SAVVY MONEY | SPONSORED CONTENT

Savvy Money
By Kim Sponem

I see a lot about mobile payments, but what are they, are they reliable, and is it even safe?

Mobile payments are a convenient way to make a purchase in a store, through an app or online, using your phone instead of a debit or credit card. This option currently includes Apple Pay™, Google Wallet, Android Pay and Samsung Pay, and others are on the way. Mobile payments put everything you need to make a purchase right on your phone. It’s fast, and many of the options allow for one-step payments.

It’s also safer than you may think. Once you choose an app, you download your credit and/or debit card information into it. The mobile payment system creates a secure code that is stored on your mobile phone. When you make a purchase, the merchant’s system does not have access to your card information, only to the secure code which can’t be used by others. At this time, some merchants accept mobile payments and some do not. Just look for the pay wave.

There are risks to any payment system, even cash. Mobile payment systems offer many safeguards and you can protect yourself even further if you choose. Apple and Google both provide information about payment system safety on their websites so you can learn more about security for your particular device and any actions they suggest for increased security.

Whether you use mobile payments or not, it’s always a good idea to monitor your accounts and avoid sharing your Personal Identification Number (PIN) or account numbers with others. If your phone is lost or stolen, report any card you have on your phone as lost or stolen, just as you would if you lost the card itself.

If you do use mobile payment options, consider making your default debit and credit cards those with a financial institution that offers 24/7 fraud monitoring and zero liability protection* from unauthorized and fraudulent charges, optional account alerts via email or text to keep track of charges and know right away if someone else is using your card, and, ideally, rewards for you! Summit’s Visa Platinum Rewards card is a great option.

* Check with your financial institution on specific protections.

How does mobile deposit work and when do I get my money?

Many financial institutions offer mobile deposit through their secure mobile banking apps to make it easy to deposit checks from wherever you are. Once you log in, your app will walk you through this simple process: take a picture of the check, front and back, and submit it for deposit. Some financial institutions have real time deposits and others process mobile deposits once a day, so your deposit may not show up immediately. Check with your financial institution on how they process the deposits. Financial institutions have different dollar limits for mobile deposits and different timelines for making the deposited funds available to you, so ask about that up front, too. Our members enjoy the convenience of mobile deposit and have securely deposited more than $88 million by mobile.

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