Smartphones have become a central (and some may say necessary) part of our daily lives. Whether it’s being used to track our steps, binge watch our favorite TV shows, or listen to our streaming music – our phones continue to find themselves supporting almost all of our daily activities.

According to eMarketer, US adults spent 3 hours and 17 minutes PER DAY using a mobile device in 2017.(1) That’s a significant chunk of the day. But are you putting it to good use? How about using it to keep your financial life in order? That’s where online banking comes into play. Whether you’re currently leveraging online banking or not, we’ve outlined the Top 10 Benefits you should consider:

#1. You have access 24 hours a day / 7 days a week

Have you ever had that instinct, “Wait, how much did I spend on groceries last week?” Or, even worse – “What is this charge? I didn’t buy that.” Online banking doesn’t just provide 24-hour access to all of your transactions any time of the day, but it also gives you the convenience to check your account anywhere, anytime – whether you’re at work, in bed or at the gym. Accessing your accounts has never been more convenient, which is necessary to ensure you have visibility into your financial situation anytime you need it.

#2. You can conveniently pay your bills from one central place

Paying your bills online is the simplest way to ensure you don’t miss a payment and are always on top of your bills. By setting up your credit union's auto payment feature, you can keep multiple accounts in one place and automatically schedule your payments accordingly. Or if you’d rather not automate your payments due to a bill that varies or are concerned you have enough funds available, you can still have visibility into all of your bill pay accounts in one singular view. That way, you have a comprehensive snapshot into all of your accounts and can consistently meet your payment deadlines. As a result, this can positively impact your payment history which is directly tied to your credit score (which is VERY important for your overall financial health).

#3. You can easily transfer money between accounts

Shuffling money around is a necessary part of life – whether you need cash out for a Poker night or need to pay off that expensive plane ticket you recently bought, having access to your accounts and the ability to move money around is very important. With online banking, all of your money is at your fingertips so with just a few clicks you can ensure your money is exactly where you need it to be.

Most online banking systems even allow you to send or request money from others directly from your account. So, if you just won your fantasy football league and are ready to request your winnings to be sent over, you can do so online. And as soon as your friend sends over your money, it automatically posts to your account.

#4. “There’s an App For That”

Almost all online banking services offer a free app you can download so that you can have a perfect mobile view of your finances. Even better, they are typically free, user friendly and easy to use. So, as you wait in line for your coffee in the morning, you have the ability to move your money around as needed so you don’t miss a beat with your finances. Furthermore, you can also do a quick scan of your accounts right from your app to ensure you’re up-to-date on all of your financial activity.

#5. You can sync with other apps

The more resources you utilize, the harder it can be to sync everything together. Download ISU Credit Union's MobiMoney smartphone app from the iTunes® App StoreTM or Google Play. Enjoy mobile card controls that help you monitor and manage your debit card. It’s all about simplicity and finding ways to stay organized with busy and demanding schedules. By connecting your online bank accounts to your financial management apps, you are taking the first steps to setting yourself up for success.

#6. You can protect yourself from fraud

Unfortunately, identity theft and privacy controls must be taken seriously, and any activity online is a potential threat. But, we’re all in this together and you are responsible for ensuring your finances are secure (with back-up from your credit union of course). By having insight into all of your accounts and transactions any time of the day, you’re able to keep a close eye on any suspicious activity. This personal monitoring can catch fraud before it’s too late and can reduce the risk of a fraudulent transaction potentially slipping through the cracks with your bank’s protocol. Check out our ID theft Fraud Defender option available as part of our Rewards Plus Checking product suite.

#7. You can deposit checks in the comfort of your own home, or anywhere you want

Gone are the days of piling up your checks to make your weekly trip to the bank to deposit them. Online banking provides the convenience of mobile check deposit, where you simply just take a picture of the front and back of your check and it goes straight into your account. So, you can have those funds getting processed within minutes of receiving your check and you don’t even need to make a trip to your bank.

#8. You don’t need to wait in unnecessary lines (at the credit union at least!)

I’ll never forget the dreaded trip to the branch over my lunch hour and seeing all the impatient faces waiting in line to get to the front. Luckily with mobile banking there is no need to have to go through that experience again. Be online, not line.

#9. You have a historical view into all of your financial activity

If you ever need to check back on your historical transactions or financial activity, all of your online statements are conveniently saved in your account. So you can go paperless and stop the mailed statements altogether and never have to save them in a file cabinet again. Your entire history is already saved online for easy access whenever you may need to look back at your activity.

#10. You have greater control over your money

Who isn’t striving for financial independence? With online banking, you are in the driver’s seat with your finances. Whether that means you’re managing a personal budget with Money Desktop, transferring funds or monitoring your accounts for fraudulent activity, having constant access and full control over your finances is a necessary component of life.

In fact, over half of smartphone owners with a bank account are already using some form of mobile banking.(2)

What are you waiting for? Take the first steps to financial success today by setting up your online banking and streamlining your financial priorities. After all, you are in control of your financial health and it’s essential to utilize the resources to support you in achieving your goals.