Online Banking Account

An online banking account has become the method of choice for those who have grown up from day one with the Internet, and those who work long hours and cannot leverage the time to travel what might be several miles out of the way to do their required banking. As one thinks about the possibilities, the friendly neighbor brick and mortar institution that we now know as a bank may go the way of the trading stamp redemption center in the decades to come. In its place will be strictly online banking and the advantages and disadvantages that opportunity will bring. But for now, most who use this type of financial service wouldn't trade it for all the "get in the car, fight traffic, hope the doors don't close before you get there" banking in the world. Here are some of the many features that an online banking account that is offered by the brick and mortar financial institutions can offer to its customers.

The first is direct deposit viewing which allows one's payroll check to be not only placed directly from the employer into the employee's account but then the employee can view that deposit on screen soon after it has been processed. The checking account provided online for the customer can then offer a myriad of options to handle that deposited money. For example, as the customer writes checks and sees the online banking account transactions on screen after processing, if he has any questions about the validity of the check, or has forgotten to whom it was paid, he may look at the actual check's image online. In many instances, these images, both for checks and deposits are available for up to sixteen months or more. In addition, online bank accounts offer a real time look at pending transactions, year to date interest if the account is interest bearing, messages from the bank regarding one's account and many other options.

Of course, one of the most attractive features of an online banking account is the ability to sit in the bathtub, eat bonbons and pay one's bills online. Well, maybe that's true in some cases, but for the customer who is snowed in and can't get out to get stamps, the ability is amazingly convenient. All regular payees that a person reimburses for services each month such as cell phone provider, utilities provider, credit card companies, mortgager, car loan provider and the list goes on, can be paid with a single mouse click. This ability to perform such a task provides an instant record that the bill has indeed been paid and that there is no question about whether the money has been received. Of course the Internet capability provides an instant running balance and shows the deduction from the cash reserve.

One of the problems over eight million people in the US face is the inability to be approved for a brick and mortar bank account. The reason is that eighty percent of all US banks belong to either ChexSystems or Telecheck, the bank abuse reporting agencies. Basically these companies are forwarded all reports of untended overdrafts and ATM and debit card abuses. As a result, those persons are frozen out of the ability to get bank services at thousands of banks. But the good news is that an online banking account from an Internet bank can immediately end that hassle. These Internet banks usually have no overdraft fees, no bounced checks, no minimum balance and no credit check. They also offer a debit card that works at most ATM machines as well as retail outlets. The cost of such a service varies from provider to provider, but poses a great opportunity for those needing an online banking account.

Not every Internet bank offers the same services, not every bank has the same interest rates and not every bank has the same level of service. A person considering an online banking account from an Internet bank should spend some time investigating the differences between banks and pick the ones that have the best reputation. Some websites have banking forums where other online customers post their kudos and complaints about the various Internet bank providers. Visit those forums and read carefully what others have to say. Knowing what God has to say is also important and reading His words from scripture help uncover His thoughts. "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly...but God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5: 6, 8)

Despite the speed with which the Internet moves, the Internet banks do have some major complaints of which one should be aware before using them. If a person is using brick and mortar online banking, if there is a problem with the online banking account, you can drive to eh location and talk to what will probably be a very friendly and helpful teller or other customer service representative. The Internet bank might not offer quite as friendly or prompt service, mainly because they know you aren't going to drive five hundred miles and confront them. And there have been times reports have been made about the speed, or lack thereof regarding check deposits and check clearing. Whatever is happening now with the banking industry, it appears that it is in a transition period and eventually the doggie treats for drive up canines and the friendly teller smiles will probably disappear for good in favor of the Internet bank. Not all change is progress.

Online Banking Services

Various online banking services are offered to consumers by competitive and progressive financial institutions. Whether for business or personal accounts, consumers enjoy the ease of accessing their financial information via the internet at any time of the day or night. Even on weekends and holidays, the account information is available to the bank's customers. This quick and easy access has made online banking a popular feature for consumers who are comfortable using the internet to handle various household and/or business matters. Other people prefer handling financial matters the old-fashioned way with checkbooks and monthly statements that come through the mail. Perhaps they aren't comfortable using the internet or fear that handling finances via the internet is risky. The fear of identity theft is certainly legitimate lots of people have discovered unauthorized charges on credit card statements and some people have been victims of even greater abuse by identity thieves. Yet financial institutions that offer online banking services put safeguards in place to protect customers from being victims. For example, many banks require a two-step log-in procedure. This may involve the customer entering the account number from an authorized computer which accesses a pre-selected image. If the image is correct, the customer enters her password and is then given access to her account. If the image is not correct, the individual should contact the bank immediately for further assistance. The authorized computer can be the customer's personal computer or an office computer that has been registered with the financial institution. When using a different computer, the customer may need to correctly answer a security question to access accounts.

Consumers who are comfortable using the internet to handle household and business transactions usually love the convenience of accessing accounts at any time. By using online banking services, consumers can take care of financial matters on their own time schedule instead of waiting for the arrival of the monthly statement. Instead of reconciling the checkbook once a month, consumers can reconcile it more frequently. This often helps individuals catch any mistakes that might have been made in the check register. For example, if a person forgets to record a check or a withdrawal, the balance will reflect a higher amount than is actually in the account. If this individual writes another check or makes another withdrawal for more than the actual available balance, then the individual may face all kinds of fees for bouncing a check. Frequent reconciliation can help keep these types of problems from happening. This is just one benefit of utilizing online banking services to frequently access checking and savings accounts. Monthly statements can still be accessed through the bank's internet site if the individual wants or needs that type of record. The statement can be printed and filed if the individual prefers to keep a hard copy of banking statements. But this isn't really necessary when past statements can be accessed anytime just by going to the bank's website. Being able to check both recent and past transactions can be of tremendous help when it comes to wise money management. As King Solomon wrote: "Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end" (Proverbs 19:20).

Another great advantage of online banking services is the ability to pay bills online instead of writing out a check and sending the payment through the mail. An internet bill payment feature can be set up to pay recurring obligations automatically. For example, debt obligations that are the same amount every month can be scheduled for automatic payment. This includes such items as monthly auto and life insurance premiums, car payments, and utility bills. Even those obligations that fluctuate from one time period to the next can be easily scheduled. Then the individual only needs to enter the correct amount and the date for that payment to be made. This takes only a minute or two, much less time than writing out a check, addressing an envelope, finding a stamp, and going to the post office. Mailing checks can be risky because some criminal rings steal mailed checks and change the information on them to access checking accounts. Even if that doesn't happen, delays can cause checks not to arrive on time and then the individual may be forced to pay late fees. Utilizing the bill-paying feature included in most online banking services can actually be safer, and is certainly more efficient, than the traditional way to pay bills.

Frequent reconciliation, accessing monthly statements, and convenient bill-paying are not the only advantages offered by financial institutions. Most online banking services also provide the ability for account-holders to transfer money between accounts. A person can easily transfer funds from savings to checking or vice versa depending on the financial needs and goals. People with home equity lines of credit may be able to transfer both withdrawals and repayments to the HELOC from an authorized savings or checking account. Other accounts may be linked. For example, parents may take advantage of a feature that allows them to transfer money to a teen's account, but that doesn't allow the teen access to the parents' accounts. Parents can transfer the teen's allowance and the teen can get cash with an ATM card or use a debit card to pay for expenses. This helps teach the teen how to handle money matters. Additional online banking services include the ease of applying for loans and making regular deposits into selected investments. Though the traditional ways may work for some people, many consumers enjoy the convenience and accessibility of online financial management.

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