Getting to Grips with Internet Banking: It’s Not So Bad!

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In this article Age-net looks at why you should consider using internet banking if you don’t already…

Online banking is a fantastic new tool which can save you time and hassle when it comes to managing your finances. It allows you to have access to your bank statements wherever you are so that you can know exactly how much is going into and coming out of your accounts at all times. It gives you much greater flexibility with making payments as you can send money to anyone, from anywhere and at any time. All you need is access to the internet and a device such as a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. All leading banks have apps which you can download onto your tablet and / or smartphone to have access to all of your accounts when you are on the move.Online banking eliminates the need for you to stand in line at the bank, waiting for ages in a queue just to ask a really simple question or to make a small payment. As cheques are now being phased out, more and more businesses are moving to online banking and it can be very inconvenient in everyday life to not have access to an internet banking system. You can use it to keep track of your current accounts, savings, mortgages, cash ISAs and credit cards. Log on quickly and easily to check your balance, make payments to other parties, set up e-mail or text alerts, get instant answers to any questions and update your personal details.

Is it safe?

Online banking is extremely safe. There will always have to be some people who spoil it for everyone else, and it would be naïve to say that internet fraud doesn’t exist, but rest-assured that your bank has plenty of measures in place to reduce the risk of accounts being hacked, and they will also guarantee to pay back any money fraudulently taken from you, as long as you haven’t left your passwords lying around for anyone and everyone to see.

It may look a bit strange when you first log on, but online banking systems often only ask you to enter certain characters of your password and pin code instead of entering the whole thing each time you sign in. This is an extra security measure to make sure that it really is you logging on to access your account. There are certain computer viruses and hacking techniques which can help identity fraudsters to access your passwords and hack your accounts by remembering the buttons that are pressed on your keyboard when you access certain sites. This way, the most commonly typed words which appear out of context could be picked out as passwords by people who know how. This is extremely unlikely to happen, but banks have installed a system whereby you only enter certain letters or numbers at a time to make their sites even safer when it comes to protecting your personal details.

This is not the only safety measure put in place to protect your savings. If you make a payment to a new person or company for the first time, you may find that your bank asks you to verify this payment using a card-reader. You will be sent this reader through the post and the instructions will be detailed carefully on your online banking each time you need to use it. You can also set up a system where your bank can e-mail you or text you every time a new payment is made from your account. This helps you to keep track of your payments and will also let you know if any payments are being made that you weren’t expecting.

Make sure to keep your passwords in a safe place, as there is nothing more annoying than not being able to access your account just because you can’t remember your pin. But make sure you don’t leave them lying around, though; your bank would not pay the money back if it was discovered that you had been negligent with your password information in some way.

Keeping your laptop or computer free of viruses will also help to prevent people from getting access to your personal details. Make sure you have anti-virus software installed and up-to-date and you are much less likely to be the victim of internet fraud.

It’s much quicker and easier

Gone are the days of having to wait up to a week for a cheque to clear, online banking makes the whole process much faster, and you could see funds transferred in a matter of seconds. The maximum you will have to wait in most circumstances is just two hours. This is so much easier and faster than traditional methods, and is well worth sticking with it to conquer your fears and get to grips with your online banking.

You have more protection

Most banks will make a promise to refund any money taken from your account by fraudsters. They will ensure that your funds are protected 24/7 by the very latest in security technology, without making life more difficult for you. They will also keep you updated with tips and advice to help you make the most of new features and to keep your accounts as secure as possible.

Make payments without leaving the house

With the help of online banking you will now be able to pay your council tax, car insurance, parking fines and almost every type of bill possible from the comfort of your own living room. It’s really easy to set up one-off payments and direct debits, and your online banking site will have all of the information necessary to coach you through every step should you need it.

Internet banking is designed to help make life easier, and once you get to grips with the technology, it really will. But there is no point stressing about it too much, if it’s not for you and it is only causing more hassle in your life, then it defeats the point in the first place. Go with the banking option which best suits you, but you should be aware of all of the possibilities which online banking has to offer.

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