The online banking evolution began in the early 1980’s, and according to Mary J. Cronin, currently, it is still evolving. However, in the era of modern technology and its advancement, banking is becoming more convenient and efficient. Notably, the millennials are using online banking, and the host of users grows each year.
How does online banking work? Online banking is referred to as carrying out banking operations over the internet through a bank’s secure website. Some services included are the transferring of funds, paying bills, paying credit
cards and monitoring your accounts. Evidently, online banking’s biggest pro is the convenience. You get equally accurate service from it as you do from your local bank branch.
Let’s explore the Pros and Cons of online banking.
CONVENIENCE: Your transactions are posted and processed from anywhere, at any time around the world with internet access from your laptop, tablet, PC or smartphone. Therefore, this saves an extra trip to the bank or waiting in line at the ATM. Some banks advanced to having mobile banking apps developed for a more favorable experience.
REMOTE ACCOUNT MONITORING:Want to check your account balance without making a trip to the ATM or calling the bank? Just log in and monitor your account(s) from your current location.
BILL PAYMENTS: Instead of having to go to the various utility companies each month, set up your bill payments through your online banking account.
TRANSFER OF FUNDS: Heard of online “transfers” or “e-transfers”? E-transfers are electronic transfers of monies directly from your account to another person’s account. Hence, payments such as rent, paying suppliers/business associates are being made easier with e-transfers.
USER-FRIENDLY: The website interface for online banking is user-friendly since most transactions are being conducted online. Therefore, the aesthetics and the availability of options to process transactions make it easy to understand and navigate.
While there are numerous benefits, online banking also has its downfalls. Let’s see what some of these downfalls include.
LIMITED HUMAN INTERACTION: If you have an issue with your online banking account, human interaction for assistance is limited. It’s also more difficult to develop a strong relationship with banking personnel when banking online.
DEPOSITS: If you deal with a lot of cash in your line of business, you still need to make trips to the bank since cash deposits to your account can’t be made online.
SECURITY: Your financial information is very private and banks are popular for becoming victims of hacking accounts and identity theft. Ensuring that your bank has efficient and effective security to your online banking account is a MUST.
As banking experts, we developed some tips for safe and effective online banking:
BE CAUTIOUS OF YOUR EMAILS: Some links embedded in your emails are viral. Don’t open up attachments unless you must and you are familiar with the sender. Always remember that a legitimate bank NEVER randomly requests your password, PIN # or any other credentials as such.
TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION (2FA): Banks usually provide an extra medium of security for online bankers. This enables you to input a code in addition to your username and password. The code is linked to your cell # or email address. A notification with the newly generated code is sent for you to enter with your username and password each time you sign in to your online banking account. This is as secure as you make it; hence, keep passwords on your mobile phone and ensure to sign out of your email. Security tokens are also offered to log in to your online banking account. This generates a password to be entered upon sign-in and is only seen on the token itself. It is an extra form of security and a very convenient one as well!
UPDATE YOUR SOFTWARE: Always keep your software up to date and enable automatic updates whenever and wherever you can. Invest in reliable anti-virus software; a reliable product will detect these threats and notify you of potential threats.
DON’T ENTER SENSITIVE INFORMATION ON PUBLIC WI-FI: Public Wi-Fi became super convenient over the years but is not as secured and encrypted like a privately connected network is. Since hacking is also an increased activity, entering sensitive information, especially banking information and financials, is strongly discouraged. Use the public Wi-Fi to browse, listen to music etc. Wait to get home or to somewhere with a private network to complete your banking transactions.
CHOOSE A STRONG PASSWORD: Develop a strong password for your online banking account. Try not to use something linked to your birthday, address or name. Choose a random password that you can remember or record somewhere safe.
SECURE YOUR DEVICES: Mobile devices are always more susceptible to easy access or theft. Lock your devices with strong passwords, PINs, fingerprints or face recognition. Change your password every 3-6 months in case someone has seen you enter your password or seen how you lock and unlock your devices.