MSN: Cell Phone Banking Isn’t That Risky

Many banks now offer basic account services on cell phones, such as the ability to pay bills, check your balance, or transfer funds. But is it safe to do this? Could someone hack into your phone and access your account?

MSN Money writer Liz Pulliam Weston writes that while there’s a risk, it’s mainly limited to the fun-hacker-dials-a-900-number variety, as opposed to the criminal kind that seeks out your account number and PIN in order to steal money. Cell phones just don’t have significant malware issues yet. There are too many models, operating systems, and cell phone banking apps out there for someone to easily break into one.

Plus, if you lose your phone — probably the most obvious security risk — someone who finds it won’t be able to do much. Your bank account site is likely pre-authenticated, with the username and password hidden, so they wouldn’t be able to find that out. Even then, what could a thief do? Pay your electric bill for you? Move a few hundred bucks from your savings account to your checking account?

Is cell-phone banking safe? [MSN Money]