Your Complete Guide to Secure Mobile Banking
In response to the rise of mobile banking scams, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently published new guidance on unauthorized electronic funds transfers or EFTs. With more people using electronic banking as a holdover from pandemic times, it’s important for consumers to be aware of its vulnerabilities and how to protect themselves from scams. Here’s what you need to know about the risks of mobile banking and how to stay safe.
What are the risks of mobile banking? Banking through your mobile device is quick, convenient and efficient. There’s no longer a need to stop by the credit union on your way home from work to deposit checks, make a transfer or review your recent account history. Most banks and credit unions now allow you to do all that and more at any time, and from anywhere, using your phone and a mobile banking app. Unfortunately, though, like all transactions that take place over the internet, mobile banking has some inherent risks. First, hackers can break into a phone and an account to steal money and information. Also, phishing scams that target people over the phone can trick them into sharing login information with scammers who may then hack into the account. Finally, bogus emails and messages appearing to be from your credit union can lead you to unknowingly install malware on your device. Mobile banking scams can be difficult to spot and are frighteningly prevalent. In fact, according to a report by data science company Feedzai, the first quarter of 2021 saw a 159% increase in banking scams over the last quarter of 2020. This is likely due to the fact that the volume of banking transactions are returning to their pre-pandemic norm and many of them are happening online. How to bank safely online Instances of online fraud may be mounting, but that doesn’t mean you need to give up the convenience of mobile banking. Follow these protocols for online safety and bank with high confidence: Mobile banking scams are on the rise, but by simply following the tips shared above, you can use your phone to bank with confidence, knowing your money and your information are safe. Interested in downloading or finding out more about our secured mobile app, click here.
What are the risks of mobile banking?
Banking through your mobile device is quick, convenient and efficient. There’s no longer a need to stop by the credit union on your way home from work to deposit checks, make a transfer or review your recent account history. Most banks and credit unions now allow you to do all that and more at any time, and from anywhere, using your phone and a mobile banking app.
Unfortunately, though, like all transactions that take place over the internet, mobile banking has some inherent risks. First, hackers can break into a phone and an account to steal money and information. Also, phishing scams that target people over the phone can trick them into sharing login information with scammers who may then hack into the account. Finally, bogus emails and messages appearing to be from your credit union can lead you to unknowingly install malware on your device.
Mobile banking scams can be difficult to spot and are frighteningly prevalent. In fact, according to a report by data science company Feedzai, the first quarter of 2021 saw a 159% increase in banking scams over the last quarter of 2020. This is likely due to the fact that the volume of banking transactions are returning to their pre-pandemic norm and many of them are happening online.
How to bank safely online
Instances of online fraud may be mounting, but that doesn’t mean you need to give up the convenience of mobile banking. Follow these protocols for online safety and bank with high confidence:
Mobile banking scams are on the rise, but by simply following the tips shared above, you can use your phone to bank with confidence, knowing your money and your information are safe.
Interested in downloading or finding out more about our secured mobile app, click here.
Digital wallets: What are they and how do they work
Seeing people pay with their cellphones or watches has become the new normal. The days of printing out your boarding pass before you check into your flight are now in the past. Digital wallets are a new way to stay organized and safe.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, digital payment adoption has seen a large increase. Because of its contactless nature, digital wallets have become popular with the number of cashless businesses in the U.S.
What is a digital wallet?
Digital wallets are a digital version of your financial accounts made easily accessible via computer, smartphone or smart device. In other words, this can eliminate the need to carry around your actual wallet and gives you a contingency plan in case you forget your actual wallet.
Currently, ApplePay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay are three of the most popular digital wallets.
How digital wallets work
Before you get started with a digital wallet, you want to figure out which one you want to use. The device you use will normally dictate which digital wallet you go for. As an example, if you’re an iPhone or Apple Watch user then you’ll probably want to use ApplePay but if you’re an Android user you’ll want to use Google Pay or Samsung Pay.
Click here for instructions on how to add your SRIFCU Visa-branded credit or debit card to the digital wallet of your choice.
In order to make a contactless mobile payment, you simply have to authorize the digital wallet and hold it close enough to the card reader so that your information can be transmitted. Not all retailers accept mobile payments, but you can easily look for the contactless payment indicator on the retailer’s point-of-sale (POS) system or card reader. This symbol looks like a sideways WiFi icon.
