5 of the Best Banking App Features


Many individuals choose to use banking apps now. Regardless of whether you use a bank with brick-and-mortar locations, like Chase or Bank of America, or an exclusively online one, like Ally, all of them have apps you can easily download to your smartphone. Once you have it, you’re free to explore the application and see which features you like best about it.

If you don’t have your bank’s phone app yet, you should consider getting it. Here are five of the best features you can find on most of these banking apps.

Facial Identity Login Capability

In the IT world, you might hear about IAM, which stands for identity and access management. Most companies need to use it if they want to be sure of who’s accessing their software or network. They might assign a worker a username and password, and they can sign in accordingly when doing anything work-related.

Most mobile banking apps utilize a form of IAM now as well. For example, if you use an iPhone from the past few generations, you can log into the app using facial identity recognition technology.

It’s the same tech that you use when you set up the phone. You allow the phone’s camera to use facial mapping, which takes a few moments with you holding the phone directly up in front of your face with the screen toward you. You can do that to log into your bank’s app now as well.

Once you do that, it saves you the trouble of having to log in using your name and passcode. If you have the app on your phone, you most likely remain logged in already. All you need is that facial recognition feature to verify that it’s you.

The Snapshot Feature

Most smartphone banking apps also now have what banking professionals call a snapshot. This is an up-to-the-minute picture of what’s happening with all of your accounts.

You might have several accounts, including a savings account and checking accounts. That money is liquid, so you can essentially use it whenever you need it without incurring any penalties.

You may also have a Roth or non-Roth IRA with your bank. These are retirement accounts, and you can see them as part of your snapshot as well.

You can have single accounts or joint ones you share with a spouse or partner. You could even have investment accounts that might feature mutual funds. All of that is part of your snapshot, and you can see the total amount of what it’s all worth at the top of the screen.

Check Deposit Capability

The typical bank’s smartphone app now features check deposit capability. Most entities and individuals do not use checks as much as they once did. They have fallen out of fashion. 

However, you might still get a paper check from your work in some instances. Maybe you have an older relative who likes to send you a birthday or holiday check from time to time.

You can deposit that check using your phone. You just open the app and find the check deposit option. It is in a different place depending on what bank’s app you have.

You can put the check on a single-colored background to take the best picture. You’ll want to have an excellent light source as well. You will also need to sign the check.

Once you activate the phone’s camera and take a picture of the front and back of the check, you can confirm the deposit amount. The app will usually tell you if it accepted the images and deposited the check. If anything goes wrong, it will tell you that as well.

Usually, you’ll get a confirmation email sent to the address the bank has on file for you. That email will either confirm the check went through okay, or it might tell you the app rejected the check for some reason. If that ever happens, it’s usually because you did not hold the camera steady, so the front and back check images were not clear enough.

Chat Feature

Most mobile banking phone apps now have a chat feature as well. You can always call a bank representative if you need to do so, but you might have to wait in line if you do that. If you try to call and the bank puts you on hold, you might prefer to exchange written messages with an operator instead.

This is a suitable option if you can type quickly using your phone. If you type rather slowly or ponderously, you might be better off waiting to speak to someone. Still, it is nice to have this handy option if you need to know when a check is going to clear or you’re having some other issue.

The Chatbot

Maybe you have a frequently asked question for your bank, but you can’t find the answer on the app. You can talk to someone over the phone or exchange written messages with them, but you can also interact with the bank’s chatbot in most instances.

A chatbot features AI technology. It can answer many questions you might have. It’s convenient because it’s always there for you at any time of the day or night, regardless of where you are in the world and your current time zone.

The chatbot cannot answer every question you ask, but it can respond to many queries. If you find the chatbot cannot help you, you can always fall back on one of the other communication options.

Even if that happens, it’s exciting to think that you had a conversation with an artificial intelligence form. You have to assume that as time passes, chatbots will become more advanced, and they will be able to help you out with more complex banking issues.

There are plenty more smartphone banking app features that you can learn if you take the time. You might come up with some new favorites that we didn’t mention in this list.

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The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.