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Banking Online

For anyone under the age of 25, it’s probably hard to imagine how the rest of us got by without the web, since it’s become such an important part of our everyday lives. One of the biggest areas that has seen a massive change as a result of the internet, is the way we manage our finances. The use of online services for financial transactions has made everything from shopping to paying utility bills easier and more convenient, but what exactly are the main benefits of online banking?

Information Access 

Online BankingOnce you have taken the simple steps to set up online banking for your account, it means that you have access to all the information you need about your own personal dealings, without having to ask anyone else for information.

It can be quite empowering to be able to see exactly what is going on with your account, without the expense in time and gas of having to make the trip to a local branch to physically use one of the machines there, or queue up for the counter staff.

Control your finances

Being able to see exactly what is happening with your money means that you are in control of your finances at all times. With the abundance of mobile internet devices today, whether that means a laptop, smartphone or tablet, you can take full advantage of the benefits wherever you are and whatever time of the day. Plus in addition to just monitoring your account balances you can transfer funds between accounts, pay bills now or schedule payment on a specific date from anywhere with internet access.

Online Funds Transfer

Initially, funds transfer was only available within an individual financial institution but with new security protocols that allow you to verify your identity, it is possible to transfer funds online from one institution to another. So if you want to transfer money from your brokerage account to your savings account you can do that with a few clicks. The initial setup proceedure is simple as well. You simply enter the account information into the linking section often it is located in the transfer funds section. Once you have entered the information the sending institution will make two transfers to the linked account deposting and then withdrawing two small amounts perhaps $0.13 and $0.57 once they are recorded into your linked account you simply check your balance for these transfers and tell the sending institution the amounts. In this way they can verify that you actually do control the other account. And that is all there is to it.

Security

Although from time to time there may be media scare stories about hacking and security breaches, using your bank account online is an extremely safe way to look after your personal finances. Banks themselves have developed intricate ways of protecting your online accounts, with multiple login systems being a prime example. Often they use an obscured graphic image that you have to translate so they can verify that you are human and not a bot in combination with a username and password. It is important that you use a password that is long enough and complex enough to prevent someone form guessing. Passwords should not be a word found in a dictionary since any hacker could simply try all the words in the dictionary. It should also be at least 8 characters long and have at least 1 and preferably 2 “special” characters. These are the ones from the top row of the keyboard. An easy way to create a password that you can remember but is also complex is to choose a word and then substitute special characters like this cl@$$yp@$$word. @ can be used for “a”, ! for i or l, $ for s, etc. You should also include a couple of numbers so 8 can be used for B,  7 for L, 3 for E, 4 for h, 6 for b, Zero for o etc.

Consumers should still approach internet banking with the same care they would conduct any other financial matter, but can do so with the assurance that their bank is doing everything it can to keep their money safe.

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net