What else can digital wallets do?
Digital wallets don’t only make paying for items quick and easy, they also help keep other important documents organized and easily accessible.
Here is a short list of items you can store in a digital wallet to stay organized:
- Credit or debit cards
- Boarding passes
- Hotel reservations
- Airbnb reservations
- Concert tickets
- Gift cards
- Loyalty rewards cards
- Insurance cards
Are digital wallets safe?
A common concern is over safety and security. What happens if your phone gets stolen? Can hackers easily steal your information?
No — digital wallets are actually more secure than your physical cards.
This because mobile payments are heavily encrypted and tokenized, in other words, none of your actual card or account numbers are stored within the digital wallet.
How does that work?
When you add your information to a digital wallet, that information is then converted into a unique code via encryption that can only be accessed by authorized entities. Digital wallets go a step further by also adding in tokenization, which takes that sensitive encrypted data and replaces it with a non-sensitive digital equivalent known as a token. These unique tokens are randomly generated every time a user makes a payment and only the merchant can match this token to accept the payment.
Ultimately, your information is useless and unreadable to fraudsters when encryption and tokenization are used together.
Not only is your information more secure thanks to that technology, but also through user verification. This added layer of security is usually done by fingerprint, facial recognition or PIN.
Digital wallets offer an easy, quick and safe solution for virtual payments, tickets, gift cards and more. While this doesn’t mean you should leave your physical wallet at home, digital wallets and contactless payments will likely see an increase in adoption by U.S. consumers and merchants in the not so distant future.
We Are Here To Help
Amid ongoing concerns about the Coronavirus COVID-19, we want to reach out and share a few of the ways we are here to serve you during this time:
If you’ve been impacted by COVID-19 and need our support, we’re here to help. Send a message through online banking, contact us or call us at 1-800-9863669 to talk to one of our staff members for assistance. They will be happy to go over all your available options, such as Emergency loans, credit line increases, Special Student Loan Forbearance and Skip-A-Payments.
We encourage you to access your account from home 24/7 using SRIFCU Online or the SRIFCU Mobile App to view transactions, check balances, make payments, and more. We’ve made a number of enhancements that make it easier than ever to manage your account digitally.
We will continue to closely monitor the situation and evaluate additional measures to support our members as needs arise.
Thank you for being a valued member.
For additional information about the Coronavirus COVID-19, get the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control at cdc.gov or your local health department website.
Special Schedule & Information
Due to the current state of “shelter in place” in the San Francisco Bay Area.
March 16, 2020 – April 6, 2020, the Credit Union Lobby will have limited access
SRI Federal Credit Union Annual meeting has also been officially postponed
Amid ongoing concerns about the Coronavirus COVID-19, SRI Federal Credit Union is closely monitoring the latest reports from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and has taken a number of precautionary measures for the health and safety of our members and employees.
One of the steps is to limit the in-person access to the branch during this current state of “shelter in place”. As an essential service, SRI Federal Credit Union will be open.
At this time we encourage you to access your account from home 24/7 using SRIFCU Online Banking or the SRIFCU Mobile App to view transactions, check balances, make payments, and more. We’ve made a number of enhancements that make it easier than ever to manage your account digitally. Should you need in-person assistance please fill out the contact form HERE to set up an appointment (Monday – Friday from 9 am to 4 pm).
For more local (Menlo Park) info please click HERE.
New Online Banking Update!
The new online banking update has been rolled out! Upon first sign-on, you’ll notice we now require a “One-Time Passcode” to access your account. Although the application looks the same, there are some new functions and enhanced security features.
New features include:
- One-Time Passcode – via Text, Email or Voice
- Email Change Alert – Now a standard feature, you’ll be notified if your email has been updated through online banking
- Member-to-Member Transfers now allow you to save a Payee (i.e. George’s Checking & George’s Savings)
- Update your contact info within online banking
- Improved Menu options
- Improved Account List View (upgraded from account tiles)
- Family Manager – Set up various access levels for everyone that needs to view your account. Stay tuned for more details!
We thank you for your patience and cooperation in helping us improve your online banking platform. As always, please contact us with any questions, comments or concerns you may have – we value your feedback!
