~Internet Banking

 


Advantages of Internet Banking


Is the nature of business forcing customers to use internet banking?  Or, is there something in it for the customers?  Indeed there are many advantages to doing internet banking.  


1.  It is easy to open an internet banking account.  You sit, in the comfort of your home or office, and type in your answers to a few questions.  You set up the security measures that will be used to access your account, like usernames, passwords, etc.  Then, all you need to do is print off and sign a form to send in to complete the process.  


2.  Internet banking is cheaper.  With the advantage of having no physical structure to keep up, virtual banks have low overhead.  They can afford to cut you a break by offering higher interest rates on your savings.  They will also offer lower overdraft fees.  Even banks that are backed by physical buildings encourage online banking with free bill paying services.  


3.  Internet banking allows you to compare deals easily.  You can go to different online banks and find out their interest rates and policies about checking and savings accounts.  You can learn what credit cards they offer, and at what rates.  You can compare loan terms.  You can check with the FDIC to check the banks' credibility.  


4.  Internet banking customers can watch their daily balances.  By going on the internet to the bank's website you can look at what is going on in your account any day or time.  You can check your balance.  You can find out if a particular check has cleared your account or see when automatic deposits are made.  All these services make check bouncing nearly a thing of the past.  


5.  Your monthly statement can be reconciled by using your computer.  You can download your bank data into a software program like Quicken or Microsoft Money.  Then, with a few clicks of your mouse you can square up your account.  Through your internet banking account, you can even see copies of checks you have written.  


6.  You have a better chance to catch fraudulent use if you have an internet banking account.  When you check your debits and deposits, you will most likely notice if something is there that you did not do.  If someone withdraws money from your account, you will know it as soon as you log on and look over your account.  Then, you can work on correcting the situation long before you would even notice it with conventional banking.  


7.  Internet banking is much more convenient than traditional banking.  You do not have to wait for the bank to open its doors.  You do not have to drive to get there.  If you are using internet banking for your office, you will not have to waste valuable time going to the bank.  You can manage your funds anywhere, any time.  


Internet banking is growing for a reason.  People are getting accustomed to transacting business over the internet.  They are enjoying the convenience and the control over their money that internet banking gives them.    


books on Internet Banking


There are many intellectual books on internet banking.  There seem to be few that the average person can read and understand.  With a little investigation at your local bookstore and online, you can find some fairly recent books that have something to say to the average consumer about internet banking.  


Scams and Swindles: Phishing, Spoofing, ID Theft, Nigerian Advance Schemes Investment Frauds: How to Recognize and Avoid Rip-Offs in the Internet Age is a book written in plain English and put together by Silver Lake Editors.  It is a how-to book of instructions about knowing when you are being taken for a ride.  


If you read this book, you will get information from crooks who have scammed, people who have been scammed, and cops who have investigated scams.  You will be given worksheets and detailed reports on recognizing internet banking fraud.  It is a must-have book for anyone who wants to understand how frauds work.  


Carrie Mauriello wrote an interesting book titled Net Worth, Using the Internet for Personal Financial Planning.  In this book, the author discusses how internet banking services can be used to create wealth.  The usual financial concepts are discussed.  Understanding net worth and how to accumulate cash are important ones.  Different types of investment vehicles are also mentioned.  


The difference in this book is that it is all related to internet banking.  It is all designed to make it easier to run your finances from your home computer.  This not only includes your internet banking savings accounts.  It includes stocks and bonds, as well.  It is well worth the investment.  


The Wireless Internet Opportunity for Developing Countries is not a book primarily devoted to internet banking.  However, it sheds some light on how internet banking may become more popular in developing countries.  It explains that mobile devices are much preferable to installed devices in such countries.  


This is because, for anything that involves installation, like a satellite or cable service for internet, people have to wait quite awhile.  So, the book suggests, the early users of internet in developing countries will be those who have wireless internet.  It stands to reason that these people will use their computers for internet banking as well.  


If you are up for another serious read, you might find Modern Trends in Global Banking Development informative.  This book is a studious report on banking issues that affect the world.  It includes a discussion of internet banking.  


