Sometimes it’s hard to imagine how we ever got by without a powerful, mobile computer in our pockets. And while many still use desktop and laptop computers throughout the day, mobile apps have become the dominant way of interfacing with the financial institutions where we have our accounts. Capital One offers a full-featured mobile app that allows customers to quickly perform most functions they might need for their account management.

What is the Capital One mobile app?

The Capital One mobile app is a download for Apple and Android devices that allows customers to manage their Capital One credit card and deposit accounts. It also allows anyone to access Capital One’s CreditWise tool, which helps consumers understand and learn how to improve their credit scores.

Features for cardholders

The Capital One mobile app offers credit card users complete access to their account information, including their card number, expiration date, and security code. This allows you to make a purchase online or over the phone, even when you don’t have your card with you. The mobile app also allows you to access the Card Lock feature, which allows you to quickly disable the use of your card if it’s misplaced, lost or stolen.

Cardholders can also configure the app to display instant purchase notifications that allow you to track your spending more easily. Other credit card features of the app include the ability to pay your bills or configure autopay for your payments, plus the ability to view and redeem rewards. And, of course, you can use the app to view your statements and transaction history.

Features for deposit account holders

For those who have a deposit account with Capital One, the app also offers the ability to view your statements and transaction history. You can also use the app to deposit a check by taking a photo of it. Additionally, the app allows account holders to send money securely to almost anyone in the U.S. by using the Zelle service.

Features for anyone

You don’t even have to be a Capital One account holder to use the CreditWise service, which you can access from the mobile app. CreditWise will show you your VantageScore 3.0 score, provided by TransUnion. You can configure it to receive alerts whenever your score changes due to events such as recent inquiries, new accounts and missed payments.

CreditWise can also scan the dark web to send you alerts when it discovers your Social Security number or email address may be compromised. You can also use CreditWise’s score simulator to show how financial decisions might impact your credit score.

What the mobile app isn’t

The Capital One mobile app isn’t the same as the Capital One Digital Wallet and Mobile Payments. These are a set of services that allow you to make payments online or at retailers using several partners. Capital One credit cards are compatible with PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay. These services use their respective apps to allow you to make payments with your Capital One credit card, but this is not the same method as using your Capital One mobile app for payments. However, you can manage some of your digital wallet settings through the mobile app.

See related: What is a virtual credit card?

How to download and navigate the Capital One mobile app

To download the Capital One mobile app, go to Apple’s App Store or Google Play. You can even text “GET” to 80101 to download the app. Once downloaded, you’ll need to log in using your username and password. If you don’t have login credentials, you can set up online access through the app.

To get access, you’ll need to verify your phone number by receiving a text message and inputting a six-digit code that’s part of that message. At that time, you can also choose to enable fingerprint access if your phone is compatible. Next, you’ll be asked whether you would like to enable notifications.

Once logged in, you’ll first see a screen with all your credit card accounts, along with your available credit and payment-due amounts. Other information on the home screen will include recent transactions, statements and documents, and account users. You’ll also be able to access the Card Lock feature and replace a damaged or missing card.

From this screen, you can select an option to view a screen that displays further account details. This next screen is where you’ll see detailed account status information, such as minimum payment, last statement balance and last payment. This screen also displays the terms of your card, including fees and interest rates.

Another main screen shows your profile, which has links to your personal information, security settings and account settings. Other options include help, alerts and notifications, feedback and digital wallet manager.

Capital One mobile app features

The Capital One app is a great place to manage your credit card account quickly.

Making payments

From the initial screen, you can take care of your most important responsibility as a cardholder, making sure that you make your payments on time. For a one-time payment, you can select “Make A Payment” and choose your payment source, which account you’re making your payment to, the amount and the date. You also can add payment accounts and add an event to your personal calendar notifying you of the payment.

Activating a new credit card

When you receive a new credit card in the mail, you can use the mobile app to activate it. From the initial screen, go to “Profile” and select “Account & Feature Settings.” Then choose “Activate a Credit Card.” From here, you can also add a credit card payment account and request a credit line increase.

Getting help

The Capital One app provides an easy way to contact a representative. From the initial screen, go to “Profile” and select “Help.” With one click, you can dial Capital One (from inside or outside the U.S.).

Using CreditWise

At the bottom of the initial screen, you can enter the CreditWise portion of the app. From there, you can see your score, access your TransUnion credit report and examine the factors that make up your score. Other options include viewing your recent activity, alerts and ways to improve your score. The “For You” option includes videos and other information about improving your financial health.

Capital One mobile app security

Digital security is the highest priority for any financial app, and the Capital One mobile app’s security features can be accessed through the Profile screen. Here, you can edit your username or change your password. You can also choose sign-in options, including fingerprint recognition and the SureSwipe method of logging in (replacing passwords with a pattern users trace with a finger). The app even offers an in-person ID verification barcode that can be scanned and used to verify your identity at branches and cafes.

Bankrate’s take: Pros and cons of the Capital One mobile app

When using the Capital One app, it’s important to understand what it does well and the features that it lacks.

Strengths of the Capital One mobile app

Capital One’s app is easy to use and has a largely intuitive interface. It allows customers to access credit card accounts, deposit accounts and its CreditWise service, all from the same app.

Capital One also eliminates a common pain point of mobile apps by offering numerous ways to log in, including fingerprints and the SureSwipe feature (which is great for those who have mobile devices that don’t support fingerprint identification).

You can also use the app to verify your identity in person rather than rely on physical identification forms. Additionally, the app can connect you with a Capital One representative since there will always be a need to speak with someone for certain functions.

Weaknesses of the Capital One mobile app

The Capital One app lacks the ability to communicate with a representative by chat or by secure messaging. These can be valuable ways to discreetly interact with your bank when you don’t have the time or privacy necessary to make a phone call. It also lacks the ability to plan out multiple payments to your account.

The bottom line

No bank has ever created the perfect app, but Capital One’s app offers a solid suite of tools, plus good security features. By understanding all the app’s capabilities and recognizing its shortcomings, you can use it to efficiently manage your accounts while also keeping track of your credit score.