Exploring Online Banking

Online banking is a convenient channel, through which to carry out many of your standard banking transactions.

When online banking first appeared, it led to a flurry of internet-only banks. In the UK, these included Egg, Cahoot, and Smile. Some industry observers proclaimed that online banking would be the death of bank branches.

Now, several years on, we can see that such claims were fairly wide of the mark. Rather than replacing branch-based banking, we’ve seen the Internet channel used as a supplementary channel. There are times (and transaction types) that we find most convenient to do online but, equally, there are others that we prefer a face-to-face engagement for.

So whilst the Internet-only banks have secured a niche place in the market, the majority of people using Internet banking are doing so with standard high street banks.

One of online banking’s big strengths is its convenience given that it’s available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.

To use it, you will need to register and then you will have to enter some security credentials in order to access the service. There have been scare stories about internet banking, but generally as long as you don’t give away your logon details then it’s a safe way to bank. Beware e-mails that ask you to provide your security information. They are most likely scam e-mails, sometimes referred to as Phishing attacks. Internet banking sites are protected by 365-bit encryption, so the only way that fraudsters can get access to your money is if they can fool you into giving them your logon details.

Some of the functionality that is typically available via online banking includes:

– ability to view balances.
– ability to transfer funds between accounts
– ability to pay bills to third parties
– ability to set up direct debits and standing orders
– ability to notify your bank of a change of address, e-mail address, etc
– ability to initiate applications for new accounts, or to apply for an increased overdraft
– ability to send a secure e-mail to your bank

I’m a regular user of Internet banking, and find it extremely useful, particularly when it comes to transferring funds across from my current account to my savings accounts. The next thing that I’m waiting avidly for, though, is Mobile Phone banking!