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  • 7/25/2012 10:32 AM

    Is mobile banking safe?

    Checking your mobile banking on the go.

    The short answer is "yes." The longer answer is below.

    In Canada, online banking has become a trusted money management tool—in fact, according to Ipsos Reid, 78 per cent of Canadian internet users bank online.

    As mobile technology improves and smartphone use rises, more and more Canadians are using mobile banking to manage their accounts, credit cards, and investments. In 2011, 12.3 per cent of Canadian mobile subscribers used their mobile phones to access their banking information—a number that's sure to rise as more financial institutions (like ATB) develop and improve their mobile banking applications.

    But many Canadians still have concerns about mobile banking—mostly relating to security, privacy, identity theft, and fraud.

    Here are 3 reasons why mobile banking applications are safe:

    1. Mobile banking uses the same security technology as online banking.

      In order to display accurate and current banking information, all mobile banking applications (including ATB Mobile) must connect to your bank's main banking database. This is the same database you would access through your computer if you opened up a browser and logged in to your online banking.

      With both services—mobile banking and online banking—all you need is an internet connection and a secure username and password. Keep your username and password private, and you there's no way anyone can compromise your banking information.

    2. Mobile banking doesn't store any information on your mobile phone.

      A mobile banking app is simply a portal to your bank's main banking database. It doesn't save any passwords or download information to your phone.

      By entering your username and password each time you log in to the app, you are simply opening a door to view and manage your money—all your banking info stays on other side. When you log out, you lock the door. If you delete the app, the door disappears entirely.

    3. Mobile banking is covered by a security guarantee.

      If your bank has a mobile banking app, it will have some sort of legal guarantee that protects you if anything goes wrong outside of your control. At ATB, our online guarantee is to reimburse you 100 per cent for any money you lose as a result of unauthorized access to your account.

      The word "unauthorized" is key here. Your sole responsibility is to keep your username, password, PIN number, and any other log-in information totally private. If you share this information with anyone, you may void the guarantee. So don't do that.

    As you can see, mobile banking is designed to be safe. And with your security-conscious efforts and actions, you can make it even safer.

    Here are a few security tips to keep in mind when using mobile banking:

    • Use your data connection instead of public wifi services when you're mobile banking. It's unlikely that public wifi connections are corrupt, but it's better to play it safe here. Use 3G or 4G to bank.
    • Never respond to pop-ups, emails, or SMS requests that ask for your personal or account information. ATB will never ask you for this information, and neither will any reputable financial institution. If you get a suspicious message like this, let us know by emailing us at fraud@atb.com.
    • Change your password regularly. This will ensure that if someone figured out your password, they won't have it for long.

    If convenience and security are your top priorities when it comes to managing your money, mobile banking applications are great tools to use—as long as you use them responsibly.

    For more information on ATB's mobile app, ATB Mobile, visit atb.com/bemobile, and for more tips on how to protect yourself from scams and fraud, visit atb.com/security.

    Other articles you may be interested in:

    7 tips for protecting yourself from scams and fraud
    Is Interac e-Transfer safe?