Difference Between Online Banking and Mobile Banking

If you have heard the terms “online banking” and “mobile banking,” you may be wondering if they refer to the same thing. Although these terms have a lot in common, there are a multiplicity of differences to be aware of.

Both of these internet-based money management styles make our bank accounts easily and conveniently accessible. However, there are quite a few key differences to be aware of when trying to decide what type of banking is right for your lifestyle.

Online and mobile banking offers customers a way to access their money digitally - at any time, anywhere. Both can be used to manage your finances all from the comfort of your own home, including things like online bill pay, managing credit cards, depositing checks and managing the money in your checking or savings account. 

Online Banking

Online banking has been around for a while. The phrase refers to any financial transaction done over the internet. These transactions typically take place on your bank’s website and include the same services that a brick-and-mortar storefront offers. 

Mobile Banking

Similar to online banking, mobile banking allows you to access your money and bank account information online, but this time, through an app on your mobile device. Some mobile banking apps also allow you to rebuild your credit. It is a fresh start to banking, connecting your finances directly to your phone through a mobile app. 

In today’s digital age, most banks have a mobile banking app to easily access and transfer your money whenever you may need. Many banks even offer text message, or SMS, banking, allowing you to receive customer service and updates on your account, sent directly to your phone using your mobile phone number.

Breaking Down The Key Differences

The key differences between online and mobile banking lies in their functionality. These differences in functionality include: 

  • Where you can access your money - Online banking allows you to access your money using your laptop or desktop using the internet. Mobile banking is done on your phone, typically through a mobile app.
  • Services - Online banking provides the same exact features to you as going to the bank in person, such as accessing your money or applying for loans. Mobile apps currently do not offer as many features and are more limited than an online banking portal. Apps allow you to transfer funds, check account statements, locate ATMs and deposit checks. Some mobile banking apps also offer budgeting services and savings goals.
  • Push notifications - Mobile apps allow you to set up notifications so you can get updates on your balance or of withdrawals or deposits without ever opening the app. Online banking services do not have this useful feature. 

How to Set Up Mobile Banking

Now that the foundations of mobile and online banking have been established, you may be wondering how to set up a mobile banking account on your cell phone. While online banking only requires the URL of your bank and your login credentials for your banking portal, mobile banking requires a few more steps. 

The most important part of setting up your mobile banking account is to download the mobile banking app for your bank. Most banks will offer an app for both iOS and Android devices. After the app is downloaded, you may need to set up separate credentials in order to bank on your device. This can either be done directly through the app, but you may need access to the online portal as well. 

From there, you can set up user preferences with notifications and login shortcuts, such as setting a pin or enabling facial recognition or fingerprint IDs on the app. After this, you can set up push notifications to get banking updates directly to your phone, such as when you are below a certain balance or had money deposited into your account.

The Wrap-Up

Both online and mobile banking offer a secure way to access your money online. They allow you to access your money anywhere, from the comfort of your home to traveling abroad. You will have access to your finances 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all from the convenience of your laptop or cellular device. 

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