Did you know, 63% of smartphone owners use at least one financial app? These are fantastic for managing our money. However, they sometimes ask for bank account passwords. Instantly, this sets off an alarm bell. Which begs the questions: is the risk real? Can these apps be trusted, and what happens if my data’s stolen?

Let’s dive into this issue in greater detail.

Does the benefit outweigh the risk?

If you’re wondering whether to share personal information, ask yourself: do the benefits of the app outweigh the risk of having your bank account hacked?

To help make up your mind, always read the terms of service. This a great place to start, because it’ll explain how the app plans on using your bank details.

How do I know if an app’s safe?

Always ask yourself the below questions before handing over sensitive information:

  • Does a human ever see or have access to your details?
  • How is your data stored, and is it anonymized?
  • Does the app use a third party aggregator to store your sensitive info? For example, Plaid. Bank’s tend to trust this service.
  • Can the app move money on your behalf?
  • If the app’s hacked, will they replace your money?

You get the idea! The questions above undoubtedly give you a better idea of whether the app’s safe to use.

Is there anyone I can consult?

In addition to all the above, check third-party reviewers. For example:

The information provided by these organizations will help you decide whether the risk is worth taking.

Final thoughts

It stands to reason, the more information you share, the further you put yourself at risk. If in doubt, it’s better to be safe than sorry by refusing to give away your bank details.