Mobile

Chase Balances: No Password Needed

Chase customers using the bank's mobile app can now see their balances without entering a user name or password, according to American Banker.

The largest U.S. bank has made instant balance checks an opt-in feature in updated versions of both iOS and Android versions of the banking app. The bank said the new feature works for most checking, savings and money-market accounts, credit cards and Chase Liquid cards.

Chase isn't alone in adding the fast-balance-check feature. Citi lets customers check deposits, credit-card balances and recent transactions using its app without a password, and Bank of the West's app has made had password-free account balance checks as a feature for more than a year. Other banks, including American Express and Tangerine in Canada, have implemented Apple's Touch ID fingerprint scanner for faster authentication.

But not everyone is excited about the prospect of anyone with access to a user's smartphone also having access to bank balance information.

The feature "doesn't exactly keep your financial info hidden," Android Police noted, adding that "Chase's functionality leaves info up in the air, with no gap between the numbers and any prying eyes, even if account balances aren't necessarily the most sensitive data one could see."

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