Exploring Online Banking

Online banking has been gaining popularity as consumers become more comfortable with performing transactions over the Internet. With direct deposit, online bill payment, and online money transfers, you no longer have to write a check or set foot into a branch ever again.

Online banking is a win-win situation for both the bank and their customers. The cost of labor and physical space is reduced, which results in substantial savings for the bank. Online banking also reduces the use and cost for paper, envelopes and postage, especially if the customer chooses to receive their statements online. Savings for the banks mean an increase to their bottom line.

There are also many advantages for consumers to bank online. The following are just a few:

– Save time you no longer have to go to a branch or ATM each time to withdraw funds.
– Save money you can expect to save on stamps, envelopes, checks and certain fees.
– Convenience you can access your account balances, statements, and other information any time and anywhere you have online access.
– Bill payment with a few key-strokes and clicks of the mouse, all bills can be paid within minutes. Payments can also be preloaded days, weeks, or even months prior to a due date.

You can also open an online savings account, which will earn more interest than savings accounts opened at a brick and mortar bank. Since online banks have little overhead, they can pass on those savings in the form of higher interest payments to their costumers. There are several online savings banks to choose from: INGDirect, HSBC Direct, or my favorite EmigrantDirect, to name a few. The interest rate for an EmigrantDirect account is currently 5.05% at the time of this writing, as opposed to less than 2% for most other traditional savings and money market accounts.

Security appears to be the number one reason consumers cite for not banking online. This fear may be unwarranted since encryption technology has made it virtually impossible to break into your account. It is also in the banking industries’ best interest to have you bank online, so most banks also offer 100 percent fraud protection.

With so many positives for banking online safely and securely, there is really no reason why you shouldn’t bank online. Moreover, higher interest rates, savings from banking online, convenience and efficiency all give reasonable pause to weigh the potential online banking has to offer.