We’ve seen some amazing technological advances over the last 10 to 20 years. Getting too close to the car in front or crossing the lane line? There are cars that will brake or correct for you automatically. Miss an episode of your favorite program or looking for movies, original programming or special events? With streaming services, you can view them anywhere, on your phone or tablet.

Digital banking* has experienced some major improvements, too. Gone are the days when all you could do was check your balance. Today, you can do just about anything you’d do at a branch or ATM—remotely.

What’s So Great About Digital Banking?

Whether you’re banking online or using your mobile app, here are some of the biggest benefits to using digital banking:

  • Access 24/7 from anywhere. It doesn’t matter what time or day it is or where you are—the sign is always flipped to “open.” That means you can accomplish most of your banking needs on your own schedule.
  • Apply at your convenience. Want to open an account or apply for a loan? With a few keystrokes, you can open checking or savings accounts, or apply for credit card and even auto loans without having to visit a branch.
  • Send and receive money. Paying with cash or checks isn’t always practical. Need a fast way to send or receive money from friends and family? There are apps that make it simple. Navy Federal’s app includes a member-to-member transfer option in addition to the money transfer service Zelle®.1 That means money can be sent to almost anyone with a U.S. bank account.
  • Deposit checks. A smartphone or tablet with a camera is all you need to deposit a check. It’s much easier and quicker than depositing a check in person.
  • Pay bills the easy way. No more timing when you’ll mail your payments or visiting multiple websites to pay your bills. With Bill Pay, you can do it all at once. So, whether it’s rent, cable, utilities or something else, you can schedule automatically recurring (set it and forget it) or one-time payments quickly and securely.
  • Get notifications. It’s a great way to stay on top of your finances and a handy tool against fraud. Want to know when your paycheck is deposited, when your debit or credit card is used or when your balance drops below a certain amount? In just seconds, you can set it up so you receive a push notification, text or email for these situations and more.
  • Freeze cards. If your debit or credit card goes missing, you won’t have to drop everything to call your card issuer. In a few easy steps, you can freeze your card until you can confirm whether or not you need to replace it. And, if you find it, unfreezing it is just as simple.
  • Locate ATMs and branches. When you need to visit an ATM or branch, most banking sites and apps have interactive maps to point you in the right direction.

Digital Banking and Your Security

Banks and credit unions make great efforts to ensure your information and accounts are protected across all platforms—that means digital access, too. In addition to our dedicated staff monitoring your accounts 24/7, there are simple things you can do to increase your digital security even more.

  • Use two-step verification. Two-step verification is a security enhancement that makes it much harder for fraudsters to access your account. It’s a second method of verifying your identity when you sign in. Generally, this involves a code being sent to a phone number or email address associated with the account—which will be entered during the sign in process.
  • Create strong sign in credentials. You’ve heard it before, but creating a strong unique password and username for each of your accounts is an important defense against cyber threats. If possible (and if the site allows it), passwords should be long (e.g., 17+ characters long) and should be as random as possible. Real words are okay, but you shouldn’t create a sentence or phrase. Sprinkle in a mix of capital and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters (like $, * and !), and you’ll have a password that will be tougher to crack.
  • Stay up to date. It’s too easy to ignore those notices that there’s an update available for your software or hardware. What you may not know is they often include fixes for security weaknesses that have been identified. So, make sure your information is protected by updating as soon as you see it’s available.
  • Lock devices. All your devices should require a password, fingerprint or facial recognition, so no one but you can use them or access anything that might be stored.
  • Use secure connections. Make sure the site you’re on is secure before you make any type of financial transaction or share payment information or personal data. That means looking for a padlock symbol and “https” at the beginning of the URL in the address bar. If neither is present, don’t continue. Note: You may need to click on the address bar to see the full URL.
  • Be cautious on public networks. If you use a public computer or Wi-Fi, you should avoid making financial transactions or filling out personal information. Malicious software can be installed on public machines, while public networks allow criminals to “eavesdrop” on anything you send.

Be a Digital Banking Pro

At Navy Federal, we make it a priority to educate and empower our members, so we provide a number of money management tools and a variety of security information. Learn more about what you can do with digital banking and visit our Security Center for more information on digital and ATM security, how to spot common scams and more.

1Zelle is available to bank account holders in the U.S. only. To receive money in minutes, the recipient's email address or U.S. mobile number must already be enrolled with Zelle. Zelle and the Zelle-related marks are wholly owned by Early Warning Services, LLC and are used herein under license.

This article is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.