Columbia Residents Reluctant to Choose Mobile Banking

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COLUMBIA - Columbia consumers are not adopting mobile banking as quickly as the rest of the nation, and security is a key reason.

A Columbia resident Jimmy Yates said, "I personally don't like it because I prefer going into a bank and talking to a person, I feel safer with my money that way because I've known people who have gotten screwed out of their money before pretty bad."

The Missouri Credit Union's 2012 Consumer Attitude Report lists three major reasons: Some people worry about security, others don't know enough about the applications or simply do not own a cell phone.

While as many as 70 percent of Columbia adults bank online, the report says, only 25 percent use their cell phones for banking. That's compared to 35 percent nationwide, according to Pew Research.

The Better Business Bureau of Columbia said there have been no complaints of security breaches or issues related to mobile banking in the last year.

Regional Director Mike Harrison said there are ways to prevent such problems.

"Don't save your passwords, don't save any of your banking information on your mobile device," he said. "You do not want it to be setup to automatically log in to your account when you turn on your mobile device."

Landmark Bank associate Nick Kieffer said people are concerned for their financial security, but there is no reason to worry.

"The bad folks haven't really attacked the mobile world like they've attacked the Internet," he said. "But again, it's just about being protective and taking certain precautions, such as not sharing personally identifiable information unless you know the source who's asking you the question."

Banks do not send texts asking for account numbers, phone numbers or social security numbers, Kieffer said.

Some Columbia residents said mobile banking is convenient and saves time.

Kenzie Dolan said, "It's nice because with the over-drafting fees and not knowing how much I have on my account, it's always nice to know where I stand with my, you know, funds."

Harrison said consumers could protect themselves by avoiding unsecured wireless networks and installing anti-virus software on their smartphones. People who lose their phone or have it stolen should report it to the bank immediately to block any fraudulent activity.

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