The global pandemic has wroth countless changes and disruptions across all sectors since it spread across the world in 2020. One of those sectors is the banking industry.
Online banking is certainly not new on the block. It’s been around for quite some time now. Even before the pandemic, millions of people accessed and managed their accounts with the use of their computers and smartphones.
According to a 2019 American Bankers Association survey, about 73% of Americans access their bank accounts and carry out transactions using online and mobile banking.
As you can imagine, the pandemic has served to turn things up a notch. Traditional brick-and-mortar banking is not a thing of the past just yet, of course. But online banking is on a steady climb.
No frustrating long lines or grumpy customer service agents. No customers borrowing and then not returning your pens. What’s not to like?
What is Online Banking?
Online banking is a system that lets users carry out a range of financial transactions and account management over the internet. It allows users to make use of their computers, mobile phones, and tablets to access their bank accounts and conduct a variety of tasks. Online banking can also be called internet banking.
Bank customers can make use of online banking as long as they have an internet-enabled device, such as a smartphone or a computer. The tasks that can be carried out via online banking include:
- Checking account balances
- Reviewing records of previous transactions
- Transferring funds to other accounts
- Paying bills
- Accessing and downloading bank account statements
- Unfettered 24/7 access to your account
- Basic account maintenance
The Benefits of Online Banking
Online banking lets you carry out a variety of banking tasks on your computer or mobile device. And you get to do all of these from the comfort of your home or office.
Do you need to pay your cable, internet, or phone bill? Or do you need a printout of your bank account statement to clear something up? Maybe you want to transfer some money to your kid who is away at college.
Some years ago, you may have needed to make your way over to your bank to carry out these transactions. That has since stopped being necessary. These days, you can do those and several other transactions without having to take a step away from your couch.
You can even deposit checks from home with some banks’ online platforms. You use the camera on your mobile phone to take photos of the front and back of the check. Then you select the account to receive the check, and it is deposited.
Online banking is incredibly convenient. All you need is a computer, mobile phone, or tablet and internet connection, and you are set. It definitely beats the stress that can come with a brick-and-mortar bank visit.
2. Payment of Bills Online
Checks get lost in the mail all the time. But when you pay your bills online, you don’t have to worry about that ever happening anymore.
You can fill in a form to set up payees or beneficiaries. You will be asked the account number and billing address. And then you will be asked to authorize your bank to make those payments.
Once this is done, making payments to those accounts is a piece of cake. Anytime you need to pay a bill to a payee, you simply choose the account from the list of payees that you have set up and make the payment.
Online bill payment is offered by most banks. It saves you time, helping you to manage all of the companies that you regularly pay bills to in one place. This means that you do not have to visit each company’s website to make those payments. Your bank’s mobile app or website handles everything.
3. Transfer Money to Other Accounts
Say you quickly need to transfer some money to your mom to help her sort out an emergency. Heading over to the bank to facilitate the payment may be a bother.
Even using an automated phone service, which is admittedly more comfortable than physically going to the bank, is not as convenient as logging on to your bank’s website or mobile app.
Online banking lets you make these transfers instantly. If you have multiple accounts, you can move your money around to your preference. Usually, the transfers are received by the other account after only a short delay, especially if it is an account with the same bank as yours. So your mom does not have to wait the whole day while you go to the bank to deal with a line of people.
Most US banks partner with Zelle, an online payments platform, and have it on their mobile apps. With this service, the money you send can be in your recipient’s account in only a number of minutes. All you need is an email address or a mobile phone number.
4. Around-the-clock Access to Your Account
Online banking grants you unhindered access to your bank account 24/7/365. This means that you can wake up at midnight, log into your bank app or web page, and have the status of your account at your disposal.
You can review and analyze your account history, with all of your recent transactions readily available to you. This can come in handy in many different situations. Transactions that are weeks or even months old can easily be viewed.
This level of accessibility does not come with any other form of banking. Bank branches have opening and closing hours, and you cannot simply walk in at any time at your convenience. Many banks have 24/7 phone support, but even these do not compare to online banking. You may have a long line of callers to wait for, for example.
Unfettered access to your account allows you to carry out tasks and transactions at any time at all in the day. That is, as long as your bank app or website is not undergoing downtime or maintenance.
5. Increased Security
Banks regularly shore up the security on their online banking platforms using technological innovations to make sure that your account stays secure. The internet can be a nasty place, and there are a lot of bad actors who are out to hack your account or steal sensitive information.
While you only needed a username and password to log into some websites and bank apps years ago, it is a different thing entirely these days.
You still need a username and password to access your bank account, but there are many more security features that are used alongside them. Not all banks provide the same level of protection, of course. But it is important to learn about the features that are on offer and make use of them to secure your money.
Some of the security features provided for online banking include two-factor authentication, biometric authentication, and extra layers of pins or passwords.
If you use some banks, like Bank of America or Wells Fargo, you can turn off a missing or stolen debit or credit card attached to the bank online. This is a very convenient feature that can help fight the fear of losing your money or falling into credit card debt.
Q: What is online banking?
Online banking, or internet banking, is a system that allows users to use a personal computer or mobile device with an internet connection to carry out banking tasks over the internet.
Q: What can I do with online banking?
With online banking, you can send money to other accounts, pay bills, and access your bank account records online. You can also carry out some maintenance on your account and sync with a host of budgeting and saving tools.
All of these can be carried out without you physically stepping into a bank branch.
Q: When can I use online banking services?
Online banking services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That means that at any time in the day, you can log in to your bank account to manage or conduct financial transactions.
Whether you need to pay bills, make transfers, or view your previous transactions, online banking comes with several benefits and makes things very convenient. It allows you to carry out several banking transactions and tasks from the comfort, and safety, of your own home, office, or school.
It comes with 24/7 access too. As long as your bank is not carrying out any maintenance, you get unhindered access to your bank account any time you want.
For money tips, financial advice, and guides, check out the Walletorama blog. We’ve got you covered.