Here's How to Make the Most of Your Banking App

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KEY POINTS

  • Banking apps offer convenience, in that you can check your balance or deposit a check even outside of normal banking hours.
  • If you lose your debit card, you can use your app to report the loss, preventing thieves from stealing your cash.
  • Some banking apps offer budgeting and savings tools, making it easier to track your progress on your financial goals.

Being able to deposit checks from anywhere is amazing.

When I was a kid, a lot of the cartoons I watched promised that by the 2000s, we'd all be driving around in flying cars and making video phone calls. That second part came true, at least. But even though I don't have a flying car (yet), I do have a tiny computer that fits in my pocket and is more powerful than the computers used to get humans to the moon during the Apollo space program. And it lets me manage my finances quickly and easily.

If you haven't explored your bank's mobile app yet, you're missing out. Or maybe you've just skimmed the surface, using the app to check your balance occasionally while you're on the go. A lot of people really love their mobile banking app; in fact, two-thirds of the respondents to the Chase Digital Banking Attitudes Study from late last year said they can't live without it. Here's a look at some ways you can truly get the most from your banking app.

Lean on the convenience

Mobile banking apps are just so darn convenient. Wondering what your checking account balance is while you're sitting in the parking lot of the grocery store, about to run in for a few things? It's easy to find out.

You can also deposit a check in your account anytime and from anywhere. Just follow the directions in your app, take a photo of each side of the check, and watch the money hit your account in a few days, no trip to the bank required.

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Your mobile banking app might let you pay others quickly and easily if your bank has a partnership with a payment service like Zelle. This will also save you a trip to an ATM (or having to write a check).

If you receive a new debit card (or a new credit card, if you have accounts with a big bank that offers them) in the mail, you may be able to activate that card right in your banking app. This is often faster than calling the phone number on the back of the card and plugging in the card number.

Rely on the security

Banking apps offer a lot of security features that can help keep your money safe. Speaking of your credit or debit card, if you discover your card's gone missing, you can likely report the loss or freeze the card (or both) in your banking app. With debit cards especially, the sooner you report the loss, the less likely you are to be on the hook for any fraudulent charges on your account.

You can also take advantage of multifactor authentication while using the app itself. If you opt in for it, the app will require at least two kinds of verification to prove it's really you accessing your account. This could consist of inputting your name and password and then also entering a code sent via text message to the phone number on file in your account. It's a good idea to activate this if you're given the option by the app, and ensure you're keeping your app updated and using a strong password for the most secure mobile banking experience.

Take advantage of the financial insights

The best banking apps offer the chance to really dig into your spending and easily see where you might be spending too much. Many people struggle with budgeting and everyday money management, so it's a good idea to take the help where you can get it.

If you're putting cash into your savings account to meet a big goal (such as buying a home), your banking app can provide updates on your progress and might offer opportunities for how to increase your savings. This could be by rounding checking account purchases up to the nearest dollar and putting that cash into your savings for you.

Mobile banking apps are a great way to manage your accounts and get the insights you need to meet your financial goals. If you haven't tried your bank's yet, I recommend downloading it and seeing how much it might help you.

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Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
4.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
4.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor

APY: 4.25%

APY: 4.50%

Min. to earn APY: $1

Min. to earn APY: $0.01

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