Online banking is a trend that has emerged recently. Learn more about the pros and cons of this easy service.
Have you ever found yourself rushing to pay your bills on the weekend because you were too busy during the week? What if you urgently need to send money to a sick relative late at night? There is a relatively new financial service that can come to your rescue called 'online banking'. Read on to learn more about it.
What is Online Banking?
Online banking is a service provided by a bank to customers, so that they can access their accounts over the Internet, through a secure website. The simplest thing one can do, using this service, is to view the status of their accounts as well as any transactions that have been carried out. Besides checking your account details, an online banking service also allows you to transfer money between multiple accounts as well as carry out electronic transactions. Many banks even allow you to pay some of your bills online, for a small fee.
What are the Advantages of Online Banking?
Convenience: Online banking saves you the hassle of having to wait in a queue. You can access your account and make transactions whenever you like. This way, you do not have to wait until you get some free time off work, or spend your weekend writing checks and queuing up at the bank to deposit them. It also saves time. Just sit down in front of your computer and open up a webpage with your account details on it. In a span of a few minutes, you can check your account details and carry out a transaction. There is no need to manually go through your chequebook. Moreover, you avoid the bother of requiring stamps and envelopes to mail cheques to different places.
Organisation: Online banking simplifies your job of having to shuffle through stacks of paper every month, trying to tally receipts with bank statements. Instead, you can just create a spreadsheet on your computer and enter your expenses and account balances on it. Using simple addition, the computer can automatically tally up both of them and check to see if they match.
Reduced paperwork: With online banking, you are able to avoid the headache of dealing with the papers that tend to accumulate using a regular banking service. Since you can check your account whenever you wish, there is no need for regular bank statements to be sent to you. If you pay bills or make purchases online, you will not have to sign any receipts.
Confidentiality: You can carry out all your transactions in the privacy of your own home. This means no one is likely to find out your account number or password unless you yourself give it to them. You also do not have to worry about losing your receipts or about dishonest storekeepers acquiring your credit or debit card details.
What are the Disadvantages of Online Banking?
Security Issues: An online banking system could be targeted by miscreants. Hackers are constantly looking for ways to exploit loopholes in bank websites as well as online stores. 'Phishing' is a term that is used for the scam in which an unauthorised person creates a replica of a website and tricks people into entering their account numbers and passwords. To avoid being tricked, you should always check the security certificate of the website you are using, before you give any details out. Online banking is often targeted by those who indulge in identity theft.
Lack of Documentation: When business is conducted online, everything is done through the computer screen and no receipts are given. After you make an online transaction, you should always print out a copy of the online confirmation of your payment. Ensure that details like the amount you paid, product description, terms of delivery, etc. are clearly legible on it. Also, write the date of the transaction if it is not mentioned.
System Failure: On a rare occasion, it is possible for an online system to suffer a failure and crash. If it is serious, all your data records could be lost. Prepare for any possible mishaps by regularly backing up your data on CDs and printing out hard copies of any transactions you carry out. Also, have a good anti-virus program installed on your home computer and update it regularly. This will prevent any loss of data at your end.
Online banking is the stepping stone to a future where convenience will be the name of the game. Open your mind to the possibilities of this wonderful service and do not hesitate to explore its benefits.