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Mobile Banking FAQs

Get security facts and answers to common questions about Mobile Banking.

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Communication Security

What happens to my confidential account information?
Mobile Banking does not send any confidential security information about you or your accounts, either to or from your phone. Similar to ATM receipts, full account numbers are never displayed. We recommend that you use account nicknames that don’t include any digits from your account numbers. The mobile browser option uses encryption to keep your information secure and confidential. It does not store any confidential information on your phone.

What information do you store on my phone?
With Mobile Banking, the only information "stored" on your phone are old text messages which do not contain any confidential information, but might have old balances in them (like an ATM receipt). You may delete your messages regularly, just as you would destroy an ATM receipt. With the browser (Smart Phone) version, there is no confidential information stored on your phone. You should never use your phone’s notepad or address book to store your login password(s)!

Is it “encrypted”? Why is that important?
Encryption scrambles the information sent to and from your phone to prevent the risk of a third party “listening” in and getting your information. With Mobile Banking, the short answer is no, since your messages are not encrypted on the phone itself. That’s why Mobile Banking doesn’t send any confidential information to or from your phone, nor does it store any confidential information on your phone. For the mobile browser version, all the information sent and received is encrypted, just like when you do Online Banking at home.

Can I get a computer virus from Mobile Banking?
No. With Mobile Banking, the text message cannot be a virus. The mobile browser option employs special security features, including digital signing, to ensure that there has been no tampering with any “pages” sent to or from your phone.

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Identity Protection

Do I have to worry about fake messages trying to get my account information, i.e. phishing?
With ANY type of mobile banking service you should follow these guidelines:
Keep your bank contact number (short code) in your address book so that when you get a text message from your bank, you will see your bank’s name.
Make sure you know who has sent you any message – if in doubt, delete it.
Never click on any links if you are not sure of the sender.
Never send any confidential information to anyone – the bank will never ask you to
"go here and fill in this information" or "please send us this information."

Is mobile banking more secure than my debit card or credit card?
Your phone can be more secure, because it is doubtful that someone will use your phone without you knowing about it, unlike a debit or credit card. Studies have determined that people are likely to know that their phone is missing in as little as 18 minutes, which means that there is very little time to use it for fraudulent purposes. In contrast, studies have shown that it can take 36 hours before a person notices that he is missing a credit or debit card.

Is Mobile Banking more secure than Online Banking?
Mobile banking can be safer than doing online banking from a public computer, which may have software installed that could capture your login information and could be used later to commit fraud.

What happens if lose my phone?
As you would normally do, contact your phone company and they will suspend your service. Next, contact your bank to have them suspend your Mobile Banking service. There no confidential information stored on the phone that could be used by another person.
Note: You should NOT store confidential information on your phone at anytime. Do not store passwords or PIN numbers on your phone. For extra security you can enable the “LOCK” feature on your phone.

What if someone else tries to use my Mobile Banking service?
It would have to happen very quickly, since the phone number and your mobile access would be suspended in a short amount of time; on average, a person knows that his phone is missing within 18 minutes (it’s 36 hours for a credit card).
There is no confidential information stored on the phone that could be used by another person. Moreover, your phone would have to be in an “unlocked” state for the other person to be able to access any information. If you are using the mobile texting option AND if the other person knew where you banked AND knew your bank’s short code number, they could conceivably check your balance or transfer money from one of YOUR accounts to another of YOUR accounts (see the next item). For extra privacy, simply “lock” your phone and regularly delete your old text messages. If you are using Mobile Banking, the other person would have to know your user name and password. Never share this information with anyone. Do NOT store this information on your phone.

Can my friend pick up my phone and get my bank balance?
Maybe. If you have the number to contact the bank in your address book or they do Mobile Banking at the same bank, they could check your balance or transfer money from one of your accounts to another. Of course, if you have alerts, your phone and/or a second phone or email would be notified of such events and you would know. NOTE: Your friend can NOT take money out of your account. In many ways it is like your friend seeing your balance on an ATM receipt in your wallet or left on a desk. If you are using Mobile Web/Client Banking, then your friend (or anyone else) would need to know your user name and password. Do NOT store this information on your phone.

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Changes to Phone or Service Provider


What if I replace my lost phone or upgrade to a new one?
If you lose your phone, you will need to contact the phone company and your bank. Your phone number and your mobile access will be suspended until you have your phone number reinstated. Then you will have to re-verify your phone number again. If you simply upgrade or change your phone (and keep the same phone number) nothing needs to be done.

What happens if I change my phone number?
As a security precaution, you will not be able to get alerts or use Mobile Banking until you sign on to your mobile preferences and re-verify your mobile phone number.

What happens if I change my phone plan?
As long as your phone number stays the same, no action is required.

What happens if I change carriers, but keep my phone number?
Your phone number will be disconnected by your old carrier and they will automatically notify the entire telephone network that your number is disconnected. This automatic process can result in your mobile banking service being blocked as a security precaution. Once you are connected with your new carrier, you will need to re-verify your phone number for mobile banking to work.

Do I need a special type of phone?
Almost every cell phone in the market today supports text messaging (SMS). For Mobile Text Banking, you might need to have text messaging enabled on your phone plan. For Mobile Web/Client Banking, your phone would have to support web browsing, which usually requires a “data” plan as part of your service.

Will this cost me more money?
For Mobile Text Banking, it might cost you more, as some carriers charge for text messaging; you should check with your service provider. For Mobile Web/Client Banking, you need to have a plan that supports “data”, which could cost you more. You should check with your service provider.

Can I use this when I am traveling and “roam” to different carriers?
Yes, but you should check to see if there are roaming charges for the type of plan you have.

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