More than 95% of Indians use mobile phones. There is hardly any person who doesn’t know about the benefits that a mobile phone offer. These phones connect us anywhere and anytime. We make use of mobile phones to make calls, receive and send text messages. If we have a smart phone with 3G/4G connectivity, then we can also access the Internet.
We can also use our mobile phones for mobile banking. However, many of us think that mobile payment system is unsafe, expensive and the process is complicated. Hence we remain ignorant towards the advantages which mobile banking offers.
Mobile banking eliminates the need to go to a bank and stand in queues. It save times and is available 24*7. Mobile banking is synonymous with the word convenience banking. Some transactions that you can easily undertake through mobile banking are balance inquiries, mini statements and utility payments among others.
A brief idea
Mobile banking transactions are transactions where customers undertake banking transactions using their mobile phones involving credit or debit to their accounts. Like in the case of Internet banking, through mobile banking, you can perform various banking functions through your mobile phone.
How to go about it
With most banks offering mobile banking services, there are different ways to do the same but the basic procedure remains the same. Only savings and current account holders are eligible for mobile banking service. Such account holders need to register their mobile numbers with the bank. Bank services can be accessed only from the registered phone number. Also, the customer has to generate an mPIN (mobile PIN) that acts as a security password for mobile banking. mPIN works in the same manner as in the case of ATM cards which is provided by the banks.
In case the wrong MPIN is entered three times during a transaction, the mobile banking service account gets deactivated for a day or two.
Banking transactions through mobile phones have increased to Rs. 2.86 billion in May 2012 due to a higher number of users with mobile phones. The value of such transactions stood at Rs. 910 million in May 2011, according to the Reserve Bank of India. Some transactions that you can conduct through mobile banking are:
- Check account balance
- Order cheque book
- Stop cheque payment
- View recent transactions
- Conduct fund transfer (within and outside the bank)
- Check your demat account
- Undertake bill payments
- Recharge your mobile phone
- Blocking of (lost, stolen) cards
- Book movie or travel tickets
Most banks offer mobile banking services free to their customers. There are no charges levied by banks for accessing this service. However, we will need to pay for the GPRS (general packet radio service) subscription charges as levied by our mobile phone service providers.
The primary question for most of us still remains is the security of mobile transactions. Due to the use of a two-way authentication process of mobile number and mPIN verification over interactive voice response (IVR), the risks involved in using mobile banking are lower than other modes of transactions.
Mobile banking services are surely convenient, reasonable and safe. Banks are proactive in ensuring security so that only the right account owner is able to access his mobile banking services.
At the same time, we as customers need to protect our mPIN. We should never disclose our personal information such as account number, password, PAN card number in text messages. These can be used for identity theft.
Always lock your phone when not in use to prevent unauthorised user access. Check your phone settings and enable the auto-lock feature. This will also give you some time if your phone is stolen. At regular intervals, change your account password used for making transactions. Before handing over your device to others, wipe out all the personal account information.
Mobile banking transactions are as safe as Internet banking transactions: ICICI Bank