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Tips for Banking on the Road

March 7, 2016

By: Stacy Yu

Whether you are on business travel, vacation, or simply going about your busy day away from home, banking on the road has never been easier.  If you are looking for fast and easy ways to manage your money remotely, here are some great tips to help mobile and electronic banking simplify your life.

1. Pay Bills with On-line Banking

If you already receive bills electronically, online banking can be extremely simple and efficient.  Electronic billing services, like MAFCU's Online Banking & Bill Pay will ensure that all of your bills are paid on time, no matter where you are.   For those who receive bills via the mail service, prior to setting up electronic payments, contact each service provider to determine the balance of your bill.

2. Use Mobile Apps

Smart phones and tablets have made mobile banking a breeze.  Many banks now offer mobile apps, such as MAFCU's Mobile Banking.  Using personal mobile devices can often be safer than using laptops or PC when doing transactions.  The reason:  Unlike PC and laptop programs, mobile devices isolate the applications, making it more resistant to malware, phishing, and identity theft.  When doing your mobile banking using personal devices, be sure to download your mobile app from a reputable source.

3. Locate In-Network ATMs

When traveling domestically, the biggest challenge is often locating an ATM that does not charge transaction fees.   The simplest way to avoid this dilemma is to plan ahead and withdrawal cash from your own bank or credit union's ATM.   If a branch ATM cannot be located, try to find an in-network ATM.  Please note:  When using an ATM at a bank that is not your own, a transaction fee may still be applied, even if it is identified as in-network.

For MAFCU members, MAFCU has over 100,000 ATMS in-network.  To locate your nearest in-Network ATM, go to https://www.mafcu.org/locations-atms.cfm.  MAFCU's mobile app also has a GPS ATM finder imbedded into the system, so you can find an ATM in no time!

4. Check International Electronic Banking Regulations When Traveling Abroad

Banking regulations can vary from country to country.  This makes electronic banking transactions more complicated when traveling internationally.  If you plan on doing electronic transactions while abroad, research the international banking regulations for your travel destination prior to arrival. 

5. Notify Your Credit Card Company of Upcoming Travel

To protect card holders from identity theft, credit card companies and other financial institutions are always on the lookout for irregular spending behavior and purchase locations.  Let your financial institutions know of any upcoming travel you may have, both domestic and international.  When notified, the credit card company will place a travel flag on your account, ensuring that your credit card will not be shut down in an effort to protect you from fraud.

6. Use ATMs for Better Exchange Rates

To get a good exchange rate when traveling abroad, head to an ATM when upon arrival to your destination.  Having cash currency will simplify your travels and reduce the chances of complications due to electronic currency.  Be sure to have some cash on hand for when you first arrive in an ATM cannot be located immediately. Also, always have the telephone numbers of your financial institutions on hand in case you run into any complications.

For more information on how online and mobile banking is better with MAFCU, visit mafcu.org or call 1-800-95-MAFCU.

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