Consumers can use their mobile phones to quickly see how much money is available before making a large retail purchase, says Secil Watson, senior vice president for Internet and mobile banking at Wells Fargo in San Francisco.
She says banking customers report they often want to purchase something at a retail location with their debit card but don't know if they have enough money in their checking accounts. With mobile banking, customers can discreetly check their balance and know whether the sale would be approved, she says.
In addition, Watson says customers can sign up to receive text alerts when an account gets overdrawn or the balance drops below a certain point. "Being able to see account balances and detail are important requirements," she says.
Consumers who check their accounts regularly are helping to protect themselves from identity theft, says Ted Bissell, a management consultant with PA Consulting Group, a management and IT consulting firm in New York.
"Mobile banking helps people stay on top of their accounts, and the more people stay on top of their accounts, the more likely they are to reduce overdraft mistakes or become victims of fraud," he says.