By Renee D. for SafeCashTransfer.com
You can send money online through your computer, or, more often nowadays, through your cell phone. When you compare the money transfer process for computers and cell phones, you find certain common risks and benefits.
However, there are also unique aspects of handling finances using a cell phone, which is why it is so important to learn about necessary precautionary measures. Although people have been using mobile devices to transfer money for years, there are still questions and concerns raised.
The first thing we wanted to address is the benefits of money transfers whether using a computer or cell phone. Sending and receiving money has also been an option for years although initially, it was businesses that took advantage of this service.
However, there are now just as many individuals completing money transfers as there are businesses thanks to the increase of eCommerce websites, as well as auction sites such as eBay, but also high-tech mobile devices.
Before the potential risks associated with mobile money transfers can be fully understood or appreciated, we felt it important to provide a few of the key benefits that a service such as this provides.
- Ease of Use – While some systems can be a little challenging to navigate, most are extremely easy. In fact, sending and/or receiving money can usually be done in about five or six simple steps, whether using a computer or phone. o Fast – Most people are surprised at how fast most transfer services are, especially compared to similar services provided by a more conventional financial institution. While it could take slightly longer for an international transaction to complete over one on a national level, the process overall is quick and seamless.
- Exchange Rates – Another benefit of using mobile money transfers or those with a computer for international business is that exchange rates are quoted in real time.
- Low Fees – It is common for fees to be charged with any money transfer. For example, companies have a standard processing fee for services rendered but in addition, any intermediary or foreign bank involved in the transaction could also impose a fee. However, even with fees being charged, money transfers are cost-efficient compared to other means of sending and receiving money.
- Safe – Typically, companies that offer money transfer services have the latest and greatest security measures in place. After all, if customers begin to experience loss, the company would fail so everything possible would be done to protect a person’s information and ensure every transaction completes as scheduled.
Two of the greatest benefits specific to mobile money transfers only are privacy and mobility. By using a cell phone, money transfers and other financial tasks can be performed at home in privacy and comfort. Because so many people work hard to protect personal and financial information but also due to an increased risk for identity theft, having the ability to complete financial business at home is appealing.
The second benefit of flexibility is something that people also appreciates. With this, a financial transaction could be completed while in public without anyone knowing. As an example, using a mobile device, an individual could send or receive money while at dinner, in a business meeting, or sitting in a movie theater, among other things and again, with on one nearby being the wiser.
Along with all the benefits that go hand-in-hand with mobile money transfers are some risks that need to be considered. The following risks are just a few of the things that could go wrong with mobile money transfers.
- Handset Incompatibility – To complete financial transactions via mobile device, the handset must be compatible with the service. Today, virtually every telecommunication company sells one or more phones capable of handling money transfers but an individual should check requirements for any company being considered for a service such as this prior to a transaction being started. o Network Coverage – The mobile network would need to be capable of handling a significant amount of traffic but also provide high speed service. Although not an issue in North America, there could be challenges when trying to send or receive money in developing countries.
- Hackers – Even with state-of-the-art security measures in place, there are still professional hackers that tap into cell phones to capture all types of information to include both personal and financial.
- Fraud – Scam artists recognize the increase of mobile money transfers and as such, have devised new schemes to con people out of money. Unfortunately, people still get caught up in fraudulent acts every day even with all the education provided to the public.
- Lost Device – The bottom line is that it is much easier to lose a cell phone than it is a computer. Mobile device owners are always reminded to use or install the most current software to block access to financial websites but also keep personal information locked or hidden. Even taking all the precautionary measures possible, a lost device could end up in the hands of the wrong person.