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Frankenbank, How to Prepare for the Frankenstorm.

 Rising water from the Hudson River during super storm Sandy

 Rising water from the Hudson River during super storm Sandy. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)


Mobile Banking During a Hurricane

One of the news stories that’s been largely overlooked in connection with Hurricane Sandy is the role played by mobile banking software in the lead-up and aftermath of the storm.  To some extent, this is wholly understandable.  With the high-water mark reaching close to 14’ in some areas of lower Manhattan and subway stations flooded with corrosive saltwater, there’s been more than enough for news stations to keep busy reporting on.

Not so with the Refundo blog, however! As your source of tax refund info and all things banking, it’s our duty to give you the scoop on the personal finance side of the story.  So while we sincerely hope that you and your loved ones are all safe and dry, and that power has been restored, we’ll let you in on some interesting tidbits that distinguish the public response to Hurricane Sandy from all previous storms.  These may not be matters of life and death, but they might just come in handy nonetheless.

You may think you’ve heard all the storm preparedness checklists by now (you know, food, flashlight, fresh water, even candles), but odds are you’ve never heard this essential safety item before:

…mobile banking?!?

Well, that’s according to some of the pre-storm advice that Yahoo! Finance provided to readers who were gearing up for Frankenstorm.  One of their six “Tips to Prepare Mobile Devices for Hurricane Sandy Now” was the following:

Use mobile banking apps. Many banks have developed mobile banking apps for smartphones and tablets that allow people to move money, pay bills and deposit checks from their phones. Having ready access to your funds can save a lot of headaches in the storm’s aftermath.

Now, before you go thinking this is some sort of scam to get you to switch over to mobile banking, consider a few scenarios.  Let’s say that you and your family have successfully weathered the storm and have built up the courage to venture outside.  The thunder and high winds died down several hours ago, so you figure you’re in the clear.  Now you’d like to survey the damage to the neighborhood and stock up on some much-needed provisions.

Here’s the kicker: while a few of the local marketplaces have managed to reopen and are selling their goods, your local bank isn’t in such great shape.  It’s (literally) underwater, and it looks like it might be out of commission.  How will you get the money to pay for supplies, let alone those bills due at the end of the month?

This is where mobile banking is a lifesaver! Well, maybe not a lifesaver, but a major money-saver all the same.  Even if you’d have to raft to get to your neighborhood bank, you can use mobile banking to send checks, pay for groceries, and beyond.  If you weren’t able to get that mobile banking app in time for Hurricane Sandy, there’s still good news.  Out of the kindness of their hearts, most of the major banks decided to “waive late-payment and ATM fees for customers who were affected.”  As reported at The Huffington Post, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Capital One, and PNC Bank have announced that they will grant some leeway to customers in the hardest-hit zones.

Next time you might not be so lucky, however.  You have to ask yourself: “Do I really want to rely on the good graces of the nation’s biggest banks when times are tough?” If you hesitate even a second in answering that question, mobile banking might be the way to go for you.

How do you manage your money during and after a Frankenstorm? It’s simple: Frankenbank.  Your bank may be six feet under (or underwater), but that doesn’t mean your money has to be.  With Refundo mobile banking on your smartphone, you’ll find that your banking account is…it…it…IT’S ALIVE!!!

Topics: frankenstorm, hurricane sandy, banking, refundo mobile app


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