Advantages of Internet Banking
Online banking or internet banking is a method in which banking transactions are done over the internet. Almost all transactions, except cash and checks deposits, cash withdrawals and placing of physical items into deposit boxes, are possible with internet banking. To do transactions online, what you require are having a saving, checking or credit card account with the bank, a computer and internet connection.
Although almost all banks in developed countries offer internet banking services, many people still avoid it and prefer to go to the bank to do their banking. One of the main reasons is because they don't trust the online banking security. They fear that their accounts might get hijacked and phished.
Another reason is because of the lack of knowledge, not knowing how to do online banking and are unaware of the advantages of internet banking. Other reasons include not having an internet access and also the resistance to change old habits and mindset. Some people are comfortable and feel safe with the old ways of doing things.
One of the advantages of internet banking is that you can do transactions from the comfort of your home or office. These transactions include transferring funds from your savings accounts to your checking accounts and vice versa, making credit card payments and paying bills. You can also transfer funds from your account at one bank to another bank account either yours or someone else's as long as you have the account numbers. In-house banking done online is usually free of charge. Transfer of funds to another bank may cost you a very minimum amount.
You can do the above mentioned transactions through the ATMs but it is faster and cheaper if you do it through the internet. You save gas because you don't have to drive to the bank and save time on commuting and waiting for your turn to make the transactions. It's not significant for some people, but you do save on postage if you make check payments and mail them. It's less stressful because you don't have to take time off from work or get caught up in the traffic crawl to do all the banking and bill payments.
You can make your transactions any time during the day or night and anywhere around the globe as long as there is an internet connection and you remember your username and password. You can pay your bills individually anytime or give instructions to make an auto debit from any of your accounts. You can view your transactions and bank statements and print them if you want to. This is especially convenient if you do online shopping.
Another one of the advantages of internet banking is that you can also apply for loans and to redeem your rewards points by printing the application forms, fill them and fax the forms to the bank. And the other advantages of internet banking when it comes to applying for loans is that you can go the websites of several banks and make comparisons. You can view all the other services the banks provide and see their promotions.
When you apply for internet banking services, you do it online by going to the website or go to the bank. If you apply through the bank, you will receive your username, a temporary password and given the instructions on how to log into your account. Once you have logged in for the first time, you have to follow the instructions to change your password, set your security questions and the answers just in case you forget your password the next time you log in. Most websites have a video instruction for you to follow through which makes it easier for you to register.
The banks have done their part to ensure that their services are secure. It is your responsibility to avoid your account from being phished. One important thing to remember is that banks don't send you email to ask for your personal details, username or password. They may send you email to inform you that your e-statement is ready and you can view it online without any link to the website. Or some banks may send you email to let you know of their latest promotions but that's about it.
You will normally be notified about any changes on the banking services, interruptions and updates via your message box when you log into your account. To ensure your internet banking security, never give your username and password to anybody. And don't leave them where other people can have access. When you want to log into your account, don't follow any links. Go to your browser and key in the website address. Most secure banks have "https" with the "s" in their URLs.
Now that you know the advantages of internet banking, you might wonder if there are any disadvantages of online banking. Nothing profound actually, now that the technology is more advance compared to when it was first introduced. It's more of an annoyance once in a while like when the system is down. And if you have forgotten your username or complex password, you would have to follow through certain steps instead of just sending an email to retrieve it.