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How Convenience Banking Improves Money Management

Chris Powell spends much of his time thinking of ways to help people get the most of their banking experience, but there’s one question the Head of Checking & Deposits at Citizens Bank often ponders.

“What drives people to stand in line on a Friday afternoon to cash or deposit their paychecks,” he asks, “when they can either put them in an ATM or make a mobile deposit on their phone?”

The answer could be a general lack of knowledge of online and mobile banking’s simplicity and features. Those who use the technology manage their money when and where it’s most convenient, saving them time and a trip to the bank. And your information is protected by the layered security approach used by financial institutions.

Here’s an overview of the features you may or may not know are available with convenience banking.

Standard convenience banking features

There are some common benefits to convenience banking that most people are aware of. They include:

  • Checking balances in real-time: Get a snapshot of your accounts whenever you’d like. That way you’re always on top of your finances by knowing where your money is going, and can monitor your progress toward savings goals.
  • Transferring money between accounts: If you just received your paycheck and want to move money into your vacation fund, you can do so instantaneously and on-the-go.
  • Setting up auto bill pay: Want the comfort of knowing you’ll never miss a payment? By using auto bill pay, the hard work is taken care of; the money is automatically deducted from your account on the date you choose.

Newer convenience banking features

Relatively newer benefits are becoming more widely adopted in today’s marketplace, such as:

  • Mobile deposit: Using the camera on your smartphone, you can deposit a check by taking a picture of the front and back of your endorsed check within your bank’s mobile app. Your bank’s funds availability policies still apply as though you deposited the check at the bank, but you’ll likely get the funds sooner since you deposited the check through your bank’s mobile app rather than depositing it at your nearest branch.
  • Peer-to-peer payment: This emerging technology lets you electronically send money to friends, family members, coworkers, or others. For instance, if your child is away at college and needs money for textbooks, you could send the money to their checking account in real-time to cover the expense. You can also split the check with a friend rather than wait until you have cash to pay the person back. Each service has different rules for availability of funds (anywhere from minutes to a few business days), so be sure to check the policy related to the service you choose.

Future convenience banking features

According to Powell, financial institutions are still at the infancy of convenience banking capabilities. Let’s look ahead to the features on the cusp of widespread availability, particularly for mobile banking:

  • Cardless cash: Imagine going to an ATM to withdraw cash without needing your ATM card. Instead, by logging into your bank’s mobile app, you will receive an access code valid for one-time use; then, use that code along with your PIN to gain access to your funds. This service is rolling out at some financial institutions, and Powell expects it to be standard in the future.
  • Sale push notifications while shopping: According to Powell, another service that’s growing fast puts sales at your fingertips while you shop. While walking through a store, you receive push notifications on your phone that display any sales or coupons related to the items you pass in the store rather than holding on to loose coupons.

The bottom line

You’ve likely banked one way for so long that you’re comfortable with the practice, and therefore hesitant to make a change. However, convenience banking saves you time and gives you more control when managing your money via real-time account access, particularly with mobile.

“Mobile banking puts more information in your hands than you ever had before,” Powell says, “and it allows you to transact in the convenience of wherever you happen to be at the time.”

More information

We are committed to helping you reach your potential by providing personalized solutions. Our dedicated colleagues can help educate you on the benefits of online and mobile banking so you can better manage your finances. To learn more, please call 1-877-360-2472, visit us online, or visit your nearest Citizens Bank branch.

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