• Tuesday, September 25, 2018
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Live Well

Mobile money apps: convenient and secure

  • COURTESY HAWAII STATE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION

    If you have difficulty getting to your bank, access your account through a mobile app to transfer funds or check account balances.

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While nothing can replace the experience of visiting your local brick-and-mortar financial institution, mobile banking apps can make it easy to complete basic transactions at home or on the go.

At the touch of a button, users can conveniently manage their money through a mobile device, such as their smartphone or tablet. This is especially helpful for individuals for whom it may be inconvenient to visit a branch during business hours.

Along with banking apps, there’s a wide variety of financial apps that can help with budgeting, financial education and security.

Banking apps

If you can’t make it to your local bank branch, many financial institutions have their own app that offers features such as viewing account balances, transferring funds between accounts or even depositing checks.

Some apps, such as Hawaii State FCU’s mobile app, offer live-chat services so members can interact with customer-service specialists in real time. Individuals who want to learn more about how to use an app may find the live-chat feature especially helpful.

Credit and debit card apps

Credit card and debit card apps allow you to manage your account through a mobile device. Common features include accessing electronic statements and reviewing recent transactions.

Credit card apps may also allow you to pay your bill and check available credit. Debit card apps may allow you to transfer money electronically between accounts.

Check to see if your credit card or debit card app has the ability to create transaction alerts that notify you in the event of a suspicious transaction.

Separate apps such as CardLock, offered through some financial institutions including Hawaii State FCU, enable users to increase security by setting alerts for suspicious transactions.

In the event your card goes missing, you can temporarily disable it until it resurfaces.

Budgeting apps

A bevy of budgeting apps exist that can help you spend responsibly and prioritize financial goals. Some apps, like the one offered at Hawaii State FCU, allow you to create budgets for different categories, such as groceries, entertainment and utilities, track your spending and allocate money toward goals, such as saving for a home.

Stay secure

When using any mobile app that accesses sensitive information, do your research.

Visit the app’s website to get information on the developer and ensure it’s from a trusted source, such as your financial institution or a reputable company.

Check to see what security measures the app has in place, such as multifactor authentication (two or more pieces of evidence that you are the verified user, such as a password and security question), encryption and partnership with leading data-security providers.

Find the apps best suited to your needs and start enjoying greater convenience to take better control of your finances.


Jennifer Russo is the financial educator at Hawaii State Federal Credit Union.


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