Ally Bank had another release of its Ally Mobile Banking app. If you have a smartphone, you can now do a lot of banking by using this app on your smartphone. I decided to download this latest version on my iPhone and give it a test. The app was easy to use. I don’t think it will be long before I log into my Ally account more with my iPhone than with my laptop. This will likely be the trend especially for the younger generation.
This latest release of the Ally Mobile Banking app was redesigned specifically for the new iOS7 that’s used on iPhones. The new version of the app has a streamlined menu, improved navigation and combined activity for transfers, Popmoney, Ally eCheck Deposit and Bill Pay transactions.
Yesterday, I used the new Ally app to deposit a check, to initiate a transfer from my external account and to send a payment to a friend. Everything worked well.
Ally eCheck Deposit
I just happened to have a small check that I needed to deposit. It was the perfect time to try out Ally eCheck Deposit with my iPhone. The app leads you through the three basic steps. The first is to take a picture of the front and back of your endorsed check (an eCheck deposit can be up to $10,000). The app lets you know if it accepts the photos. The second step is to enter the amount of the check and the third step is to specify the account that will receive the deposit. After you submit the deposit, you should receive a confirmation number. Ally will send you an email about your deposit status. The app instructs you to save your check for at least 60 days before destroying it.
Below is a snapshot that I took of the app after I took pictures of the front and back of my check.
The second thing I tried with the Ally Mobile Banking app was to initiate an external transfer from my credit union checking account into my Ally savings account. It was just as easy to use as Ally Online from my laptop.
Popmoney Personal Payments
The last thing I tried with the Ally Mobile Banking app was sending a payment to my friend. This made use of Popmoney. It allows you to pay friends or family without a check. The nice thing about Popmoney is that many banks and credit unions use Popmoney for their personal payment service. The person receiving a Popmoney payment will feel safer if their bank participates in Popmoney.
Sending a Popmoney payment using the Ally app was very easy. The app allowed me to select a person using my iPhone contact list. Right after I sent the payment, my friend received the text message about the payment and how to accept it. If the receiver doesn’t accept the payment within 10 days, the payment is cancelled and returned to the sender.
Although I had an easy time sending the payment, my friend didn’t have an easy time accepting it. She didn’t have an Ally account. However, her credit union does use Popmoney for its personal payment service. She first had to log into her credit union account and register to use Popmoney. The registration required providing your date of birth and driver’s license number. You then have to go through a quick text message verification code process. Finally, once the registration is completed and the payment is accepted, the deposit isn’t done immediately. There’s a 3-day delay.
Fortunately, my friend’s credit union does use Popmoney. Otherwise she would have had to register at Popmoney.com with her checking account information. Giving your checking account and personal info to a third party site can be worrisome.
Security Concerns with Mobile Banking
Ally has tried to ease security concerns with mobile banking. Here’s what Ally lists on its website to ensure security:
- We never store personal or account information on your phone
- All transactions are encrypted with the same secure technology as Online Banking
- The login process is the same as in Online Banking, with your SafeKeys as an added layer of protection
- Our Online & Mobile Security Guarantee covers fraudulent transactions in Mobile Banking too
Future of Mobile Banking
It took awhile for many to get used to online banking using their PCs. In fact, many still prefer to bank the old fashion way at a brick-and-mortar branch. With security bugs and hackers constantly in the news, it’s understandable to be worried, but I think we have to face the reality that internet and mobile banking is the future.