A Guide To Banking Online
In the incredibly technologically advanced world that we live in today, it seems as though there is almost nothing that cannot be done on the computer. Free Internet banking is just one of the many options that we have available to us in this day and age, and it helps by making one of your regular chores that much easier.
What is Online Banking?
Basically, online banking gives you 24 hour access to your bank accounts. You are able to complete all of your personal banking transactions online for free, without having to leave the comfort of your own home saving you both time and effort.
Everything from performing transactions and paying bills can be done via the Internet from your PC, laptop or mobile device, and so not only does it make it more convenient for you in terms of not having to actually go to the bank, but you can also do your banking during whatever time is best for you, even if that means it is after regular banking hours.
Internet Banking Features
You are offered a bevy of different features with Internet banking, including: bank statements, electronic bill payment, funds transfer between a customer's own checking and savings accounts or to another customer's account, investment purchase or sale, loan applications and transactions, and account aggregation which allows you to be able to monitor all of your accounts in one place regardless of whether they are with your main bank or another institution.
Online banking is consistently becoming more and more popular, and it is no wonder, as the average person in today's world is busy as a bee, fraught with responsibility and has a variety of tasks that they have to fit into the day. Online banking is great because it allows people to do their personal banking online, once their day is finally over and they have a bit of spare time, and it makes the task easy and comfortable rather than just another part of an ordinary, already hectic day.
The only thing that you want to be sure of whenever you are using Online banking is that the site you are using - which for at least most of the time should be your banking institution's website - is safe and secured. This is because you do not want your personal information out there floating around for others to be able to see, because this is very unsafe.
Online Banking Security
Before entering personal information on a website, look for the lock icon in your browser. A closed lock or padlock indicates that the website you are on is secure. You can also speak to your particular banking institution about this and ask them what precautions they take to keep hackers and other malicious computer related problems from causing any harm to the customers using Internet banking on their site. You can read more about internet banking security obligations by following this link.
Paying Bills Online
Even though internet banking is extremely convenient you still have to pay attention when paying bills online. If you make a mistake and send the money to the wrong payee you may think you have paid your bill when in fact you have not!. You may not be aware of the error until you receive your next invoice which will show an outstanding balance plus any additional late fees. By this time you will have exceeded the banks 30 day complaint window. Your only recourse now is to deal with the company that received your payment in error. It may take a while to get a refund!
My advice, delete any companies that you no longer do business with from your list of payees and report any problems to your bank within 30 days to avoid any issues.
Fast, secure, free mobile banking service offered by banks which allow you to do your banking on the go from your smartphone or iPad. Available 24/7 anytime, anywhere. Download the app for free. A mobile app is like online banking in the palm of your hand. You no longer have to sit in front of your computer to do your online banking. Smartphones are becoming the go-to device for paying bills and checking account balances. Mobile banking allows access to your investment and bank accounts, you can retrieve account information, make payments, deposits, withdrawals, and transfers. It is portable, easy to use, and very fast. Added convenience, makes life more productive and efficient. Despite mobile banking's growing popularity, security issues remain a concern. Mobile data transmissions are safeguarded by secure systems to prevent unauthorized access.
As of 2015 it is estimated that 1 billion people around the world used a smartphone to do banking this year. This is expected to rise to 1.75 billion by 2019.
Internet Only Banks or Direct Banks
Internet only banks or direct banks are a good alternative to bricks and mortar banks as their low overhead allows them to offer higher interest rates and lower, or no banking fees which make them an attractive option. You still need to do your research though, to make sure you are dealing with a reputable company. Below are a few internet only banks that you might consider.
- Ally Bank
- Tangerine Forward Banking
- Connexus Credit Union
- Bank of Internet USA
- Flagstar Bank
- Capital One 360
- AmericaNet Bank
- FNBO Direct
Credit Unions are a viable alternative to regular banks. A credit union operates as a member owned financial cooperative offering competitive interest rates to its members. Most offer similar financial services as the regular banks and you can choose to bank online, in branch, or by telephone using your member card. Credit Unions are more community based and their objective is to serve their members rather than being driven by profits. Bank cards can be used at any credit union ATM across the country without additional charges.
Bank Transactional Channels
According to preliminary results of a 2014 survey, the majority of Canadian consumers prefer to use online banking for communicating with their bank although the trend towards mobile banking is on the rise as banks offer more mobile apps to handle more bank transactions.
- Online Banking 55%
- ATM Banking 18%
- Branch Banking 13%
- Mobile Banking 9%
- Telephone Banking 4%
Credit cards are a convenient way to pay for goods and services without having to have the cash in hand at the time of purchase. A third party such as Visa or MasterCard sets up a revolving account and grants the user a line of credit which the consumer promises to pay back at a future date. The credit card company reimburses the merchant for the goods, and charges the user interest on the balance of the money owing. This interest rate is usually anywhere from 17 to 21% and can add up very quickly. Those people who only pay off the minimum balance each month can find themselves in serious debt that, without a debt repayment plan, is very difficult to recover from.
