What is mobile banking and online banking?

By Sam Slabyk
January 15, 2021
Chime is a financial technology company. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC

Even though it’s still rather a new area in the financial market, mobile banking is slowly but surely overtaking desktop logins in 2020. This should come as no surprise however — there are more than 3 billion smartphone users worldwide and they don’t use their mobile devices solely to access the web for browsing and social media. Millennials as well as baby boomers can bank from their phones, taking care of various to-dos and adjusting to the advantages inherent in mobile banking. The question then arises: What is mobile banking and online banking, and exactly what can it offer to users? 

  1. What Is Mobile Banking?
  2. Advantages to Mobile and Online Banking
  3. Conclusion

What Is Mobile Banking?

Mobile banking designates the use of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to gain access to online banking information and carry out financial transactions without necessitating access to ATMs or computers. You’re able to bank at your convenience. This service is provided by financial institutions, which allows them to connect with the consumer base and serve people in a more efficient manner. As opposed to online banking, mobile banking deploys software, which is referred to as an app. It’s available on a 24-hour basis, depending  on the availability of the internet or data connection. 

Technological advancements bring forth useful features such as user-friendly interfaces, real-time customer assistance, and instant transactions. The earliest form of this banking used SMS. Needless to say, older phones had limited functionality, lacking the necessary hardware and software for adequate support. The emergence of phones with WAP support made it possible to access browser-based World Wide Web services. Over the years, the cost of mobile devices has been significantly reduced and internet speed has gotten a lot faster. All this has contributed to the growth of mobile banking, not to mention the number of people using online banking services over the internet, which grows by the day. 

Advantages to Mobile and Online Banking

Banking Anywhere and At Any Time 

Due to the global pandemic, in-person visits to banks and other financial institutions have dropped significantly since the beginning of 2020, with people now relying more on mobile and online banking. Mobile banking provides the flexibility to manage money at any given time and place. You can check in with your account daily to monitor your income and expenses, and there’s no need to pay a visit to the bank to check account balances, transfer money, deposit checks, or identify ATM locations; which in turn saves precious time. Time has become an important commodity, so having banking at your fingertips is no little thing. 

Enhanced Security 

You can trust a mobile banking app to accommodate sensitive account information online. Banking and other financial institutions place emphasis on security measures, going the extra mile to keep customers’ money safe. To secure mobile banking applications, which are valuable targets for attackers, banks provide multi-factor authentication (a number generator on the phone). It’s possible to use face recognition and eye scans. This type of authentication is required to complete any transaction, regardless of the amount of money involved. Downloading the app from a secure store is just as safe as going to the bank. 

Feeling in Control 

To take control of your money, you have to properly manage your bank account. A mobile banking app offers real-time visibility and control of your online banking transactions, so it’s possible to detect errors and identify suspicious activity in your account. Given that most banking is carried out digitally, hackers are increasingly taking aim at mobile banking app users, striving to steal their credentials and, consequently, their money. A mobile banking app makes it easy to monitor your bank account from anywhere. By building a sense of awareness around your money, you’re actively contributing to your financial health. You receive instant notifications so you’re always informed. 

Better Understanding of Financial Products and Services 

Mobile banking is convenient because it enables people to gain a better understanding of financial products and services. To be more precise, it’s an essential tool in terms of financial education. By using the bank’s mobile app, you become more knowledgeable about the services made available by your bank, which have become more sophisticated. You don’t have to check with the local financial institution for details regarding their products and services because the information you need is readily available. 

How To Get Mobile Banking 

Banking and other financial institutions generally do not allow people to sign up for mobile banking unless they have an online account. It’s recommended to install anti-malware software on your mobile device and ensure your wireless connection is secure. Outsiders can leverage the network to steal your private information. Sometimes, apps can access information in the background, which is why you shouldn’t enable data sharing. Clean your smartphone or tablet on a regular basis so that sensitive information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Make sure there’s no chance of recovering even a small bit of your private information. 


All in all, it is generally safe to bank on your phone or tablet. In today’s high tech world, you can use the same device to watch dog and cat memes and conduct financial operations. The only security threat is losing your phone. That being said, it’s never wise to leave your mobile device unattended; and always include a lock screen with a safe code. In addition, always make sure to log out from the mobile banking app when you’ve completed your operations.

This page is for informational purposes only. Chime does not provide financial, legal, or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for financial, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

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Sam Slabyk is a Digital Content Specialist. Sam loves to write about banking, budgeting, and tips on how to save money.

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