Beware of 'roaming' charges for using mobile banking abroad
Published 28 May 2012 by Joel Stanier
If you want to check your bank balance while abroad, you may want to avoid using your mobile phone - as doing so could land you with expensive charges.
These days, many of us check our online banking or make payments using mobile phones without a second thought.
But an article in The Guardian highlights the importance of being careful when it comes to using your smartphone abroad. In particular, mobile apps that use your phone's internet connection could land you with a much bigger bill than you might expect.
One mobile phone customer incurred a bill of £2,318 for using the map feature to find their way around Istanbul for a week - and while this is an extreme example, it can be very easy to incur expensive charges if you don't know how to avoid it.
With the recent rise of mobile banking, it's possible that people who simply want to check their bank balance or make a mobile payment while abroad could be hitting their bank balance in the process.
The Guardian article states that phones sometimes be prevented from 'roaming' while abroad if you contact your network to ask for the feature to be turned off. Furthermore, some modern mobile phones allow you to switch off roaming in the device's settings.
An expert at thinkmoney commented: "Checking your online banking on the move can be very useful, but it can work out very expensive while abroad - so people who want to stay completely safe may want to leave their phone at home, or at least put it on 'airplane mode' to make sure the internet isn't being used.
"People can still check their balance while abroad, but it's safer to do so in internet cafés or using their hotel's WiFi connection."
The thinkmoney Current Account offers both online and SMS banking for people who like to check their bank balance and other arrangements on the move. You can find out more about the account here.