Remember when banking on your computer was a big innovation? Not anymore. More and more people are banking on the move these days. Consumer Reports Money Adviser sizes up the benefits of mobile banking and the security precautions you need to take.
Text banking can be done with the simplest of phones. You send messages to get your account balances, and you get text messages when your balance is low or your withdrawals or deposits are posted.
There are also banking applications designed specifically for your bank and model of phone. Chase Manhattan Bank, for example, will let you take a picture of your check with your camera phone and deposit it.
But Consumer Reports cautions that you do need to make sure your banking on the go is secure. Never do mobile banking on a public Wi-Fi network. And when you're on your bank's website, always look for the little lock symbol in the browser to know that you're on a secure site. It's also a good idea to install security software. That way you can safely join 39 million other Americans who already do mobile banking. For more information on how to do secure mobile banking: www.consumerreports.org/cro/money/credit-loan/banking-by-cell-phone/5-ways-to-protect-a-smart-phone/index.htm.
Along with the convenience, Consumer Reports Money Adviser says there's another plus with banking on your cell phone: Banks usually don't charge extra fees for the service.