Types of Services — Online Banking and Bill Pay

Online Banking and Bill Pay

For most of us the Internet has become an integral part of daily life. We can get news, communicate with friends, book travel, download music, compare products and shop for almost anything…the possibilities seem endless. And, while not so long ago, the idea of banking without stepping foot in a local bank branch would have seemed impossible, as the comfort level with doing other types of business online has grown, so has the world of online banking. While some people will always prefer the face-to-face customer service they get at their local bank branch, millions of consumers today are doing some or all of their banking online.

It’s convenient and efficient. You can access your account and make banking transactions at any time from anywhere you have an Internet connection. Many banks even offer online banking as a free service.

Banking services

  • Access to Account Balances and Activity—View your account balances and recent account activity, including images of your checks, quickly and easily.
  • Balance Alerts—You can set up automatic alerts to let you know how much or how little is in your accounts. You can set alerts to be emailed to you, get a notice when you log in to your account, or both.
  • Transfer Funds—Easily transfer money between accounts.
  • E-Statements— e-Statements give you the ability to view your statements online. It’s convenient, saves trees and helps keep your account information private and secure.
  • Online Bill Payment—Rather than writing checks or visiting multiple company websites to make online payments, with just a few clicks, you can handle all of your payments in one place online. No envelopes. No stamps. No trips to the Post Office. The bank will automatically send the payments on your behalf in the amounts and on the dates you specify.
  • e-bills—If you choose to, you can have many of your bills delivered to you online.
  • Automatic payments—Schedule your bills to be paid automatically at a predetermined date or remind you when a payment is due. For example, instead of writing checks for your rent and car payments, simply schedule monthly recurring online payments and the payments will be sent automatically directly from your checking account.

If you’re not 100% comfortable with the concept of handling all of your finances online, using the online banking services of your regular bank allows you to take advantage of the convenience of online banking without giving up the opportunity to ask questions about it face-to-face at your local branch.

Mobile banking

In addition to providing access to your bank accounts through a website, many banks also offer mobile banking for when you’re on the go. Mobile banking allows you to conduct many of the same banking transactions as online banking through a mobile device like a cell phone or PDA.

Mobile banking is a great way to stay up-to-date on your account transactions and balances or even make a bill payment no matter where you are.

Benefits of online banking

How you use online banking depends your financial habits, as well as the services your bank offers. With online banking, you can access your bank account at any time of day to get information, transfer money between your accounts, and even pay your bills. Taking advantage of online banking services can help you keep a close eye on your accounts, and stay in control your finances.

Saves Time—When you log on, you have instant access to your account 24/7, saving you the time it would otherwise take to get to and from a bank location. And, you don’t have to stand in line at the bank to perform a transaction, or at the post office to mail your monthly payments.

Saves Money—Many banks offer online banking as a free service with your bank account. If you use online bill pay, you can save the money it would otherwise cost to buy stamps and paper checks. And, your checks will never get “lost in the mail” or delayed, so you can more easily avoid late payments (and the fees that accompany late payments).

Safe and Secure—Online banking is secure. Like anything else, though, you need to take some common sense measures:

  • Your bank can tell you what to look for on the Web site in order to make sure you have a secure connection when you access your account. Most often it is an icon of a locked padlock in the lower right hand corner.
  • Make sure your bank is insured by the FDIC.
  • Always keep your username and password secret.

Security and privacy tips

While the bank’s own systems are likely very safe and secure, you should be alert and aware of what you need to do to protect yourself and your accounts online including:

Do ensure that you sign out of online banking, clear your computer’s “history” and close your browser after completing your online banking transactions.

Do change your password after using a public computer (like a terminal in an Internet café or public library)

Don’t share, disclose, or provide your bank card number, or password.

Don’t save your bank card number, or password, on a publicly accessed computer.

Don’t fall for scams asking you to “click here” or follow a link to verify your password or other account information. Your bank doesn’t need you to verify your information—and they have more secure ways to contact you!


Podcast: Debit Cards

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