Mobile Banking – Managing Money in Your Car, in Church, or on the Beach

April 9, 2008

Okay, so those aren’t the best place to manage your money.  You really should be giving your attention to the road in your car, to the service in church, and to relaxing when on the beach.

However, if you’re dozing off under a beach umbrella when you suddenly remember you didn’t move any money into your checking account before leaving for vacation, you may be able to take care of it right there from your beach chair.

Mobile banking is starting to become a reality in the US thanks to the widespread adoption of mobile devices. According to a PEW Internet study:

“Sixty-two per cent of all Americans are part of a wireless, mobile population that participates in digital activities away from home or work”

Banks are well aware of the potential for mobile banking and are working on rolling out the capability for their customers. A recent article in FinExtra announced that some Citibank checking account customers will soon be able to access a mobile person to person payment service.

“The Citi Obopay consumer trial will commence in summer 2008 and will allow Citibank customers to receive and send money from their mobile phone directly into or out of their Citibank checking account. New and existing Citibank customers will be able to enroll in the Citi Obopay mobile payment service in a highly secure manner through or in Citibank branches in select markets.”

So if you realized you were short on cash in one of your checking accounts and needed to move money around; you could add money to your Obopay account from your debit or credit card, then turn around and withdraw it into the bank account that was short on funds.

At least, that’s how I undertand it after reading the Obopay overview page.  In addition to moving money around, you can also use Obopay to make payments to other people.  One scenario I could see this coming in handy is when you’re out to lunch with a big group of people.  It seems there’s always some problem splitting up the bill because people only have credit cards or don’t have the right change.

Of course, there are definitely concerns about security but I’m sure as the technology progresses those will be addressed.  Personally, I just sent my first text message a few weeks ago so I’d say I’m in the 48% 38% of people that aren’t really taking advantage of mobile capabilities.  The ability to use mobile banking is definitely something that would push me to make better use of my cell phone.  I’m not a Citi bank customer so I’ll probably signup for Obopay on my own just to try it out.


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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2 Responses to Mobile Banking – Managing Money in Your Car, in Church, or on the Beach

  • Banks, Bill

    Gone are the days when we use to stand in long cues to deposit or withdraw money from the bank.Now thanks to technology that every thing is done one a click.

  • Live TV

    Mobile banking is a very good tool when you are in a place where you can’t manage your bank account from your computer or directly, that is way it its popularity is rising among the people.