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Is mobile banking on a phone safe?

All financial institutions implement data fraud prevention measures to protect their members from scams and their accounts from being hacked. In general, these mobile banking security precautions make banking on a mobile phone safe. However, it is up to consumers to implement best practices to safeguard their personal information, as digital transactions may carry a level of risk.

There are mobile banking security precautions that consumers should take to further protect against scams and fraud. Basic safety measures include practices as simple as not sharing your phone or account passwords, logging in using the official app from your credit union or bank, using a strong password, and not using public Wi-Fi.
At Credit Union of Southern California (CU SoCal), we make Mobile Banking safe and easy.
Call 866.287.6225 today to schedule a no-obligation consultation and learn about our home equity lines of credit, auto loans, personal loans, checking and savings accounts, and other banking products. As a full-service financial institution, we look forward to helping you with all your banking needs.

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What is mobile banking?

Mobile banking involves using a specially designed app provided by a credit union or bank that provides account holders with money management capability on a smart phone and other mobile devices. Mobile Banking apps let people manage their financial accounts on the go.

Pros and cons of mobile banking

Here are some of the typical mobile banking pros and cons to be aware of:


Saves time. There's no need to go to a bank branch, so you'll save money on gas too.

Convenient transactions. Mobile banking means you can access your accounts and move your money any time and anywhere, whether you're at home, the airport, or abroad.
Track your money. You'll be able to monitor your account balances and other account features without making phone calls to a representative.


Mobile banking security. While all financial institutions put security measures in place, unfortunately, digital transactions have a level of risk.
Connection sensitive. Mobile banking needs a stable Wi-Fi/internet connection.
Learning curve. Although mobile banking features are more user-friendly than ever before, there may be a slight learning curve to those new to banking digitally.

Scams to look out for

Credit unions and banks are continually implementing security strategies and adding technology to enhance cybersecurity. However, as with many technologies, there are new scams generated all the time. There are also hackers whose goal is to defraud people of their money by setting up scenarios to trick people into sending money.
Here are examples of mobile banking scams to watch out for:
App-based trojans. A Trojan app acts like a legitimate app, which could be programmed to look like a mobile banking app.
Fake banking apps. This is a type of trojan app that can look like a legitimate app from your bank but isn't. Always download banking apps directly from your financial institution's website.
Remote deposit scams. This type of scam usually occurs when you have posted an item for sale on social media. A person wants to purchase your item and sends you a check for more than the agreed price. The scammer then asks you to send back the extra funds, which you do. However, it then turns out the payment check was fraudulent, and now you've sent money to someone, and may have already sent the item you were selling.
Fake contests. You may receive a mobile notification or email saying you've won a cash prize and to claim your prize you must send your bank account information so your prize can be deposited into your account. Cybercriminals gain access to your account and withdraw money. Never give your account information to anyone
Job scams. Cybercriminals may pretend to be employers seeking job applicants for online remote and ask applicants to send their bank account information so they can make a deposit into the account to cover work-related equipment costs. Instead, they hack the account and withdraw money.
Dating app scams. Using dating apps cybercriminals create fake accounts, gain the trust of unsuspecting people, then ask for money to be sent to help with an "emergency" or crises. Never send money to someone who you have never met.

How to protect yourself from scams

Here are some of the best ways to protect yourself from getting scammed. These practices should be used with your financial accounts and other online accounts, such as credit cards and any other types of accounts you manage online.
Download official/verified banking apps. Make sure you have the right app from the start by going to your financial institution's website and downloading their mobile banking app.
Use two-factor/multi-factor authentication. This method requires account holders to verify their identity two ways, usually by receiving a text or phone call with a verification number, along with entering a password or PIN.
Use a strong password or password manager. Never use easy-to-guess passwords, such as your birthday or address, for your financial accounts. A password manager is a computer program that can generate secure passwords for you to use and stores your passwords in an encrypted format.
Stay away from public networks. Public networks are not protected in the same way your home network is protected. Try not to do banking transactions from a public place like a coffee shop or public seating area.
Set up notification alerts. All financial institutions offer mobile banking features that let you set fraud alerts that get sent if possibly fraudulent activity is detected on your account.
Don't lose your phone. If your phone is not set up with password protection, losing your phone could mean that someone gains access to your apps, emails, and other personal data.

CU SoCal Mobile Banking

Mobile banking is safe and easy with Credit Union of Southern California's easy-to-use Mobile Banking tools.
Pay bills, make loan, or credit card payments. Set up one-time or recurring payments with Bill Pay or make your CU SoCal loan or credit card payment.
Manage your money seamlessly. Make safe, quick transfers between your accounts, or use Zelle® to send and receive money with family and friends even if they bank elsewhere.
Deposit checks. Deposit checks whenever, from wherever, with just a few taps on your smartphone.
Manage debit and credit cards. Activate cards, make payments, set up travel notifications, or turn your cards on/off.
Apple Watch® integration. Use your Apple Watch®, to view recent transactions, identify nearby branch and ATM locations, set up account notifications and alerts, and enjoy a wide range of important banking functions.

Why savvy consumers choose CU SoCal

For over 60 years CU SoCal has been providing financial services, including mortgages, Home Equity Loans, HELOCs, car loans, personal loans, credit cards, and other banking products, to those who live, work, worship, or attend school in Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County.
Please give us a call today at 866.287.6225 today to schedule a no-obligation loan consultation with a CU SoCal Member Services specialist.
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Credit Union of Southern California (CU SoCal) is a leading financial institution empowering those who live, work, worship, or attend school in Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County to reach their goals and build strong financial futures. CU SoCal provides access to convenient money management services and offers competitive rates and flexible terms on auto loans, mortgages, and VISA credit cards—turning wishing and waiting into achieving and doing.


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