Online banking offers a number of benefits, whether you are banking with an entirely online bank, or whether you use the online banking options offered by your brick and mortar bank. Account access from almost anywhere is a big benefit, as is being able to check on your account.
Online banking provides convenience. After all, you are able to transfer money, pay bills and check your account anytime. If you have direct deposit for your paycheck, it is easy to automate your finances. You can set up your account to automatically shift money into savings, and you know that your money is deposited regularly. Additionally, you can schedule bill pay. No more worrying about whether or not your mailed check will arrive on time.
Another reason that online banking can be beneficial has to do with security. When you mail checks, it gives the unscrupulous a chance to pull your payment right out of the mailbox. Once that is done, a scammer has your bank account number and routing number. It’s fairly easy to use that information to access your account by making online purchases with the money coming right out of your bank account. Paying your bills online can be more secure. To improve the security of your online banking transactions, follow these steps:
- Make sure you are on a secure page. A “padlock” icon should appear in the address bar, or you should see “https” instead of “http”.
- Have a good password that doesn’t relate to your family or well-known dates. Your password should contain a mix of letters and numbers, as well as capital letters. If possible, include symbols like “@”, “#”, “$”, and “&”. Your password should be at least eight characters long.
- Log out of the web site when you are done.
- Empty the browser cache and close the browser window.
- Make sure you keep your Internet security software up to date.
While you will never be completely protected, you can improve your security by being smart about your online banking.
Keeping Tabs on Your Account
One of the best reasons for online banking is that you can keep tabs on your account. With online banking, you can check your balance, and look at items that have cleared. This means that you can catch mistakes quickly, and report them. If someone is making fraudulent purchases with your debit card number, you will catch that person much quicker if you can check your account online, rather than always waiting for the account statement to arrive. Being able to keep track of everything is important if you want to stay on top of your finances.
It can also be a reality check to see what you are spending money on, and to see how much you have left in your account to help you get through to your next pay day.
Better Yields and Rewards
Finally, online banking offers you access to better yields and rewards. You aren’t limited to geography when you bank online. You can search for the best yields on savings accounts, or find rewards checking accounts that offer great perks. Look online, and you can find banks with fewer fees and requirements.
There are a number of benefits to online banking, and they can help you improve your handle on your money situation, and help you get the most bang for your buck.