It’s predicted that there will be at least 3.6 billion online bank users by 2024. The increase coincides with the rise of smartphone apps as a new generation expects to virtually manage their finances.
The switch to online banking is inevitable, therefore, you should start making the transition now.
Start with this guide to all the benefits and features that go along with using an online bank account.
What is Online Banking?
Going to a bank to deposit checks, make money transfers, and adjust account information is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Taking its place is a virtual bank.
Instead of a bank teller, you have a platform to complete almost anything that you could do at a branch. This platform displays all of your information such as your balance, transaction history, and personal information. So, you will never have to call the bank, balance your checkbook, or visit a physical bank to see your account information.
How to Use an Online Bank Account
All you need to do is to register with your bank’s website or mobile application to gain access to your account. You will need your bank account number to get started. Then create a username and password.
Once you log into your account, you can change personal data like your phone number and email address. Some items will require approval from the bank. For example, some banks require you to call or visit the branch to change your address or pin code.
You will also have access to several online features including:
- Digital Check Deposits
- Loan Applications
- Check Ordering
- Money Transfers
- Statements History
- Bill Pay
- Credit Score Tracker
- Fraud and Lost Card Reporting
You can also contact the bank through a secure messaging pathway when logged into your account.
Benefits of Online Banking
Online banking benefits make life easier because you have control over your banking abilities. Here are a few things to consider when choosing to go virtual with your banking activities.
No Need to Travel
One of the best benefits of banking is that you can do it from anywhere. You won’t have to drive to a branch, find parking, and wait in line to get service. The online banking service is with you on your computer or phone even when you are on vacation.
With a virtual account, you have access to banking at all hours of the day. No more waiting until the bank opens or hoping that tomorrow isn’t a holiday.
The online bank never closes, so you can monitor and make changes to your account whenever you’d like.
Simple Bill Payments
Paying bills usually means that you have to go to individual websites to access your statement. Then you need to pay your bill by using your debit card or connecting your bank account.
With mobile payments online, you can set up automatic transactions by linking your bank account to each third-party account. This means that you no longer have to log in to another website to pay your bills. Plus, you won’t have to remember due dates or worry about missing a payment.
Online Money Transfers
Moving money from one account to another used to mean going to the bank and filling out forms to give to the teller. Using your online account, link other internal and sometimes external bank accounts to your primary one. Then you can move money from one place to another right from your home.
In some cases, the transfers are instant if you link your debit card to other banks.
Transactions Tracking and Fund Monitoring
You can also see pending transactions or check to see if a transaction was completed. Virtually balance your checking account or monitor your savings by viewing your balance in real time.
If you are out of the house and are unsure of your balance, then you can double-check your account. You will avoid overdrafts when you can check balances on the go.
Mobile Apps for Cardless Payments
Your account isn’t the only thing going digital. You can now get a virtual card to pay using your phone.
There are a few ways to pay with your online card.
- Use an app to scan QR codes.
- Link your card to a payment gateway like PayPal or Google Pay.
- Type in your card number that is stored in your bank profile.
A digital card makes online banking even easier, especially when you forget your card at home. Get a separate card not linked to your bank account for virtual payment as well. For example, at getbankcard.com, you can get a card approved for your business using a merchant account.
How to Make Safe Digital Bank Transactions
Now that you know the benefits and features of online banking you should know how to protect yourself.
Using an online bank means that you need to keep it secure. Like all private accounts, use a strong password and change it often. Never give this password to anyone even if someone claims to be your bank.
You also need to be aware of how you use your virtual account online. Avoid using your card on unsecured websites and know what kind of website you are linking to your bank account. ‘
Finding an Online Bank
There are different types of online banking options. You could use your current bank and ask them about online banking possibilities. Or, sign up for a completely virtual bank.
No matter what option you choose, take a look at the features and security measures included with your account. Also, ask about any rewards or fees associated with signing up and maintaining your bank.
Next, check out our Money Saving section for tips on keeping a budget for your new bank account.