What are the Advantages of Internet Banks and Online Banking?

Internet banking provides the convenience and ease of modern banking that most customers want. Nowadays, most major banks provide online banking accounts, although there are also some internet-only banks who provide all of their services online. Some of these banks provide a range of online bank accounts to suit different needs, while others specialise in one particular area, for example, savings accounts.

Online Banking Security

When it comes to managing and safeguarding one’s finances on the internet, online baking security is of paramount importance. Most high street and internet-based banks have plausible security measures in place to protect internet banking users from possible online crime and ensure that their money is safe. These include:

  • Automatic log out – if, whilst banking online, a customer inadvertently forget to log out of their account, the respective bank will automatically log him off after a short period of inactivity.
  • Secure log in process – the process for logging into internet bank accounts, although different for each bank, generally requires a customer ID and a valid password in order to log in.
  • Bank card readers- Most banks have also introduced the to use of card reader, in which online banking users would need to insert their bank card and use their PIN number to generate a unique login code. This code will then be used to access their accounts.
  • Disabling user accounts – as a security feature, after several failed attempts to log in to internet banking, most banks will automatically disable a user’s account until he or she can be verified again.

Instant and Convenient Banking System

Banking on the internet does not only allow account holders easy and fast access to their monies but it also allows them to do so at their convenience. Unlike traditional banking, which is limited to the bank’s hours of operation, online banking facilities are available any time of the day or night. This means that those who find it difficult to visit the bank within its hours of operation will have the ease and convenience of conducting a range of activities from home, including:

  • Paying bills online
  • Setting up standing orders
  • Managing accounts
  • Viewing and printing bank statements
  • Transferring money between accounts

Transferring money from one bank account to another no longer requires a long trip to the bank. Internet banking users can transfer money in a matter of minutes. Those in certain regions can also enjoy the benefit of receiving payment and money transfers a lot quicker. In the UK, for example, most major banks are part of a payments clearing scheme called Faster Payments. This scheme enables participating banks to process electronic payments in a matter of hours, typically two hours, after the transaction has been made.

Self-Service Banking Online

One of the greatest advantages of internet banking to users is the ability to manage online bank accounts when it suits them. Internet banking also proves very practical to those who travel frequently, with many banks offering international online banking facilities. Another benefit of banking on the web is the ability to check on the progress of transactions. For example, users who make a cash or cheque deposit at their bank’s self-service kiosk can go home and check that the transaction has been noted by the bank and is showing in the account.

Online Banking: Easily Pay Bills, Manage Savings and More with Online Bank Accounts

Customer satisfaction with online banking software is on the rise. The Foresee Results/Forbes.com Online Financial Services Study utilizes the methodology of the American Customer Satisfaction Index to study the level of customer satisfaction with the quality of financial goods and services in the United States.

Foresee Results and Forbes.com found that customer satisfaction with the online banking industry has reached an all-time high, at 83 out of 100 points on the ACSI scale. To put this number in perspective, 80 points is considered the threshold for excellence. The study notes a consistently upward trend in online banking customer satisfaction over the last seven years and five consecutive study periods.

Online Banking – Internet Bill Payments, Savings Management and More

Online banking software allows bank account holders to perform a number of important banking transactions from their home or office computer, including:

  • Finding information on new products or services.
  • Opening new bank accounts, applying for loans, or purchasing investment products online.
  • Paying bills online.
  • Setting up automatic savings programs.
  • Viewing current account, loan and mortgage balances, transactions and statements.
  • Transferring money to internal or external accounts.

Types of Online Bank Accounts

Online banking software can accommodate most of the services offered by traditional banks. Customers can open and operate a checking account, savings account, investments, mortgages, loans and more, often from one banking interface.

Banking customers can choose to deal with a large or small bank, or a credit union online. Most traditional banks now offer online banking and several companies, such as ING Direct and NetBank, operate exclusively online.

Choosing the Best Online Bank

Customers may choose to use the online banking services of the bank already holding their accounts, or find an online bank to suit their individual needs. Three important factors to consider when choosing the best online bank are:

  • Online banking software functionality: choose an online bank that provides all of the necessary operations and functions, such as bill payments, statement viewing, personal information updating, etc.
  • Online bank account security (see below).
  • Interest rates on deposits and borrowing.

How to Ensure Secure Online Banking

In Canada, choose a bank and savings products that are registered with the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). In the United States, select an online bank with coverage from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). These entities protect consumer deposits in the event a bank fails.

While banks have measures in place to protect the integrity and security of their online banking software, account holders are responsible for creating secure passwords, logging out after banking sessions, and protecting their banking information at home and online.