You can also order articles to download from the internet.  One article discusses the implications of internet banking on mortgage lending.  This article is called "The Forced Evolution of Mortgage Production. (How the Internet Forced Evolution of the Mortgage Banking Industry): An Article from: Mortgage Banking."  The article claims that internet banking has forever changed mortgage banking.  



It takes diligence to find pertinent information on internet banking.  Much of the information is too outdated to be of any usefulness.  A lot of it is written in complex banker's language and words only an internet guru would love.  However, there are some books that are interesting to read about the subject of internet banking.  


Getting Insurance through Internet Banking Institutions


Internet banking institutions offer insurance products along with their many other services.  It is a fast and easy way to set up coverage for all your needs.  This is because internet banking companies offer several different types of insurance.  


Car insurance is one kind of insurance you cannot do without unless you do not have a car at all.  Insurance is a legal requirement that you cannot escape.  Most people, in fact, prefer to have more than the basic required levels of insurance.  They want to know they will not lose everything if something goes wrong.  Internet banking offers this option.  


You can go to internet banking websites and click on the insurance tab to get information.  You can also sign up online.  Because you will be entering personal information, you will need to sign up with the internet banking institution first.  


Then, you will give your name, address, and other pertinent information.  You will be asked questions about your car: its make, model, condition, etc.  You will then be rated according to your driving record, your car's information, and your area.  Internet banking makes it possible for you to do this from the comfort of your own home.  


Another insurance product offered by internet banking sources is travel insurance.  Many international internet banking companies offer this.  They offer coverage for medical expenses when you are out of your home country.  You will not have to pay cancellation fees if you have this coverage.  It will address such issues as lost luggage and theft of travel documents.  It is a good insurance to have if you can get it by internet banking.  


Many internet banking operations provide life insurance.  You can pay for term insurance with a simple automatic deduction from your internet banking account if you choose to do so.  You will have to fill out an online information form about yourself.  


It will include basic demographic facts about you such as age, race, and area of residence.  Then, it will get to personal questions about your health.  All this will be used to determine where the internet banking service will set your rate.  They will get back to you in short order with an offer of a particular rate and policy.  


Some internet banking companies go so far as offering health insurance.  Health insurance is usually a costly business for anyone buying an individual policy.  The internet banking company will set you up with this insurance for a competitive fee.  However, do not expect it to be cheap.  That is just the nature of the product.  


Bonding insurance is a seldom offered, but important insurance for some internet banking customers.  This is the insurance for the liability of people who are put in a position of trust of the money or valuables of others.  For example, a locksmith must be bonded.  A few internet banking operations make this insurance available.  


CEO's of internet banking institutions are constantly on the lookout for ways to make their services more appealing to the consumer.  If offering a multitude of insurance options will help bring customers to their website, then that is what they will do.  


Getting Loans through Internet Banking


There are many advantages of getting loans through internet banking.  You may never have tried this avenue for financing before.  However, it bears considering, especially if you are already using other internet banking services.  


One of the biggest advantages of getting loans through internet banking is that interest rates are generally much lower.  With overhead at a minimum, virtual banks can offer a savings to the consumer.  When your money costs less, you might get more upfront.  Or, you might simply see lower payments or shorter term loans.  


Another great advantage is that it is easy to comparison shop for loans.  You could go into five different traditional banks and asked there terms and interest rates for loans.  If you did, you would probably be under a certain amount of pressure to get a loan at each bank you entered.  


However, if you are shopping for a loan through internet banking, you can check with as many different lending banks as you wish.  You can get their information about loan policies and procedures.  The most you will get in response if you choose not to get a loan will be an email you can easily delete.  


If you apply for a loan through a clicks to bricks internet banking company, you can get even more consideration.  They may know you very well.  If you have used their services for a long time, you may be minutes away from a loan.  All you have to do is click on a few buttons and the bank will review your history with them.  The decision will be swift.  


Virtual internet banking companies also have quick application processes.  They also take your credit history at their bank into consideration.  So, if you want to ask your internet banking establishment for a loan in the future, keep your account well now.  


Another advantage is that, with internet banking in place, it is easy to get your loan money.  In traditional settings, loan paperwork is filled out, a decision is made, a contract is signed, and a check is cut.  


