Navigating the Digital Banking Frontier

The internet and technology have changed our lives and our language. Google is a verb; a cookie is not something you eat and phishing has nothing to do with the lake.

The banking industry has been impacted by technology both in the way we perform our back-room functions and how our customers bank. However, for many customers, the use of technology to manage their financial world makes them have nightmares about Russian hackers and data breaches.

Granted there are a lot of bad actors out there, but the proper use of technology for your banking is safe and in some ways safer than the traditional versions and United Southern Bank is doing our part to protect and simplify your banking.

Online and mobile banking have the same initial safeguards that are put into place by USB. Our three-factor authentication provides safety-stops with user names and passwords, device recognition and geographic location by asking for the answers to challenge questions if the device and geographic location are not normal for the user.

While online banking is a seasoned and widely adopted product, mobile banking is right on it’s heels and newer generations basically skip the desk-top version and bank only from their phones.

The latest use of technology for USB to provide for customers is mobile payment.

Using your mobile wallet with Apple Pay® and Google Pay™ has not had ubiquitous adoption yet with merchants or consumers, but is coming on strong as a quick, easy and safe way to pay. Merchants who have payment terminals with near field communication capability are able to take payments by customers tapping their phone to the terminal. 

This is after debit or credit cards are loaded into the mobile wallet on the phone. Hesitant customers say they worry about security, but in some ways, a mobile payment is safer than swiping your card or using a card with a chip.

The technology used to process mobile wallet payments is the same as chip card technology where the data transmitted for the sales transaction is tokenized (bank card numbers are replaced with an algorithmically generated number called a token), so if there was a data breach, unlike swiped transactions, the data and card numbers would not be useable.

Additionally, mobile payments allow card holders to keep their cards safely tucked away in their real wallet or at home. As wider merchant adoption of mobile payment terminals occurs, leaving your bank card at home will become more of a reality.

Fear of losing the phone is a big deterrent to loading debit and credit cards into devices. However, losing a real wallet has much more dire consequences regarding debit and credit card information.

According to Apple and Google, actual bank card numbers are not stored on the phone, but an encrypted number is stored in the secure element chip that they claim is next to impossible to hack.

Older versions of mobile phones do not have this feature and mobile payments are not allowed on them.

Someone would have to get past the phone’s initial password and, if successful, still would not have the card number as only the last four digits show up on the picture of the card in the mobile wallet. The rest is scrambled in the secure element. Actual purchases require the owner’s fingerprint authorization at time of payment.

If the phone was lost, owners have the capability of locating, disabling or wiping all the data on the phone with Apple’s Find My iPhone app or the Android Dev ice Manager app that can be accessed on a desk top computer.

In contrast, a lost wallet would provide immediate access to bank cards by unauthorized users and would require contacting each card issuing bank to get new cards. The mobile wallet is emptied when the phone is marked as lost in the locater apps, so theoretically the same cards could be loaded in the replacement phone.

Other safeguards are built into USB’s mobile app allowing customers to turn off and back on their debit cards, set spending limits as well as geographic and merchant type limits.  Parents who fund their students’ accounts can set these types of controls for their children.

Employers who provide company debit cards could enable only one type of merchant for employee debit cards. Enabling only fuel stations is a good example of controlling where the cards are used for employees who have cards simply for gas purchases.

Providing an early warning that something may be wrong on the account, text messages are sent to account holders when a transaction meets certain fraud parameters allowing customers to confirm or deny the transaction. Transactions that are legitimate can be processed again immediately with an approval.

Customers can also have a text message sent to them anytime there is a transaction on their account, also allowing early fraud indications as well as reminders to enter transactions in their check register.

Both online banking and mobile banking allow for easy access to transactions to keep track of your money, ensuring early detection of fraud.

Additionally, online and mobile banking allow your account statements to be accessed electronically to eliminate mail theft as well as providing a more eco-friendly option.

So while the use of technology in banking is moving fast and can be confusing, it also can provide a safe, easy way to bank.

For more information on what you should do to make mobile and online banking safe, see the chart below.


USB Personal Mobile and Online Banking

Track your money with mobile and online banking.   

  • Receive a text message when your direct deposit is made

  • Get a text message alert when a check clears or debit card payment is made

  • Set yourself up to receive a notice when your account drops below an amount you are comfortable with

    login button

Enroll Now

Business Customers should contact a CSR at any branch for enrollment forms.

USB Debit Card Enhancements

United Southern Bank debit card

There is more protection for your USB Card.

Use CardValetR within your mobile app to block use of your card, set purchasing limits and spending parameters.

Use your USB Card for purchases within your mobile wallet with AppleR and Android PayTM where accepted by retailers.

Get an immediate text alert if we suspect fraud and simply text us back if it's you for an approved transaction.

Use your USB Debit card with no surcharge fees at Presto at Publix Grocery stores and Allpoint locations through out the United States.  To find an Allpoint location download the app or click here.