Five Advantages of Online Banking

Online banking is becoming much more common. You can pay your bills online and access a record of your checking account transactions online. Online banking is a great feature, and most banks offer it. Online banking makes everything you do with your finances a bit easier. You can access the information anywhere that you have access to the Internet. It makes your financial life much easier to manage. You may decide to switch your accounts to an online only bank in the future. Some banks allow you to deposit checks by simply taking a picture of  Here are five advantages of online banking.

1
Pay Your Bills Online

One of the advantages of online banking is you can bank at home.
Robert Warren/Taxi/Getty Images

You can use online banking to pay your bills. This will eliminate the need for stamps and protect yourself from the check being lost in the mail. Most banks will have a section in which you set up payees. You will need to fill out the information once, and then you can simply choose that profile every time you pay a bill online.

If your bank will not pay bills online you may consider paying online through the company. Be careful since some of these companies may charge a convenience fee. Some places will charge a fee for a debit card, but not if you set up a direct debit.  Many banks even allow you to take photos of your checks to deposit them now. This means that you can handle all of your banking without ever going to the bank.

  • Pay bills online through your bank or directly through the website of your service provider.
  • Set up automatic bill payments for bills that do not change.
  • Watch out for convenience fees associated with online bill pay.

2
View Your Transactions

Online banking allows you to access your account history and transactions from anywhere. This is the quickest way to check and see if a transaction has cleared your account. This can help you to find out the amount of a transaction after you have lost your receipt. It also allows you to find out about unauthorized transactions more quickly. This can help you to resolve the issues more quickly.

Some banks will show you pending transactions. These are transactions that you made that day. If you spot something you did not authorize, you can contact your bank and the vendor in order to reverse the charges. The sooner you catch a problem like this, the more quickly you can resolve it. Pending transactions may not be for the exact amount of the purchase. For example, if you leave a tip this will not show on the pending transaction. Be sure to keep that in mind as you balance your account.

  • Check your cleared debits daily to balance your account.
  • Keep track of pending transactions.
  • Catch errors quickly for easier correction.

3
Transfer Money Between Accounts

Online banking also allows you to transfer money between accounts much more quickly. It is more convenient than using the automated phone service, and can save you a trip to the bank. When you apply or set up your online banking, be sure that all of the accounts you have at the bank are listed. This will make it easier to transfer money and make loan payments online.

You also have the option of transferring money between different banks online. This will not happen as quickly since the money still needs to go between financial institutions, but it is much more convenient than running to the bank. Depending on the type of account, your bank may limit the number of online transfers. You need to make sure that you do not go over the number of allowed transfers.

  • Make transfers without leaving home.
  • Check on availability of funds before you spend the money.
  • Be sure to stick to the allowed number of transfers.

4
Mobile Banking

Most banks will have a mobile app that allows you to take advantage of online banking on your phone. This makes online banking even more convenient and allows you to quickly check up on your account when you are out shopping. However, you need to be sure you are accessing this information on a  secure network and avoid using public WiFi while completing these transactions. Mobile banking makes online banking even easier. 

  • Check your balance while you are shopping or on the go.
  • Transfer money to cover purchases you are currently making.

5
Syncing With Your Money Applications

Many money apps will automatically sync with your online banking information. This makes sticking to your budget much easier. Many apps will work both on your home computer and your mobile device so you can stay up-to-date while you are on the go. It is also easier to track your spending for your budget if you are using one of these apps. Many people no longer receive paper statements, but it is still important to balance your account to your bank each month to prevent you from overdrawing your account. If your bank is small, it may not offer the syncing function, but you can still update your accounts each day by logging on and entering your accounts manually. 

  • Online budgeting apps make managing your money easier.
  • Budget while you are shopping so that you can stop spending when you reach your limit.
  • Sync spending in real time so your partner and you do not overspend at different stores without realizing it. 

6
Protect Yourself Online

It is important to be careful when banking online. You do not want your safety or privacy to be breached. It is important to clear your cookies after each banking session if you are at a public computer. Additionally, you need to make sure that your password is long enough to prevent it from easily being hacked. Never give your online account information to someone who is not an authorized signer on your account. Check your credit report regularly. These steps should protect you from identity theft. You should make sure to protect your password especially if you have roommates. Take the time to make the necessary precautions. 

  • Monitor your account regularly for fraudulent charges.
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi when accessing your accounts.
  • Follow the password guidelines, and consider changing your password on a regular basis.