Then you have to get the check cashed.  If it is a large check, your bank might put a hold on it for up to two weeks.  In the meantime, all you can do is wait.  You may have a genuine need for the money sooner, but the old system does not work any faster.  


With internet banking, though, the application procedure is shorter.  Then, the money is often deposited directly into your account.  It is available for immediate use.  This is especially true if your loan is with the internet banking company where you usually bank.  


Then, internet banking companies make it easy for you to set up automatic payments to be deducted from your internet banking account.  Of course, this is in their best interests.  Yet, it also helps you to get in the habit of having that money coming out every month.  


Getting loans through internet banking is easy and convenient.  It is also usually cheaper.  All in all, it can be a much better way of financing life's needs than going through a traditional bank.  


How Internet Banking Institutions Are Set Up


Consider all the internet banking institutions available for business.  Some are set up by large corporations and some are small companies.  Although you may never want to set up an internet banking operation yourself, it is enlightening to take a look at the process.  


The first order of business is to gather a group of at least five people to organize the internet banking company.  These people will be on the board of directors, and one of them should be the CEO of the bank.  The five or more people will be intensely involved together to form working procedures of the bank.  


After the group is brought together, they must choose a name for their internet banking company.  They have to be very picky when it comes to their name.  They will want the name to be easy to remember.  It should be catchy and have a nice ring to it.  


Another consideration with the name is making it original.  Getting a name that can also be used as a domain name is preferable.  Also, the name must pass strict guidelines as to its similarity to other banks and internet banking institutions   if it is too similar, the bank founders will not be able to obtain a trademark for it.  


To get a name trademarked, they simply have to go to the US Patent and Trademark Office.  There is just one form to fill out.  They submit it with a fee and wait for approval.  Sometimes, they have to make a case for their trademarked name.  This is done through emails.  If all goes well, the internet banking name will soon be theirs.  


The group of investors can now go to web-hosting services and set up a website that can be accessed publicly.  To make the website, professionals are needed.  The website is, as far as the consumer is concerned, the heart of the internet banking business.  


The professional website designer should design an internet banking site with the highest level of security.  This includes such features as 128-bit encryption, secure socket layering, and adequate firewalls.  


For the consumer's preference in use, there are other considerations in making an internet banking website as well.  It should be eye-catching to bring in the most customers.  It should also be easy to get around the website.  Another consideration is copyright infringement.  It must be ascertained that nothing is directly copied onto the website.  


The group now forms its charter.  It must apply for an internet banking charter through the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC).  This is a lengthy process and involves a huge amount of paperwork and information.  


Another way is to take over stock in an existing bank and put in a change of charter with the OCC.  In any case, the OCC will give the board of directors advice on how to best submit their application for the charter of their internet banking operation.  


The OCC evaluates all the information the internet banking partners have put together about their financial situation and their proposed banking policies.  Then, if the OCC grants a charter, the bank is ready to open its virtual doors.  


How to Confirm an Internet Banking Company is Legitimate


When you set up your first internet banking account, you may have reservations about it.  After all, anyone could set up a website, claim to be a bank, and fraudulently take your money.  There are some precautions you can take to be sure your online bank is a legitimate one.  


Start by going to the bank's website.  There, you can get the information the bank gives you about their banking credentials. The bank's official name should be listed.  There may be articles describing the history of the bank, including their internet banking history.  


There should be an address where the headquarters can be found.  There will be a base of operations somewhere, even if it is a virtual bank internet banking operation.  If they are on the up-and-up, they will not be hesitant to tell you about their FDIC coverage.  


It is easy to check a bank's FDIC insurance.  If you see the words "FDIC Insured" or "Member FDIC" or the FDIC logo, you might be on the right track.  However, it is wise to go a step further.  Go to the source to find out if the internet banking company is really affiliated with the federal insurer.  


The FDIC has its own data base that includes all of the banking institutions, including internet banking companies that are covered by FDIC insurance.  Just go to their "Bank Find" site to find out if your bank is one of them.  You can start your search with the name of the bank or its address.  


If your internet banking company is on that list, the FDIC will provide you with a whole list of helpful information.  You will learn when the bank became insured, and the number on its insurance certificate.  You will find out the location(s) of your bank and its official name.  You will find out what government entity regulates that bank.  


