There are several advantages to banking on your iPad 2 over your computer or smartphone. Computers are bulkier and usually must be within range of a Wi-Fi network to connect to the Internet. iPad 2s, on the other hand, are lightweight and slim, and their optional 3G connectivity allows them to surf the Web anywhere there is cell phone service. The iPad 2's touch screen also makes online banking more portable, eliminating the need for extra equipment like a mouse and keyboard. While smartphones are similarly convenient, their small screens can make navigation more tedious and information harder to read. This can be a problem when you're trying to review financial tools like recent transaction tables and budgeting charts.
So what makes the iPad 2 more desirable for online banking than other tablets on the market? One reason is the availability and quality of its apps. In September 2011, the information technology research firm Gartner projected that the iPad will account for 73.4 percent of worldwide tablet sales for that year [source: Gartner]. That means that online banking developers are focusing most of their energy on apps for Apple's iOS operating system instead of the less common Android, Blackberry Tablet OS and Windows 7 platforms. Therefore, online banking apps for the iPad 2 are generally more widely-available and thoroughly-tested than those of their competitors.
Security, a key concern for online banking customers, is another advantage of the iPad 2. All banking Web sites and apps use encryption -- or the encoding of sensitive information in such a way that makes it difficult to steal -- to protect data transmitted over the Internet. However, this is just one aspect of the iPad 2's security features. Apple's App Store is very selective about what apps it will distribute, largely eliminating the threat posed by malware. More common on PCs, these harmful programs have the potential to disrupt a computer's operation, gather a user's personal information, or take possession of a computer's resources to send spam or perform other hostile tasks. Even if such a program were installed on an iPad 2, the operation system heavily restricts the actions that the software can perform, therefore reducing the chance that a program might, for example, steal your account information without your knowledge. Despite this tough security, experts still suggest that you password protect your device and avoid sending sensitive information over an unprotected Wi-Fi connection.
Given the convenience, increased features, and improved security offered by online banking -- particularly on devices like the iPad 2 -- more people are certain to trade in their teller for a tablet in the coming years.
- Arthur, Charles. "If You Value Your Online Security, You Should Welcome the iPad." The Guardian. April 9, 2010. (Oct. 11, 2011) http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/apr/09/ipad-apple-security
- ComScore. "Number of Mobile U.S. Financial Account Users Surges 54 Percent to 30 Million in Past Year." March 23, 2011. (Oct. 15, 2011) http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2011/3/Number_of_U.S._Mobile_Financial_Account_Users_Surges_54_Percent_to_30_Million_in_Past_Year
- DeCastro, Marc. "Does Online Banking Need Its Own iPad App?" PC World. May 2, 2010. (Oct. 11, 2011) http://www.pcworld.com/article/195380/does_online_banking_need_its_own_ipad_app.html
- Gartner. "Gartner Says Apple Will Have a Free Run in Tablet Market Holiday Season as Competitors Continue to Lag." Sept. 22, 2011. (Oct. 11, 2011) http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1800514
- Rapport, Marc. "Vertifi iPad App Rolled Out." Credit Union Times. June 1, 2011. (Oct. 11, 2011) http://www.cutimes.com/2011/05/31/vertifi-ipad-app-rolled-out
- Manjoo, Farhad. "The End of Malware?" Slate. June 3, 2010. (Oct. 15, 2011) http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2010/06/the_end_of_malware.2.html
- Schultz, Clark. "What's Next for Banking with an iPad 2?" Green Bank Report. April 7, 2011. (Oct. 11, 2011) http://greenbankreport.com/iphone/whats-next-for-banking-with-an-ipad2/
- Weston, Liz. "Is It Safe to Bank by Cell Phone?" MSN Money. Feb. 25, 2011. (Oct. 15, 2011) http://money.msn.com/shopping-deals/is-it-safe-to-bank-by-cell-phone-weston.aspx