By Jim Donovan

By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s the next wave of mobile banking.  Not just paying your bills — but paying your friends right from your phone.  3 On Your Side consumer reporter Jim Donovan explains how banking on-the-go is getting faster and easier.

It’s clear money has gone mobile.  People trade, pay bills and deposit checks from their phones.

But how about splitting the check for dinner, paying the baby-sitter or the neighborhood kid to mow your lawn, simply by using your phone?  No cash, no checks required.

“Customers are on the go, they want to do their banking anywhere at any time including over the phone,” said Bruce Spitzer with the Massachusetts Bankers Association.

Called person to person mobile payments, more and more banks allow customers to send a payment straight to someone else’s bank account.

“Customers love it because now they can transfer to anybody that they want, they don’t have to write a check. II saves them money because they’re not buying as many checks as they used to,” said Stacey Coyne with Rockland Trust.

A federal reserve report found about half of all smartphone owners are using mobile banking and one-quarter of these customers are also making payments by phone.

Up until recently, the only option for direct mobile payments were services like Google wallet or Paypal. They’re free when linked directly to your bank account, but could cost you a fee if using a credit card.

And now banks are finally catching on.

“Banks have been in some ways a little bit slow, but purposely slow, moving into the mobile space because examiners are looking over their shoulder to make sure banks are doing it correctly to protect customers’ security, so that’s not a bad thing,” said Spitzer.

Just be sure to use a company you know you can trust.  As with any smart phone transaction, you want to minimize your risk by always using a password protected account. That way if you lose your phone you won’t lose your money too.

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