If your internet banking company does not appear on the list, it is time to go directly to the FDIC.  They will be concerned with the legitimacy and safety of that bank.  It is probably not wise to put your money in an uninsured bank.  At that point, it is better to look for another internet banking operation.  


Once you do sign up with an online bank, be cautious about how you use their internet banking website.  Some unscrupulous people will use the internet to get your banking information.  They will do this when you log onto your bank's website.  


The trick these dishonest people use is to set up a website that looks like your bank's website.  They have a URL that is very similar to your bank's URL.  Then, they sit back and wait for you or others to make a mistake typing in your bank's URL that will get you to them.  


From there, the fraudster will track all the information you type into the opening page.  They will be able to get your user name, your password, and any other information you type.  The best way to make sure you are dealing with your legitimate bank is by being very careful when typing in their site address.  


If you are to trust your internet banking company, you must take precautions to assure yourself that it is a respectable business.  Once you do that, you can bank with ease.   


 How to Deal with Cash when using Internet Banking


There have to be special considerations for dealing with cash when you are using virtual internet banking.  Doing online transactions is all well and good.  When you want to make a manual deposit or withdraw money, though, you cannot do it directly through your computer.  


Online banks have set up ways for people to get money into them.  If you are going to set up an internet banking account, you might transfer money from an existing account in a traditional bank.  This is a simple procedure.  However, the bank will probably charge you a fee for the transfer.  


What is more, you may not have a traditional bank account.  You may have to open one just so that you can transfer your money into a virtual internet banking account.  This seems to be a drastic measure, but some have done it nonetheless.  


Lately, though, internet banking companies have made deals with companies that own ATM's.  Because of these deals, internet banking customers are allowed to make manual deposits into their teller machines.  This makes it easier for people who receive a cash payment and want to put it into the bank to pay bills.  


You can set up direct deposit on everything from pensions to paychecks.  Sometimes, though, you get a check handed to you in person.  Maybe you did an odd job for your neighbor and they insist on paying you.  Maybe you sold your co-worker your old car.  Perhaps, you got a check for an anniversary present.  


How will you put the check into your virtual internet banking account?  You can use the ATM's mentioned earlier, if your bank makes them available.  Some banks offer check collection at Mail Boxes, Etc.  You can just make a deposit there.  Or, you can mail your check.  In any case, you will wait some time before your check credits.  


If you have a traditional account as well as your virtual internet banking account, you can transfer money from your traditional account to your virtual account.  This would allow you to put a check in your traditional account and then transfer the funds into your virtual account to pay bills.  


Getting cash is a different story.  Virtual internet banking companies do much of their business through ATM's.  You can always go to an ATM and get money out to conduct cash business.  Say you want to go to a football game and you want to bring cash to buy yourself a brat and a drink.  


You can get cash from your virtual internet banking establishment through an ATM.  However, if your bank has not made special arrangements, you will likely pay ATM fees for the privilege of getting to your money.  


The only way to counter this is if you do have that traditional bank account.  You can transfer money into it from your virtual internet banking account for just such occurrences.  Otherwise, you will have to pay the ATM fees.  


Internet banking is not perfect.  Virtual banking poses some interesting problems.  Perhaps the best way to deal with them is to accept that certain transactions will take a little time, be a little inconvenient, or cost a little money in fees.  It is nothing major to be concerned about.  


How to Increase Your Internet Banking Security


Internet banking companies are working hard to make their servers as secure as possible.  They work with experts in the field of security.  They hire computer-hacking consultants to show them the vulnerabilities of their systems.  There are also things you can do.  


The bank will suggest, if not require, that your browser have 128-bit encryption.  This just insures that your information will be safe as it leaves your computer just as it is when it is on the bank's secure server.  If you do not have the latest version of your browser, you may not have 128-bit encryption.  Make sure you have it before you begin.  


Your username will either be given to you by your clicks to bricks bank, or you will choose it at your virtual bank.  If you choose it, there will be specific rules about how many characters it must have.  It will also tell you whether you must use both letters and numbers, and capitals and lower case letters.  Choose something that is not guessable.  


