Internet banking refers to the banking services provided by the banks over the Internet. Some of these services include paying of bills, funds transfer, and viewing account statement. Banks also deliver their latest products and services over the Internet. Internet banking is performed through a computer system or similar devices that can connect to the banking site via the Internet. Nowadays, you can also use Internet banking on your mobile phones using a Wi-Fi or 3G connection.
Banking is now no more limited to visiting the bank in person for various purposes like depositing and withdrawing money, requesting for account statement, and stopping a payment. You can do all these and many more by using the online services offered by the banks. You can also keep track of your account transactions and balance all the time. Now, getting passbooks updated to know the total account balance is a thing of the past.
Various online services
Online banking account is easy to open and operate. The online services offered might differ from bank to bank, and from country to country. To know about the various services, always go through the welcome kit that you get at the time of opening the account. You also get the password to access your online account, which you are supposed to keep with great care for security reasons.
The common online services offered by banks are: transactional activities like funds transfer, bill pay, loan applications and transactions, and non-transactional activities like request for cheque book, stop payment, online statements, updating your contact information.
Advantages of Internet banking
Internet banking has several advantages over traditional one and it makes operating an account simple and convenient. It allows you to conduct various transactions using the bank’s website and offers several advantages. Some of the advantages of internet banking are:
- Online account is simple to open and easy to operate.
- It is quite convenient as you can easily pay your bills, transfer funds between accounts, etc. Now you do not have to stand in a queue to pay off your bills, and you do not have to keep receipts of all the bills as you can now easily view your transactions.
- It is available all the time, i.e. 24×7. You can perform your tasks from anywhere and at any time, even at night when the bank is closed or on holidays. The only thing you need to have is an active Internet connection.
- It is fast and efficient. Funds get transferred from one account to the other very fast. You can also manage several accounts easily through internet banking.
- Through Internet banking, you can keep an eye on your transactions and account balance all the time. This facility also keeps your account safe. This means that by the ease of monitoring your account at anytime, you can get to know about any fraudulent activity or threat to your account before it can pose your account to severe damage.
- It also acts as a great medium for the banks to endorse their products and services. The services include loans, investment options, and many others.
Disadvantages of Internet banking
Though there are many advantages of Internet banking, it also has some disadvantages that must be taken care of. The disadvantages of online banking include the following:
- Understanding the usage of Internet banking might be difficult for a beginner. Though there are some sites that offer a demo on how to access online accounts, not all banks offer this facility. So, a person who is new to it might face some difficulty.
- You cannot have access to online banking if you don’t have an Internet connection; thus without the availability of Internet access, it may not be useful.
- Security of transactions is a big issue. Your account information might get hacked by unauthorised persons over the internet.
- Password security is a must. After receiving your password, do change it and memorise it, otherwise your account may be misused by someone who gets to know your password inadvertently.
- You cannot use it when the bank’s server is down.
- Another issue is that, sometimes, it is difficult to know whether your transaction was successful or not. It may be due to the loss of Internet connectivity in between, or due to a slow connection, or the bank’s server is down.