Beta testers wanted.
Whether you are new to SRIFCU or a long-time member, we are looking for those who are passionate about improving the SRI Federal Credit Union online banking experience. With an online banking upgrade rolling out in late summer, we are looking for beta testers to help us shape the user experience.
To be an SRIFCU online banking beta tester, you will need to:
- Submit an email request to email@example.com
- Receive pre-release beta software updates that may exhibit some stability issues, including occasional crashes, freezes, interface issue, etc. (Please keep this in mind if your account is a joint account)
- Report bugs, issues, feedback on a regular basis via e-mail and surveys
If you are interested in improving the user experience through online banking, we want to hear from you.
New Online Banking
The credit union has a new Online Banking provider. This will allow members more choices of how to transfer money. The new system will require you to go through a validation process including setting up a new username and password. We have had some reports of members having trouble with the validation process. Please stick with us – once all the kinks get worked out you will love the new system.
• TRUSTS: If you have a trust account with the credit union, you will need to use the birthday of the trust as it is in our system. You probably don’t know this date so please contact us to get this date.
• STATEMENTS-On the Android Mobile App: Android phones don’t handle PDF files very well and you may find that statements are not coming up. This is a known issue with Android phones and if you have a PDF reader installed, it “should” come up. For now, please access your statements on a desktop computer (or with an Apple phone or tablet).
• BILL PAYMENTS-Bill payments, including recurring bills, did transfer over properly and are working. The new bill payment system works slightly different. Instead of taking the funds immediately from your account, if a check is issued, the funds are withdrawn when the check clears your account. For electronic payments, the funds are withdrawn when the transfer is made.
There are many new ways to transfer money including:
Electronic Deposit Time Frames
|Type of Electronic Deposit||Product Name on Online banking||Deposit time frame|
|Member to Member (M2M)||Member to Member||Real time|
|Person to Person (P2P)||Pay Someone||Next business day|
|Account to Account (A2A)*||External Transfer||2-3 business days|
|Bill Payment**||Bill Pay||Up to 7 business days|
**Bill Payments can take up to 7 business days depending on what method they are sent out (paper check or electronic transfer).
Click here for Mobile Banking FAQs
New Website Debut
On April 17th our new website goes live! That’s right, this isn’t a late April Fool’s joke. Our staff has worked long and hard to bring you a new and improved website.
There have been a lot of changes behind the scenes at the credit union recently. We have a new chip card machine that instant-issues cards (debit and credit) in our office. Chip cards are also known as EMV (Europay/MasterCard/Visa) cards. They reduce fraud by creating a one-time passcode for every transaction and will also improve acceptance of cards in the United States and abroad.
Rick Valderrama (project lead) has been working very hard with a group of members to beta-test the new cards. The pilot program has a lot of moving parts, including new card designs, new encryption keys, a new server and crypto box, and changes to the method of reordering existing cards. The new cards have been successfully tested on a number of different transaction types. They work great and we will be rolling them out soon to all members. If you are eager to get one, please let us know! They are available now. If you see Rick around, say “thanks” for a great job on this!
Get extra cash in your pocket when you bring your auto loans to the credit union. In October, November and December, receive 1% cash back (up to $500) when you bring your auto loan home to the credit union. In addition, there are no payments required for the first 90 days!
Home loan rates are at an all-time low! If your home loan is not here at the credit union, this might be the chance to reduce your rate and your payments! Feel free to give our loan expert, Apryll Held, a call at 714.513.7251 or 800.200.4889 x7251.
Not only are 30-year fixed-rate loans very low, but the credit union’s 5/5 program is very attractive! The rate is fixed for five years and then changes only once every five years. Regardless of your needs, give us a chance to see if we can refinance your loan over to the credit union. (We have home equity loans, too!)
Shush – Don’t tell anyone! We have a super-secret project to revamp our home banking into a “mobile first” system next year. If you would like to be in on this early, let us know and we will add you to the pilot program team. Again, thanks to all our beta-testers! YOU make us better!
333 Ravenswood Ave
Menlo Park, CA 94025-3493
P.O. Box 2284
Menlo Park, CA 94026-2284
Routing Number: 321173328
All deposits are insured by the NCUA to at least $250,000.