As technology continues to develop, the way we manage our finances is changing too. One of the most significant changes in recent years has been the rise of online banking. Online banking offers a convenient and secure way to manage your finances from anywhere, at any time. But some people can still avoid using digital banking options because of doubts about their safety. Let’s explore online banking options, their security, and the pros and cons of using them.
What Is Online Banking?
Online banking is a service provided by banks and financial institutions that substitutes traditional brick-and-mortar services. Digital banking allows customers to move their financial management to the Internet. It offers many of the same services as traditional storefronts, such as checking and savings accounts, loans, and credit cards. Additionally, online banking provides many extra features, such as online bill pay, mobile check deposit, and budgeting tools.
What Lenders Offer Digital Banking Services?
There are three general types of lenders that provide digital banking:
- Online-only banks. These fintech institutions are completely digital and do not have physical branches. Online-only banks often offer higher interest rates on savings accounts and lower fees than traditional banks.
- Traditional banks with online services. Many traditional banks now offer online banking services in addition to their brick-and-mortar locations. This allows customers to manage their finances both online and in person.
- Credit unions. Credit unions are member-owned financial cooperatives that offer many of the same services as banks, including online banking.
What Are Digital Banking Options?
There are several Internet banking options available to consumers, including:
- Online banking. With online banking, you can get 24/7 secured access to your accounts through a bank’s website. It allows you to view your balance, make money transfers, and view check images;
- Mobile banking. Many banks and financial institutions offer mobile banking apps that allow customers to manage their finances from their smartphones or tablets. It can be more convenient for people who are more likely to use their cell phones for their online routine;
- Online bill pay. Online bill pay allows you to pay your bills electronically through your bank’s website or mobile app. This can save time and money compared to traditional paper checks;
- E-statements. Electronic statements are digital versions of your account statements that you can access through your bank’s website or mobile app. E-statements can reduce paper waste and help you keep track of your account activity from the comfort of your home;
- Online money transfers. This option allows you to send and receive money electronically. This can be a convenient and fast way to transfer funds between accounts or to friends and family;
- Mobile deposits. Mobile deposits allow you to deposit checks using your smartphone or tablet’s camera. You simply take a picture of the check and submit it through your bank’s mobile app.
- Card managers. Thanks to a card manager, you can operate your credit or debit card remotely. There’s just a PC or a smartphone needed. Card managers typically allow customers to set spending limits, track their purchases, and lock or unlock their cards;
- Mobile wallets. Mobile wallets allow you to store your credit or debit card information digitally on your smartphone or other mobile devices. You can use your mobile wallet to make purchases in stores or online without having to physically present your card.
Pros and Cons of Online Banking
There are several advantages to using online banking, including:
- Convenience. Online banking allows you to manage your finances from anywhere, at any time;
- Cost savings. Online-only banks often offer lower fees and higher interest rates on savings accounts. Additionally, you don’t spend money and time visiting a store;
- Enhanced security. Online banking often has additional security features, such as two-factor authentication and encryption, to protect your personal and financial information.
However, there are also some potential drawbacks to using online banking, including:
- Limited personal interaction. Online banking lacks the personal interaction of traditional banking, which may be important for some customers or in some situations;
- Technology issues. Technical issues, such as website crashes or slow loading times, can be frustrating and limit your ability to manage your finances;
- Cybersecurity risks. Online banking is vulnerable to cybersecurity threats, such as hacking or phishing scams, which could compromise your personal and financial information.
Is Using Online Banking Safe?
Online banks are considered almost as safe as traditional banks. This is because their accounts are FDIC-insured on up to $250,000. This is the same standard as for traditional banks. Additionally, online banking also has the same and sometimes even more advanced security features as traditional banks. However, you need to ensure the bank is trusted and safe before providing some sensitive information and your personal and financial details.
Online banking offers a convenient and secure way to manage your finances. Whether you choose an online-only bank or a traditional bank with online services, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of online banking and choose the option that better works for your specific needs. By taking advantage of the benefits of online banking and being mindful of potential risks, you can effectively manage your finances.
At Rockland Savings Bank, we offer modern online banking solutions to meet our customers’ needs. Learn more about the options available and join us to achieve your financial goals from the comfort and safety of your home or any other place.