Instead of traveling to a branch every paycheck to move funds to savings, sophisticated online and mobile banking accounts allow you to set up automatic transfers every paycheck. To top it off, you’ll usually earn more interest with an online checking account! Because operating costs—such as rent—are lower at a digital financial institution, they can allocate the money saved in overhead to better savings and loan rates.

Trying to be better about keeping your hard-earned cash in savings? A digital financial institution could be your savings sidekick. Because of Regulation E., a law created by the Federal Reserve, all banks and credit unions can’t permit more than six electronic transfers out of savings every month. If you bank at a brick and mortar financial institution, you can go into a branch once you exceed six transfers as a get around. At a digital institution, you are limited to your six transfers, helping you keep your savings stashed away.

Mobile banking works well in emergencies

If you’re someone who easily misplaces your wallet, or just always forgets it at home, eBanking has your back. With features like mobile wallet compatibility, you can use your debit card by tapping your phone on the checkout terminal. No physical card is required!

Lost your wallet a few times and had to call to cancel all your debit and credit cards? You’re not alone, but with online checking accounts, it’s easier than ever to log in to your mobile banking app and shut your cards down the minute you realize your wallet is missing.

You can do almost everything online

Does the thought of making a phone call make your skin crawl? Good news, many online banking and credit union accounts have completely eliminated the need to talk to a person if you don’t want to. You can do virtually everything from opening an account to refinancing your auto loan in just a few minutes online.

Mobile banking is available 24/7

If you have a job, children or are a busy person in general, standard banker’s hours can be difficult to work with. Digital financial institutions work hard to make online loan applications, account information updates and money management a seamless experience through mobile and online banking so that you never have to set foot into a branch.

For those confident in using technology like tablets or smartphones, most everything you’ll need to do with your finances can be done online, anywhere and anytime you’d like.

State of the art security features

You may have thought that mobile banking was less secure than banking at a brick and mortar financial institution. In most cases, mobile banking is just as safe, and sometimes even safer, as financial institutions can devote more money to cybersecurity. For instance, Alliant has a very robust fraud monitoring system that members can customize to their needs. Members can set fraud text alerts and spending alerts within Alliant’s online banking platform so that a fraudulent purchase is less likely to go unnoticed.

Just like physical bank and credit union branches, most mobile banking account funds are protected and insured by the federal government. For example, banks are insured by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), and credit union accounts are insured by the NCUA (National Credit Union Association).

These are just a few of the reasons that tech-savvy consumers are choosing a mobile banking experience. Mobile banking accounts offer heightened security, incredible rates, and a seamless experience so you can bank on the go.


Claire Hegstrom is an advocate of the credit union movement through and through. Passionate about financial education, she approaches money conversations from a candid and inclusive space focused on growth and awareness. As our credit union founding father, Ed Filene, once said, “Progress is the constant replacing of the best there is with something still better.” Claire hopes reading Money Mentor will help transform your life from the best to even better.

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