Mobile banking is taking off. If you carry a cell phone and you are interested in finances then it’s only a matter of time before mobile banking is second nature to you. As that happens, there will be five key aspects of your mobile banking experience: mobile payments, mobile check processing, SMS banking, mobile banking apps and general banking through the mobile web.

Mobile Payments

Being able to make payments with your mobile phone is one of the most important features of mobile banking. There are a few different ways that this is happening right now:

  • Paying for virtual items using your mobile phone. You can purchase online items (such as song downloads) using your mobile phone. The cost of the purchase goes on to your phone bill and you pay for it when you pay your cell phone bill.
  • Paying for on-site items using your mobile phone as a debit card. It is increasingly common to see the option of paying on-site for items using technology that reads your mobile phone. The phone acts like your debit card and takes the payment directly out of your checking account. This is the future of mobile banking.
  • Paying for on-site items using the phone as the billing system. This option combines the above two options, using the swipe of the phone but charging the phone instead of your checking account. You pay for the item when you pay your phone bill.

Mobile Check Processing

One of the most popular features of mobile banking right now is mobile check processing. You’ve probably already seen commercials for this on TV. It involves using your mobile phone (with an app and the phone’s camera) to take a photo of a check that you’ve received and then processing the check through your bank. This means that you don’t need to physically go to the bank anymore to deposit your checks. This type of convenience in banking is what mobile banking is all about.

SMS Banking

Text messages are an increasingly important part of banking for many people. For example, a lot of people opt to receive alerts from their banks via text message. The bank may notify them when a payment is due, when the account is nearly empty or when a payment has been made. Two-way text messaging is increasingly an option, as well. This means that you can use SMS to contact your bank with questions, verify purchases and even make transactions.

New Mobile Banking Apps

There are many different mobile banking apps being developed today. These include the mobile check processing apps described above but also include a diverse range of different apps. These include apps developed and offered by banks themselves as well as third party apps. They allow you to do various banking, budgeting, transfer of funds, etc. all using your mobile phone. This area of mobile banking is probably the area that will experience the most growth in the years to come since apps are the way of the mobile phone future.

General Banking Through the Mobile Web

Of course, you can do nearly any banking that you want to do using the mobile web on your phone. The experience of the Internet on smartphones has become strikingly similar to the experience you get when accessing websites on a computer. This means that any of the online banking that you do from your computer can increasingly be done from your phone. In any given day you may use your phone to transfer funds from your PayPal account to your checking account, make a bill payment using your bank’s online billing system, check on the status of your social lending club investments, compare loans and credit card offers and view advertisements for new bank deals.