Banks have made it easy for you to apply for a credit card online. Be sure to compare key factors such as interest rates, annual fees and minimum balance requirements. Other features they may offer as an incentive to choose their card could include low interest on balance transfers, cash back, rewards points, travel points and other benefits.
Mobile Credit Card Reader - Square
If you work for yourself or operate a small business you may be interested in the square reader. Don't lose a sale again because you can't accept credit cards.This device enables you to accept credit card payments on the go, print or email a receipt! The reader and smartphone app are free! You pay 2.75% per swipe. To find out more click on the following link Square Credit Card Reader
Online Payment Transactions Comparison
- Visa - 2000 transactions per second
- Pay Pal - 4 million transactions per day
- Bitcoins - 80,000 transactions per day
Online Investing Services
Many of the regular banks offer online investing services where you can plan, invest and manage your investments, buy and sell stocks, get professional investment advice and access to investment tools. Etrade is an online brokerage firm. E*Trade 360 gives you everything you need to manage your investments. Get real time information to track the markets and place trades.
Apply for a Mortgage Online
Are you in the market for a new house? For most people a mortgage is the biggest loan they will ever apply for. Banks are the traditional mortgage lender. You can shop around for the best interest rates or go through a mortgage broker who will do most of the legwork for you and negotiate the best deal. Other sources for mortgages are credit unions, pension funds, and various government agencies. You can submit an online mortgage application for preapproval at most financial institutions.
Apply for a Loan Online
Need cash? At various times in our lives we may need cash to purchase a car, pay for a wedding, make an RRSP contribution or to just tied us over until our next paycheck. A loan gives you access to cash now and lets you repay those funds over a period of time. In exchange for this service you will have to pay fees in the form of interest.
Beware of payday loan companies that charge exhorbitant interest rates on short term unsecured loans. This business is rampant with people who default on their loans so companies have to charge higher interest rates to recoup their losses. The good clients end up paying for the bad ones!
Check Your Credit Score
When you request a loan from a financial institution they access your credit rating to assess your credit worthiness. Your credit rating is like your financial report card. Equifax is the number one governing body that monitors your credit score. Equifax has operations in the United States and 18 other countries around the world. Don't be caught off guard, monitor your credit score, protect your identity, view your credit risk and get access to customer care products with Equifax.
Are digital currencies the future of money? The use of digital currency is gaining ground. You can buy and sell bitcoins through exchanges, brokers or individuals or use them like PayPal as payment for goods and services on a growing number of websites, online retailers, and retail stores that accept bitcoin payments.
You can send funds to friends and family in most countries around the world without incurring high fees and exchange rates. You can also speculate on bitcoin prices and trade bitcoins in the hope of making some extra money. Despite some high profile security breaches and fluctuations in value, bitcoins appear to be here to stay!
Latest Online Banking News
Some innovative banks are providing WiFi access to their customers to improve the customer experience, gain a competitive advantage, improve operational efficiency, harness detailed customer data, and improve their ability to cross sell or upsell a variety of products and services.
The mobile wallet trend, for example Apple Pay, will continue to gain in popularity as consumers become more confident using their mobile devices to make payments. Major players like Square, Google Wallet, Apple Pay, CurrentC, Visa, are competitors in this marketplace.
The Bank of Canada is keeping a close eye on the benefits and drawbacks of digital currency and its growing popularity as a form of payment for goods and services.
The Bank of Canada has not ruled out the possibility of issuing its own digital currency like bitcoin some time in the future but they are nowhere near this point today.
Cashless Purchases - Buyer Beware!
The move towards a cashless lifestyle may spell trouble for those consumers who lack self control. New technologies such as online shopping and tap payments at cash registers make it so easy to purchase goods and services that it becomes easy to blow the monthly budget and buy more than you need.
Retailers inundate your smart phone with email messages offering special deals that are hard to ignore. Consumers need to monitor their credit card spending habits and not get sucked in to spending more than you can afford.
Mobile payments are slowly making credit and debit cards obsolete. Apple Pay is the latest service offering. Only available on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus this will take some time to make in roads as a means of payment as retailers, including banks, will have to upgrade current point of sale systems to accept mobile payment options.
The use of mobile banking has increased 50 per cent from a year ago and nearly one third of US customers use mobile banking at least once a month.
Internet banking helps you save time, effort and money. Some banks are even offering cash back incentives to encourage customers to bank online.
FDIC insurance limits will remain at $250,000 per depositor at FDIC insured banking institutions.
Fun Bank Trivia
Why do banks charge a fee on 'insufficient funds' when they know there is not enough?
If money doesn't grow on trees, why do banks have branches?
Why did the man put his money in the freezer? Because he wanted cold hard cash!
Bankers never die... They just lose interest.
If bankers can count, how come they have eight windows and only two tellers?
A man visits his bank manager and says, "How do I start a small business?" The manager replies, "Start a large one and wait six months."
If you allow people to make more withdrawals than deposits in your life, you will soon be in the negative. Know when to close the account.