The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Brianna Wray
the Times 

Tech Talk: Mobile Banking


You have the power to decide which technologies are relevant to you. For example, you can just pass on Snapchat and Twitter. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.

And that consumer power has always been there. More than ten years ago, I decided paying for checks to write out and then pay for other things was a useless system I wanted to no part of. Since then, digital payment technologies have blossomed and there's no going back.

I do, however, accept checks. [Please make them out to Brianna Wray with two "n"s.] I use my credit union's app to deposit checks instantly and every time it works, it's proof positive that technology is working for me. That's the only kind of technology worth pursuing, that which works for you.

Mobile Banking: The future is now.

Well, for me, it is. My husband, however, refuses to get onboard with mobile banking. He's skeptical and for good reason.

His fear is based in reality. There are companies out there phishing, or tricking people into revealing private information that is then used to steal their identity. I try to tell him that people who get phished actually have money and that we're inherently safe.

Phishing schemes are most commonly seen via online banking. What appears to be part of your bank's website is actually an advertisement that cleverly convinces you to enter more information than one should.

There is an important distinction between online banking and mobile banking. Online banking is achieved by accessing your banking institution through a web browser such as Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.

Mobile banking is an individual application downloaded onto a device or tablet. They exist over encrypted connections and are password protected. Even if someone made off with my phone and it, for some reason, was unlocked, they could never access my bank information.

Not all banking apps are created equal, though.

Currently among the highest-rated banks for Washington State is Boeing Employees Credit Union, my bank. They refund ATM fees imposed by non-BECU ATMs. They have great interest rates and their mobile app is even better.

From the app, I am able to open new accounts, deposit checks, complete transfers, and make payments. They even have an interactive budget feature.

Other benefits include a live chat with banking professionals for help and appointment scheduling for even more services. The app is highly rated at 4.9 of five stars amongst 22.6K reviewers.

Chime is another good option. In fact, Chime is an all-mobile bank. They have no overdraft fees, no service fees, and no foreign transaction fees. Its app is well rated at 4.7 stars from 34.2K reviewers. Learn more at

Chase Mobile, although a very popular bank, has some poor reviews for its app. Users have said, "the in-app mobile deposit feature is a nightmare! It totally destroys the convenience it's supposed to provide."

Other users fault the app for its unclear layout, making it difficult to see what the total amount in the account is.

Download your bank's app and see for yourself. Be sure to verify that the developer is legitimate before entering your username and password.

Mobile or online banking will not ask you to enter your account number; beware of anything that does.

Ultimately the choice is yours. You could be like me and experience instant deposits and ATM fee refunds or you could be like my husband, waiting in line at a branch, then waiting until Monday for the funds to become available.


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