Banking With Mobile & Online Apps

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Banking With Mobile & Online Apps

September 5, 2023 By
Parker Shi
female in a room smiling while looking at her smartphone

Navigating the fast-paced world of finance is easier than ever, thanks to the rise of online and mobile banking apps.

Designed to empower both individuals and business owners, these bank apps have revolutionized how we manage money.

Whether you're tracking personal expenses or streamlining business operations, the right app can be a true game changer. In the following guide, we'll explore advancements in banking technology, the benefits of digital tools and the key features to consider when choosing your banking app. Armed with this information, you'll be able to easily and efficiently manage your personal and business finances.

The evolution of banking apps

As financial technology continues to evolve, so does the way we manage our money. In recent years, mobile banking apps have transitioned from a convenience to a necessity. By allowing users to quickly and easily access services that were once only available at brick-and-mortar branches, bank apps have made a wide range of financial services far more accessible. 

Mobile and online banking continues to grow in popularity, and statistics show that this trend is here to stay. Recent studies found that two-thirds of smartphone users in the U.S. have at least one financial app. Additionally 78% of Americans prefer banking via a mobile app or website to banking in person. 

Surprisingly, these attitudes also span multiple generations. While between 90% and 92% of the Gen Z, millennial, and Gen X populations use mobile banking to check their account balances, as many as 85-89% of baby boomers and seniors do the same.

Mobile banking apps have evolved in recent years. They're now far more sophisticated and offer a wealth of advanced features such as biometric logins, bill payments, check deposits, and fund transfers. Today's banking apps are designed to be a comprehensive financial management tool.

Mobile and online banking apps have also become vital tools for managing business finances, allowing you to do everything from tracking expenses and sending invoices to making payments on the go. This has leveled the playing field, enabling businesses of all sizes to streamline operations and focus more on their core activities.

Online banking apps vs. mobile banking apps: What's the difference?

The terms “online banking” and “mobile banking” are sometimes used interchangeably. While they share many of the same functions, they’re not quite the same. Online banking typically refers to banking activities conducted via a financial institution’s website, which users access through a desktop or laptop computer. 

So, what is “mobile banking app"? The primary difference is that mobile banking isn't done on a website. Instead, it's conducted through an institution’s mobile app, using a smartphone or tablet. 

Each tool has its own distinct advantages. Online banking excels in providing a comprehensive financial overview, making it ideal for complex tasks like planning a budget, initiating wire transfers, or managing business accounts. Mobile banking apps tend to be simpler and are designed for on-the-go convenience. Using your smartphone, you can quickly check balances, deposit checks, or pay bills all while commuting, waiting in line, or taking a coffee break. 

Whether you're managing personal expenses or running a small business, these digital banking tools offer a more accessible and efficient way to handle your finances.

Manage your personal finances with bank apps

Mobile and online banking has created a world where you no longer need to rush to the bank during lunch breaks or waste precious time standing in long lines to complete basic transactions. Many individuals enjoy using apps for banking, thanks to benefits such as:

  • Ease of access

Online banking apps allow you to access your account information 24/7. Whether you are on vacation or staying up late, you can check your balance, pay bills, and transfer funds quickly and conveniently.

  • Quick transactions

When you bank online, you can instantly transfer money to your friends and family, pay for services, and even send money overseas.

  • Track spending

Online banking and mobile apps allow you to track your spending in real time so you can keep an eye on where your money is going.

  • Automated bill payments

Using your online access to set up automated payments for recurring bills can save you time and ensure you never miss a payment.

  • E-statements

Rather than waiting for statements to arrive in the mail, you can log in to access them at any time, reducing paper waste and making it easier to organize your financial records.

While online banking offers significant benefits, there are also some potential challenges. Apps for banking tend to rely heavily on internet connectivity, meaning that a poor connection could lead to transaction delays or difficulties accessing your account.

Security is also a vital concern. While banks employ top-notch security measures to keep your data safe, cyber threats still exist. You can help avoid potential problems by staying informed about online safety practices, such as using strong passwords, avoiding suspicious links, and regularly updating your devices.