Similar, if not the same, rules are given for your password for internet banking.  (You will always choose your password, no matter which kind of bank you use.)  Your password is even more important.  There are certain ways you can make your password more secure.  


For one thing, you can base it on something you know or like.  It can be anything that no one would specifically relate to you.  It could be a line from a song, for example.  You could take the first letters of all the words and make a string of characters for your internet banking password.  Then, you could capitalize some of them, throw in some numbers, and you have a password that will be hard to guess but easy for you to remember.  


In any case, you should memorize your password and destroy any paper where it is written down.  Then, you should change your internet banking password frequently.  Do not tell anyone your password, no matter how close you think you are to them.  Unless they are on the account with you, there is no reason for them to know it.  


It is always important to log off when you finish with your internet banking transactions.  If you use a public computer, it is even more important.  However, doing internet banking on a public computer, such as one in a library, is not the most secure course.  


An industrious internet thief can get your information off a public computer without too much trouble.  However, some internet banking companies offer a special service that prevents your banking transactions from going into a computer's cache memory.  If you use this feature, it makes banking at a public computer much safer.  


It is also important that, if you do use your computer in public, you assure that no one can see the screen when you are doing internet banking transactions.  You should not let anyone see you use your keyboard either.  While many people feel comfortable setting their laptops up and doing their business anywhere, it is not always wise.  


There are many ways to protect your personal information when you do internet banking.  It requires thought and caution, but it can be done.  It is important to remember that you are responsible for the way you protect your information online.  


How to Keep Your Internet Banking Account in the Black


If you keep a large balance in your internet banking account, it may be easy for you to keep it in good standing.  However, if you are like many people, you might be running on a tight budget.  If so, you will need to be careful about how you handle your account.  


One of the most important things you can do is to confirm that any deposits that should go into your account are credited.  They must, of course be in the internet banking account before you can draw them out.  If you are paying bills with them, they need to be in place.  


If you have direct deposit, you may become slack about checking to see if the money is in your account.  This is a bad habit to get into for a couple of reasons.  First, there could be a banking error on the part of your internet banking firm or on the part of the sending bank.  


Second, the amount of the deposit could change for some unexpected reason.  In either case, you will need to know immediately.  Besides, with internet banking, it is simple to go to your computer and check your deposit as soon as you expect it.  


If you make manual deposits, the wait time will be longer.  It may take a week or longer for a check to get to your internet banking headquarters if you mail it in.  You need to check for the deposit so that you will not spend money that is not there.  What is more, you should know your company's policy about holding checks, if it is a large one.  


With internet banking accounts, you can set up bill paying online.  You set up the payees in advance and type in how much to send them and when.  Your bank will even send you emails when payments are made if you request it.  


However, it is easy to let these automatic bill paying services get out of hand.  If you set up all your bills and do not keep a watchful eye on your internet banking account, you could be in trouble.  If you let your balance get too low before your bills become due, the bank will still pay them as scheduled, up to a point.  


When they do, they will charge you an overdraft fee every time.  Eventually they will close your internet banking account and present you with a bill.  If your money is this tight, it might be best to set up each payment as close as possible to when it is due.  That way you will not forget it.  


 If you do use automatic bill paying, you need to be certain to take these deductions into account.  When you use your ATM card or debit card, you should keep in mind how much money you have in your internet banking account and how much money is scheduled to come out before more money comes in.  


Perhaps the most important thing you can do to keep your internet banking account in order is to check it often.  If you are one of the many people who do not have extra money to leave in an internet checking account, it pays to watch for mistakes and oversights.  


How to Pay Bills through Internet Banking Services


Internet banking can make paying bills a quick, easy task.  Once you set it up, it can be done automatically, if you choose to make it that way.  Or, you can pay each bill individually.  Either way, you be more accurate and save time as well.  


Some internet banking companies allow you to do online bill paying for free.  You usually have to have a "qualifying account," but the rules for those vary.  You can also get free online bill paying if you carry a large balance in your internet banking account.  


For some banks that amount is $1000, for others, it is $5000.  Otherwise, you will have to pay a fee, which will be well under $10 per month for a certain number of bills paid and an additional fee for extra bills.  This additional fee is usually under $0.50 per bill.  


