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Mobile Banking Travel FAQs

Does Mobile Banking work if I am traveling in another country?
One of the great benefits of Mobile Banking is having access to your finances while you are gone on business or for pleasure. You don’t have to worry about paying a bill that is due while you are gone or not being able to find a Banking Center to transfer money. As long as your mobile provider has a partner service provider in the country in which you are traveling and you have a cell phone that is designed to work in international locations, you can use Mobile Banking the same way you would at home.

  • Most phones that work internationally are advertised as “global” phones that feature a multi-band capability (tri-band or better) provisioned to work with Global System for Mobile (GSM) (communications or other networks at home and abroad.
  • GSM in the U.S. and abroad operate on different bandwidths, which is why the phone must be equipped to operate on three “bandwidths.”
  • In addition to using a GSM-capable phone, you will need to have a roaming agreement with an international telephone service provider.
  • Information about you and your user account is kept on a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card -- a removable computer chip inside your phone (usually underneath the battery) -- that keeps track of your phone number and the services covered by your existing carrier contract.
  • If your carrier has an international roaming agreement, your existing SIM card will allow you to place calls internationally, send text messages, or download data. Those charges will then be added to your regular wireless phone bill. Note: Your providers’ partner must support Application to Person (A2P) text messaging in order for your Mobile Banking to work via SMS like normal.
  • If you prefer to use an international carrier, you can sign up for their service and use the SIM card that they will provide. Note: You will not be able to send text messages to the bank, nor receive text message alerts, but Mobile Web and Mobile App access should still work if your SIM card comes with a data plan.

Reminder: If you plan to use your UMB debit cards in other countries outside the US, you should first contact UMB service center, or the transactions may be rejected.

Considerations: If you’re traveling abroad and plan to use your mobile phone to download e-mails, understand that international roaming fees charged by wireless firms can be expensive and difficult to predict.

Your cell phone provider may charge you for out-of-state or out-of-country usage. This could include:

  • International data roaming, which occurs when you use your mobile phone outside of the country where your service provider operates.
  • International text messaging, if supported by the provider you are connected to while away, will work the same as when you are at home in most cases. There is usually a premium fee to send and receive text messages abroad. For Mobile Banking, A2P must be supported as discussed above.

 How much will it cost to use my mobile phone?
Using your cell phone while traveling internationally (if it is capable of international service and appropriately provisioned) can be very handy but relatively expensive. For example:

  • Roaming charges for voice calls have rates running approximately $1 to $3 per minute
  • Sending and receiving text messages can be between $0.25 and $1.25 per message
  • Data plans can vary greatly. Some of the least expensive monthly plans charge $130 for 200MB of data and others can run in excess of $25 for 20MB or approximately $250 for 200MB.

Charges will depend on your carrier and which type of plan you have. Text Message is typically the most economical way to communicate.

This information is readily available from your wireless provider’s customer service department. Call and ask if your phone can make and receive calls and texts in a foreign country, which services are offered abroad, and how much you can expect to pay.

Tip: Text Message / SMS usually carries a per-message fee regardless of the message size. To estimate bandwidth usage for Mobile Web and Mobile App you will need to estimate the average page size.

Recommendations for iPhone® users:

  • Turn Data Roaming “OFF”. Download and install the latest version of iPhone software from iTunes®. By default, the setting for International Data Roaming will be in the “OFF” position. To turn DataRoaming on or off, select Settings>General>Network>Data Roaming.
  • Utilize Wi-Fi instead of 4G/3G/GPRS/EDGE. Wi-Fi is available in many international airports, hotels, and restaurants to browse the Web or check e-mail. You can even use voice over IP services (such as Skype) to make phone calls.
  • Turn Fetch New Data “OFF”. Check e-mail and sync contacts and calendars manually instead of having the data pushed to your iPhone automatically. By doing this, you can control the flow of data coming to your iPhone. To turn off the Auto-Check functionality select Settings>Fetch New Data, change Push to “OFF” and Select to Fetch Manually.
  • Consider purchasing an international data package. Purchasing an international data package can significantly reduce the cost of using data abroad. Many wireless providers offer discounts on international data packages.
  • Reset the Usage Tracker to zero. When you arrive overseas, access the Usage Tracker in the General Settings menu and select Reset Statistics. This will enable you to track your estimated data usage. To reset Usage Tracker to zero select Settings>General>Usage>Reset.

What about BlackBerries or other phones running Windows Mobile?

  • Windows Mobile users should be careful when downloading e-mail or receiving pushed e-mail. These phones allow users to turn off the push e-mail function, which is recommended.
  • Android users can expect an experience similar to that of Windows users, since the Web Launcher accesses via the device’s default browser. No Smartphone alerts can be pushed to an Android phone.
  • BlackBerry users don’t have to worry as much, because Research In Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry, has developed a very efficient way of delivering e-mail to end users that doesn’t use a lot of bandwidth.
  • Streaming video on these devices could incur some large data charges, so be careful.

What to know before you go

  • Determine if your wireless device will operate in the country you are visiting.
  • Tip: To ensure the broadest coverage, a quad-band (850/900/1800/1900) device is recommended. To roam in Japan or South Korea, a 3G device that operates at 2100 MHz is required.
  • Call your provider’s customer service number or visit a retail store to verify international roaming service is activated (or you may request it be blocked) for your phone.
    Tip: Tell them where you are traveling and ask about plans they may offer to reduce call or text rates. A data package is highly recommended, especially for iPhone or other SmartPhone customers.
  • Verify rates for the countries you will visit.
    Tip: Ask about the long distance rates, roaming charges, and data rates for downloading data and for sending and receiving text messages.
  • Learn how to call home when traveling abroad.
    Tip: For example, most 1-800 numbers do not work from outside the U.S., so know the local number and area code that you need to dial.