Online Banking At Your Fingertips

Total Score:  27.5

Having a banking app on your iPhone is extremely helpful.   This, of course, relates to your personal choice of bank.   All of the major banks have an iPhone app, three are shown above – Chase, SunTrust and Bank of America.  Two of the three, Chase and Bank of America also have iPad apps.

They have small differences in functionality, but in this instance you have to choose one to match your bank instead of the features you want.

Price Rating = 5     This app is free

Ease of Use Rating = 5     I haven’t tested every banking app, but I do regularly use two of the three apps and find them easy to use.  You can’t jump right into them, you do need to input your security code, but that delay is reasonable when viewed as appropriate security.

Readability Rating = 5     The one I use has simple screens and the information is easily readable.   The font isn’t large, but it is readable.

Will You Use It Rating = 5     Yes.  These apps provide all the functionality of signing on to the web.   They can be used to check balances, transfer funds, and pay bills.

Downsides Rating  = 0    This is not a downside, just a tip.  If you put a bank app on your phone you do need to add extra security.  If you don’t already have a screen lock feature you will need to add it.

Consumer Review Rating = 3.5    Chase and Bank America are rated at 3.5 and SunTrust is rated at 3 stars.    There is plenty of room for improvement here, but they do offer you critical information on the go.

Why Do You Need This App Rating = 4     You need this app if either you don’t carry your checkbook with you at all times – or you aren’t diligent about entering all your expenses.  Easy access to your balance will provide you with the information you need to help guide and control your expenses.  If you need to transfer funds from account to account, this is a quick and easy way to accomplish that task.  On the other hand, if you don’t make transfers and if you do keep your checkbooks in balance at all times and have it with you – you don’t need this app.

How does it work?

Each bank may have a different way of signing on.   You will likely either use your existing pin number or one that you create specifically for your account.   Once you sign on the app works pretty much like the web (only in a smaller space).  One screen allows you to see your balances.  If you click on that account, you will see detailed expenditures.   From that initial screen, you can choose to either pay bills or transfer funds.

Chase Mobile has the ability to make deposits by copying the front and the back of checks.  I hope that other banks will upgrade and include this extremely valuable feature.  You can also receive balance messages through alert settings.

Both Chase and BankAmerica have iPad apps, SunTrust does not.  Hopefully SunTrust will create one soon.

Devices:  This information is for the three apps shown.   If you choose a different banking app, you will need to check compatibility.  Each of these apps can be used on either the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.  They differ in iOS versions. These apps were developed by JP Morgan Chase Bank, NA; Firethorn Holdings, LLC (SunTrust); and Bank of America.


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