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Benefits of Online Banking

There are plenty of advantages that come with online banking, particularly if you find it difficult to fit visiting the bank in person into your busy schedule.

When you’re on the go, being able to check in with your bank and access your money at any time is crucial. With online banking, you can do just that and so much more. If you’re new to online and mobile banking, we’ll walk you through what you can expect from your bank and the benefits that you’ll receive when you use an online banking portal.

What is online banking?


Online, or web, banking is a service that almost every bank offers.  It allows customers to complete financial transactions on the internet like paying bills, depositing checks, and transferring money from their personal checking accounts. All without needing to step into a local branch.

These days, online banking is available in both desktop and cell phone applications, which means that you can manage your money on your home computer and through mobile devices. It doesn’t take much to set up and once you have your login, you’ll have access to your accounts digitally from anywhere in the world – at home, at work, or even abroad.

What are the major benefits of online banking?

There are plenty of advantages that come with online banking, particularly if you find it difficult to fit visiting the bank in person into your busy schedule.

Easy to use

Online banking is simple to use, even if you don’t consider yourself to be very tech-savvy. You’ll find  almost everything you need within your bank’s online portal with labeled links to direct you to the right place. 

If you’re ever unsure about where to find a service, how to deposit a check online, or make another type of transaction, most banks now have chat features built into their online banking to connect you with a customer service representative. 

Convenient

One of the best parts of online banking is how convenient it is. You can access your money wherever you are and complete any basic transactions that you need to make, like transferring funds or paying bills online. You can also view a history of your transactions and see any pending ones. It’s typically a 24/7 service and is one of the most efficient ways to manage your money.

With personal payment services like Pay A Friend, you can send cash to your nearest and dearest with just an email address or mobile phone number. Best of all, your friends and family don’t have to use the same bank or credit union that you use. The funds will simply move from your account to theirs, without either of you having to share your financial information. It’s perfect for sending a small monetary gift, collecting rent money from your roommates, or paying your dog walker!

Save money

When all of your financial transactions can be taken care of digitally, you can save some money! Instead of buying stamps to mail your bill payments back to providers, you can easily make your payments online. 

To make sure that you never forget a bill and get charged late fees, you can schedule your payments in advance for the next business day or even further out. It’s perfect for taking care of your bills while you’re away from home.

Having your providers set up as payees in your online account means that you won’t be going through your checks as quickly. While you can reorder checks through your online banking whenever you need them, you won’t need to make these purchases as frequently when you use online bill pay.

Secure

You might be wondering “is online banking safe?” We’re here to tell you “yes, it is”! But as with everything else online, you need to be smart about who you share your details with. Never share your personal financial information (including your online banking login) with anyone. 

Scammers will often pose as official authorities like banks or credit unions to try to obtain your personal details over the phone or by email in a tactic known as phishing. A legitimate financial institution will never ask for this information, so be aware of anything that seems suspicious. If you have any concerns about possible fraudulent charges in your account, contact your financial institution right way! 

You should also avoid using public Wi-Fi networks to log into your online bank account. If you need to use a network that isn’t at your home or workplace, connect to a virtual private network (VPN) service first. Places like airports, coffee shops, or hotels usually have insecure networks that make it easy for hackers to steal your information, so it's best to avoid using these public connections whenever possible.

Being aware of the steps you can take to protect your financial data is essential in staying safe online. Frequently update and change the passwords that you use to log into your online banking account and if you have a smartphone, set up two-factor authentication for added security. This is when a code will be sent to your device when you try to log in. Both the code and password need to be entered for you to access your account.

Better for the planet

We’re all trying to do what we can to be more environmentally friendly in our day-to-day lives. Online banking is one of the changes that you can make to help save resources. With digital banking, there’s little need for checks, stamps, envelopes, paper statements, and other banking correspondence.

How does mobile banking differ from online banking?

Mobile banking is just like online banking, but instead of using a desktop computer, you’ll be using a smartphone or tablet.  Many banks now have their own apps that you can download for free from the App Store or Google Play, or you can access the bank’s website on your phone’s browser and log in from there.

You can do just about everything that you can do with online banking such as view transactions, transfer money, and pay bills. But wait, there’s more! Most banks offer the ability to deposit checks using your phone’s camera! 

You may have some concerns about the security of mobile banking, particularly when you’re using a portable device. Taking the same security measures that you would with your online banking is a great first step, but there are a few extra precautions that you can take.

Make sure that your mobile phone has a screen lock that’s difficult to get past. Face recognition, fingerprint login, or lengthy passcodes are all good options. You can even enable some of these features on the mobile banking app itself, making it twice as hard for someone to access. 

Keep an eye out for potential phishing text messages – it’s not only emails and calls that scammers use to try to access your private information. Finally, treat your phone like you would any other valuable possession, your entire financial and personal history could be at stake. It’s also a good idea to know how to disable your phone remotely in case it ends up in the wrong hands.

Additional benefits of mobile banking

Not only do you have all the same conveniences of online banking, but you also benefit from additional advantages of mobile banking.

You may have heard people discussing their “digital wallets” and thought “What is a digital wallet (aka mobile wallet, virtual wallet)?” While this is technically separate from your mobile banking, it’s another way that you can make transactions in an online or digital format. Depending on the type of phone that you have, you may be able to add your debit or credit cards to a digital wallet on your device. 

With digital wallets like Google Pay, Apple Pay, or Samsung Pay you can make touchless payments at the merchant’s terminal. It’s another layer of security, using a one-time unique code instead of your actual bank account or card number, and payment information is never stored with merchants. This makes it harder for fraudulent charges to be made on your account.

Payment is managed through the wallet app on your smartphone, rather than your banking app, which connects to your debit or credit card directly. Not only do digital wallets allow you to leave your physical debit and credit cards at home, they can also connect your loyalty and rewards cards. 

Get started with online banking today

Sign up today for a convenient and simple way to do banking with First National Bank and Trust’s online banking and mobile banking app. Manage your money from wherever you are, whenever you need to. Contact us today to get started.