How apps for banking help small business owners

Online and mobile banking can help business owners streamline their financial management, making it easy to keep a sharp eye on cash flow and make informed decisions. Business-focused online banking platforms provide many other benefits for small business owners, including:

  • Real-time financial management

Manage your business finances on the go. Check account balances, approve transactions, and make payments from anywhere at any time.

  • Simplified expense tracking

Wave goodbye to that shoebox full of receipts under your desk. Mobile apps allow you to snap a photo of your business receipts and upload them in a matter of seconds.

  • Integrated invoicing

Generate and send invoices right from the app so you can manage receivables and maintain a steady cash flow.

  • Streamlined payroll

A few taps are all it takes to manage employee payroll, reducing paperwork and saving time.

  • Instant alerts

Stay informed of real-time account activity, helping you quickly spot any potential issues.

While online banking can be incredibly convenient, if your platform doesn't seamlessly integrate with the accounting or budgeting software you’re already using, this could lead to extra steps. Some banks may also charge additional fees to businesses for using certain online or mobile services. 

You can typically overcome these challenges by thoroughly researching different business banking apps and comparing their features, integrations, service levels, and costs before choosing an option that meets your business needs. 

8 factors to evaluate before choosing a mobile or online banking app

There’s no shortage of banking apps and platforms to choose from. While they may seem similar, each institution's platform brings a unique set of features and benefits. When searching for the right platform to manage your personal or business finances, consider these seven key factors. 

 1. User experience

Choosing a user-friendly platform with easy-to-understand features can significantly impact your banking experience. If you're a small business owner, look for a bank app that makes it easy to separate personal and business transactions, as this will allow you to take a streamlined approach to managing your accounts.

 2. Security measures

Protecting your financial information is an absolute must, so pay attention to the security measures each app provides. Look for features like biometric logins, two-factor authentication, and encryption, as these can help ensure your banking access remains secure.

 3. Financial tools and features

Consider the range of financial services and tools each app provides. If you're managing personal finances, features like budgeting tools, automated savings, or investment options could be beneficial. For small businesses, integrated invoicing, payroll management, and expense tracking are all potentially valuable features.

 4. Integration capabilities

Small business owners may benefit from using platforms that offer the ability to integrate their banking app with other software tools. Banking apps that sync with your accounting software, payment systems or budgeting tools can streamline your financial operations and reduce manual data entry, saving time and reducing the likelihood of human error.

 5. Customization features

Some apps offer customization features that allow you to tailor the interface to your preferences. For instance, you may choose an app that allows you to set up personalized alerts, categorize transactions or rename your accounts for easier recognition. While these may seem like small features, each customization can enhance your user experience.

 6. Customer support

A responsive and helpful customer support team can be a lifesaver when you encounter issues with the app. Look for banking apps that offer 24/7 support through various channels such as live chat, email and phone.

 7. Fees and charges

Pay close attention to the app's fee structure. Some banks charge fees for certain transactions or account types. Check if there are any fees for fund transfers, monthly maintenance, ATM usage, overdrafts, or even paper statements. For small businesses, fees can add up, so it's crucial to understand upfront any costs associated with the app.

 8. Language

If you’re not a native English speaker, consider an app that is available in other languages. Multilingual capabilities can make it easier to understand financial terms and improve the experience for someone who is new to mobile banking. For example East West Bank has personal and business banking apps that let users switch between English, Spanish, or Simplified and Traditional Chinese languages.

Stay one step ahead with online and mobile banking apps

Embracing digital banking tools allows you to streamline your personal and business finances. From ease of access and on-demand transactions to simplified expense tracking, inventory and payroll, there are many potential advantages of moving your banking into the digital world.  

If you’re ready to take control of your finances, connect with East West Bank today. Whether you're an individual looking for a streamlined personal banking experience or a business owner seeking a comprehensive financial management tool, East West Bank has the resources and expertise you need. Our experts are here to guide you on your journey toward smarter, more efficient banking.