Ally Bank Releases New Version of Mobile Banking with eCheck Deposit
Ally Bank announced on its Straight Talk blog the release of its new version of Ally Mobile Banking. The first version was launched on April 30th, but it lacked several important features. This new version added several important features which include:
- Ally eCheck Deposit - With the iPhone or Android Ally Mobile App, deposit a check just by snapping a picture of it with your camera phone.
- Bill Pay
- Non-Ally Transfers
I have not tried the mobile eCheck Deposit. It's one thing to offer mobile remote check deposit, but it's another thing to make it work well. As one reader described in 2011, the PC-version of eCheck Deposit didn't come close in matching the ease-of-use of Chase QuickDeposit. Hopefully, Ally's new mobile eCheck Deposit will come closer. If you have given mobile eCheck Deposit a try, please leave a comment.
In October 2011, Ally Bank made its eCheck Deposit available to all customers, but this was limited to desktop PCs and scanners. At that time, they announced their mobile banking plans to include mobile eCheck Deposit by late 2012. It's nice to see that they met the schedule they announced last year. However, Ally is a behind many other banks and credit unions in offering full-featured mobile banking. In October I listed 7 large credit unions that already have mobile apps that allow remote deposit.
Security Concerns with Mobile Banking?
One reason why it may have taken Ally Bank a long time before launching full-featured mobile banking is the problem of ensuring system security. As I described last year, mobile banking has some unique security risks. Ally Bank tries to ease these fears with its mobile banking security guarantee:
- Account information is never stored on your mobile device
- Encrypted transactions provide added security
- Ally guarantees you won't be liable for fraudulent transactions
Importance of Mobile Banking?
For those who don't have a smartphone, mobile banking is probably not much of a concern. Online banking with a PC or laptop may be good enough for many. According to a 2012 survey, almost a half of the U.S. mobile consumers own smartphones, and that is expected to reach 70 percent in 2013. So mobile banking will likely grow in popularity. I could see mobile banking being a useful service for times when I'm on vacation. Do you see any cases where mobile online banking would be important to you?
Almost everything is paid electronically these days and why print checks just to ACH it to the payor. And what do you do with the checks afterwards (mail it to the bank or destroy it)?
Your personal account is exposed to anyone to read, including your name and address on most of the checks and or your phone number. I would never broadcast my bank accounts over the airways. There are crooks who have ability to intercept such over the air communications between you and the bank. Nothing is 100% sure and safe these days.
Do you know that your cell phone sometimes makes over 50 connections over cell towers just to reach the bank destination. What are the odds that sooner or later someone will install listening bug on any one of the towers where your bank account is being re-routed?
#1 was referring to using a cell phone not direct connections online.