Mobile Banking: Now you can download the HSBC app for your phone or tablet. *Photo by HSBC
Mobile Banking: Now you can download the HSBC app for your phone or tablet. *Photo by HSBC
HSBC unveiled the first banking app for Bermuda on Monday.

The company is well aware that more and more people are using mobile devices over computers — last year tablets alone outsold computers for the first time — and HSBC is making sure it is current in this market trend.

I downloaded the app as soon as I knew it was available on my first generation iPad.

 I was up and using the app in less than two minutes.

The banking app does not require the little gizmo that you would have to use to get a code to have access to your account.

That can be either a plus or minus depending on your perspective.

Personally, I hate having to have that on me in order to get to my account information and it makes it less likely for me to use HSBC’s Internet banking.

So going back to the old system of having to type in three letters of my password was welcomed.

Security
However, I can see some people not feeling that their banking info is as safe.

After all, isn’t that why we were all mailed the devices in the first place — to add an extra layer of account protection? One problem is I was used to the computer version of typing in the three missing letters of the password.

In that version, after you enter a letter or number, it moves to the next box. For the online version, it stays in the same box.

As a consequence, I entered the wrong password twice and it locked me out of my account unless I answered a security question.

Unfortunately, it did not provide a space for me to do that and I had to call the help desk to get them to unlock my account.

Once in to my account, it was easy to see the balances and easy to use.

I preferred the layout of the app version but if you are more comfortable with the full website, you have that option.

Bill paying
Either way, you can still pay your bills or move money from one account to the next.

The app will log you out if you are inactive, just like on the computer.

However, if you don’t log out, anyone can still see the last screen you were on.

I didn’t log out Monday night and Tuesday morning when I tapped on the app, I was able to see my main accounts’ page.

If I had left my iPad lying around and someone else had picked it up, they not only could see my balances, but they would have all my account numbers.

That’s not going to stop me from using it as my first choice option, but app users should be aware that they should always log out when they are finished with it.