Mobile Banking – How Useful it is?

MOBILE BANKINGWith 47 banks in the Philippines offering a hybrid of mobile and Internet banking services, mobile banking has become a popular means of conducting banking. Here, we will try and take a look at some of the main features that make Mobile Banking so useful and consequently, popular:

Round the clock access – You can happily kiss queues, parking woes and traveling hassles goodbye. With mobile banking you can access a wide range of banking services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Convenient – You can now bank like you normally do from wherever you are – whether at the office, at the mall or in the comfort of your home. All you need is a mobile or a smartphone with or without Internet access.

Cater to a whole range of devices – The technology governing mobile banking is one of the most democratic around. Those with smartphones can download specific “apps”, those with Internet-enabled phones can log on to the mobile-specific websites of their banks and those with low-end phones can bank through SMS.

Real-time view – Mobile banking provides you with an up-to-date, in fact up-to-the-minute view of all your accounts. You can get to know your latest financial standing at a single glance.

One-stop financial management – Mobile banking provides you with the facility to link, view and manage all your accounts – savings, current, term deposits etc – from a single access point. With all your banking accounts under one roof you can better manage your spending and saving. You can also conduct a wide range of banking transactions through your mobile device. Financial management becomes so much more easier.

Financial services for the unbanked – The Philippines has long been regarded as one of the world’s pioneers in developing mobile financial services for the unbanked. Its two big telecommunication companies were some of the first to start mobile money transactions in the world, with Smart Communications introducing Smart Money in 2001, and Globe Communications offering G-CASH in 2004.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas allowed banks and mobile services companies to offer mobile-banking accounts in 2009 and by 2014, there were 27 million of them, more than half the 45 million traditional bank deposit accounts in the country.

Personal Banking and its Benefits

banking_personalPersonal Banking or retail banking as it is sometimes referred to, refers to the provision of banking products and services to individual customers (not corporates, SMEs or intermediaries). Here we will take a brief look at some of the main personal banking products / services and the channels through which they are delivered:

Personal Banking Products

Savings Accounts

A Savings Account allows you to withdraw and deposit money while earning interest on the balance  in the account.

Current Accounts

Current Accounts also allow you to withdraw and deposit money while also allowing you to issue cheques for payments.

Deposits

Deposits hold your money for a fixed period of time and pay a guaranteed interest on the amount held in the account.

Loans

Financial assistance to help you meet your goals. Most loans allow you to repay the loaned amount over a period of time along with interest charges. Some popular loan products include home loans, auto loans, personal loans etc.

Cards

There are different types of card products including debit cards which are linked to a savings account and allow you to withdraw money or spend it at retailers’, credit cards which enable you to withdraw/spend up to a limit approved by your bank, ATM cards (linked to your savings account) which allows you to withdraw cash from ATMs and prepaid cards with a limit set by yourself which can be used for retail payments.

Citibank is a fine example of a bank that offers its customers a comprehensive bouquet of personal banking products including banking and investment products. Personal Banking is also taken to a new, personalized level through a range of financial services offered on your portfolio based on your financial goals.

Personal Banking Channels

Branch Banking

The branch stands for the traditional, time honoured form of personal banking. You can visit a branch, wait in line, if there are people before you, to be served by the teller and complete your banking business with the assistance of the teller.

Electronic Banking

As on September 2014 (according to statistics released by Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas), there were 106 banks in the Philippines that offered ebanking services. Ebanking services are offered through the following channels:

Internet banking You can login to the bank’s secure website and conduct transactions with ease and in comfort.

Mobile banking You can use your mobile to access a range of banking services. You can do this by visiting your bank’s mobile website through your mobile’s browser, by downloading and using your bank’s mobile banking app or even through SMS.

Phone banking You can also conduct banking transactions by calling up your bank’s phone banking customer service line and having them complete transaction(s) based on your instructions.

Citibank again is a good instance of a bank that not only offers a full complement of branch and ebanking delivery channels but also a pioneering new “Smart Banking” service where state-of-the-art technology has been harnessed to provide you with an intuitive, high class banking experience.