John Shepherd-Barron came up with the idea for automatic teller machines (ATMs) in the early 1960s while taking a bath; by 1967, the first such machine was up and working [source: Time]. Shepherd-Barron developed the device because he was frustrated at not having access to his own money on the weekends, when banks were closed. Now, with widespread ATMs and developments such as online banking, people have access to their accounts anytime, day or night.
Mobile banking is one way that people can pay bills, transfer funds and access account information without setting foot in a bank or taking the trouble to boot up their computers. All that's needed is a cell phone with wireless capabilities, and as more people buy phones that can access the Internet, mobile banking is sure to grow. Most banks offer the service at no additional charge to account holders, which means the only fees you'll accrue will depend on your data and text plans with the cell phone company. TowerGroup, a finance research company, estimates that by 2013, 53 million people will use mobile banking, compared to the 10 million people who used it in 2009 [source: Choney].
One key factor that TowerGroup cited for mobile banking's growth was the ability to check a balance at anytime and from anywhere. By sending a text message to your bank, you can get not only your balance, but recent account activity, upcoming payments owed and nearby ATM locations. But if you'd rather have this information sent to you automatically, without a prompting text, then you can sign up for mobile banking reminders. These alerts take the form of text messages. If you'd like to get a comprehensive look at your bank account with the ease of pushing a button, then read on to find out what reminders are offered and how you can access them.