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Sterling Bank simplifies online banking via mobile app, SMS

Sterling Financial Corporation has rolled out a suite of mobile services so that consumers can more easily manage their finances while on the go.

Consumers can bank via the Sterling Bank mobile application or through text banking. Through the app, consumers can deposit money, pay bills, check balances and more.

“As consumers want to be able to bank anytime anyplace day or night, I think that a bank like Sterling really wants to be able to meet those needs,” said Patricia Baughman, senior vice president and director of corporate product management and market research at Sterling Savings Bank, Spokane, WA.

“We want to reduce barriers to our consumers to be able to access and do their banking,” she said. “We want to make it easy and convenient for them.”

Sterling services
Consumers now have three options for accessing Sterling services via mobile: a mobile site, app or SMS.

The mobile site and app both let consumers make deposits, pay bills, check account balances, view transactions, transfer funds and find branch or ATM locations.

Consumers can make a mobile deposit at no charge by taking a picture of the front and back of an endorsed check with their mobile device’s camera.

The app is available for free in Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

For consumers who have feature phones or simply prefer SMS, they can use text banking. This service lets consumers check account balances and view up to 90 days of transaction history by texting.

All of these services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  They also all integrate security features to prevent fraud.

A user ID is assigned to a specific phone number, and if a consumer signs on from an unrecognized device he or she will have to authenticate the device.

Mobile Banking
Sterling Bank is joining a number of other banks in the mobile arena.

For example, Bank of America just announced that they surpassed one million small business mobile users (see story).

Western Union has also expanded its mobile banking services to countries such as Nigeria (see story).

Since launching mobile banking this past Monday, Sterling Bank has already seen more than eight percent of online banking consumers adopting mobile.

“It’s simple, it’s easy,” Ms. Baughman said. “It reduces folks from having to go to the branches or make inconvient trips so they can do their banking anytime they want.

“Using your phone, being able to do anything is important mobily now, and we want banking to be just as easy to do as it would be to do anything else on your phone,” she said.

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York