Your mobile banking app can be one of the most useful tools at your disposal in your quest for full financial health. And while you might make use of your app by checking activity and moving money around, you may not be using its full potential. By activating certain mobile banking alerts, you’ll have greater insight into how your money is working for you and can even avoid damage caused by identity theft.
Account or profile change alerts
Before you begin using a mobile banking app, it’s important to understand all the steps you can take to protect your identity and information. That includes using strong password phrases you regularly change, and using two-factor identification and biometrics for signing in.
Bankrate writer René Bennett suggests activating a profile change alert, which is common for mobile banks apps. This alert will notify you any time there are changes made to your online banking profile, including password changes. Some apps may also offer a failed login attempt alert that can indicate when someone is trying to access your account.
Other apps may also offer more complex identity monitoring features. Some financial institutions include full credit monitoring as part of their mobile banking apps, allowing you to view changes to your credit score and notifying you when your information has been affected by a data breach or appears on the dark web.
Large purchase or withdrawal alerts
A great way to safeguard yourself against fraud is setting up alerts that let you know whenever a large purchase or withdrawal is made using one of your accounts. The Balance Money contributor Brian Edmondson suggests setting the threshold for an alert higher than what you might typically spend or take out of your account to prevent excessive notifications. However, you may also want to receive an alert any time your money moves just to be on the safe side.
If you’re particularly protective of your checking account balance, Edmondson also suggests setting up an alert whenever a purchase is made using a debit card. This can be especially useful for protecting you against theft and may come in handy if you share a checking account with someone and want to make sure they’re being responsible with your money.
If you don’t keep a lot of money in an account, you might be at risk of overdrafting. That’s when a transaction pulls more money than an account has, leaving you in the red and racking up overdraft fees. Overdraft alerts can tell you when you’ve overdrafted and have insufficient funds in your account so you can act before too much damage is done.
One variation of this alert specifically tailored to preventing overdrafting is the low balance alert. Edmondson notes you can set a low balance alert so that you’ll receive a notification whenever the amount in your account falls below a certain number. If you set that total at $25, for example, you’ll get an alert whenever the account hits $24.99 or under.
The next time you launch your mobile banking app, check the settings to see what types of alerts are available. Receiving the right notifications at the right time can save you a whole lot of hassle and headache.