Mobile banking is also popularly known as SMS banking or M-banking. It is the latest development in the banking sector that enables us to conduct banking transactions by using the mobile phone. Mobile phones are no longer a communication device, but can be used for several other purposes including executing business operations. After internet banking, it has added another dimension to banking by enabling any kind of banking transactions like payments, balance inquiry and transfer of funds, just by using your mobile phone. Banking transactions over the mobile phone are usually performed either by sending a SMS to the bank or by using mobile internet. When you send a SMS requesting a financial transaction, it travels to the SMS center of your cellular service provider and from there it goes to the bank's system. Then, you receive the response that is sent by the bank via the service provider, all within a few seconds.
Mobile Banking Services
Nowadays, banks have come up with a range of mobile banking services for reducing their cost of operation and providing more easily accessible and faster services to you. You can use your mobile banking facilities to inquire about the updates of your balance, statement request, details of the last few transactions and management of pension and insurance policy. In addition to these, you can request the bank to activate alerts, if a threshold limit is crossed, or to set a minimum balance alert. Mobile banking has also made fund transfer, both national and international, quite simple and fast.
You can order or request a check book and card, and pay bills with the help of mobile banking. It can also give you the facility of carrying out cash deposition and withdrawals. Some other services of mobile banking include portfolio management services, personalized alerts, notifications on security prices, mobile recharging, monitoring of term deposits, etc. You can also receive online updates of stock prices and even perform stock trading.
Classification of the Services
There are generally two ways to classify mobile banking services. The first method classifies the banking services as 'Push' or 'Pull', depending on the originator of a service session. If the bank sends information as per the already agreed rules, then it is categorized as 'Push'. An example of 'Push' is a minimum balance alert, when your balance goes below a particular amount. On the other hand, when the bank sends information as a response to the request sent by the customers, it is termed as 'Pull'. So, if you request the bank to send a statement for the last few, say 3 or 5 transactions, then it is a Pull based service.
The second classification of mobile banking services depends on the nature of transactions. So, if you request the bank to send a bank statement, then it is a inquiry-based service, while a request for fund transfer is a transaction-based service.
Benefits of Mobile Banking
Mobile banking services are not only beneficial for the customers but for the banking institutions as well. These services can significantly lower the operating cost of banking institutions by reducing the dependence on costly call centers. They can also lower the frequency of errors that are usually committed in paper based payments. As mobile banking is a cost effective innovation, it can considerably reduce the financial risk associated with starting a new business initiative. It can also enable banking institutions to closely monitor their new campaigns. Besides this, it can provide a new avenue for selling their products like insurance packages and other banking services.
On the other hand, mobile banking helps customers by ensuring the fast processing of their banking transactions. As any kind of financial transaction is immediately reported to the customers, they can easily monitor and detect any error in transactions, or any unauthorized transactions.