To sign up for automatic bill pay through internet banking, start at your bank's website.  There should be a tab marked "bill pay" or something similar.  Click on that and you can enroll in their bill paying services.  


Then, you will be instructed in how to set up your payees.  You will go to a tab marked "Add Payee."  This will give you options of how to list the people you are sending money.  You will probably be asked the name and zip code of the company.  Some internet banking services will ask you for the company's address, too.  


Type in the information you have about your payee.  Or, if the company you wish to pay is on a list compiled by the internet banking company, you can simply click on it and select it.  You have now set up the person who is to receive payment.  


Next, you designate which account from which that person or company is to be paid.  This is particularly important if you have several accounts with the same internet banking operation.  Your accounts will be in a drop-down list where you can select the one you want.  


You can set up a bill payment up to a year before you have it taken out of your account.  You cannot do an immediate bill payment.  It will take a certain amount of time for the payee to receive payment.  


You can set up recurring payments to be taken out of your account periodically.  These payment arrangements are commitments.  Unless you cancel them in time, they will be paid.  If you do not have the money in the internet banking account for them, you will overdraw.  


You can find out if your payment has been made in different ways.  You can opt to be notified by email from your bank every time they pay a bill.  The payment will also show up in your internet banking account transactions on the website.  You will also know from your next bill from that company if a payment was credited to your account.  


Paying bills through internet banking is easy once you get the hang of it.  If you set it up correctly, it takes very little management to keep up the steady stream of payments going from your account to those with whom you do business.  Now, if internet banking could come up with a way for you to stop having to pay bills, you would have it made!  


How to Prevent Internet Banking Fraud


Internet banking, like any other business arena, is susceptible to fraud.  Phonies abound in every type of business, and this is no different.  Yet, there are some ways you can prevent being taken.  


One kind of fraud is done on fake bank sites.  These are look-alike sites that imitate your internet banking website.  They sometimes pop up when you type in a slight misspelling of your bank's web address. 


If you are not paying attention, you can type in your username and password before you realize you are not connected to your own bank at all.  You should always type in the bank's web address carefully to prevent this from happening.  Most banks have names that are simple to remember, so this should not take too much effort.  


Another type of fraud is "phishing."  This is the use of emails to lure you onto a fake bank website to steal your information.  You might open the email and find a request for information from "your bank."  A link will be provided to you.  


If you click on the link and go to the fake bank site, you might give up all kinds of valuable information if you do not pay attention to what is happening.  You could be asked not only your specific internet banking information.  You could also be asked for other private data like your social security number, or your driver's license number.  


One thing to remember is that a legitimate internet banking operation will never ask you for the password for your account.  This is your private information and you should not give it to anyone, even if they claim to be from the bank.  


Your bank will also never ask for personal information through an email link.  Anytime you deal with the bank online, type in the bank's name yourself.  Then look to be sure the closed lock symbol appears on the upper right corner of your screen.  You will never go to your internet banking website without being able to see that locked padlock symbol.  


Sometimes, no matter what you do, a fraudster will find a way into your bank account.  The best defense is to watch your account carefully.  If you always know what money is going into and out of your account, you will notice if something unexpected is happening.  


If you see withdrawals on your account that you did not make, be sure to report it to your bank right away.  Internet banking frauds are often hard to find.  If you do not act quickly, you make it nearly impossible.  


Once you have reported it, you can make arrangements to put your money in a new secure account.  This way, the crooks will be able to steal less money from your account and you will not be vulnerable to further attacks.  


The bank has many procedures to safeguard the security of your internet banking.  However, you will fare better if you take some steps to protect yourself as well.  It only makes sense.  


How to Start Using Internet Banking


Perhaps you have decided that internet banking is for you.  Now, you have to get set up so that you can start using online services.  Depending on which kind of Internet Company you are going to use, there are different ways to start using internet banking.  


If you want to register for internet banking with your bricks and mortar bank, or "clicks to bricks" as it is called, you will find the process simple.  You can call the bank and ask to register for their online banking services.  


They will send you the information you need.  You will receive an instruction sheet in the mail.  It will explain how to log on to the internet banking website.  It will also give you a unique username.  Usually, this username will not change.  


The letter will also advise you on security issues with internet banking.  It will explain requirements, such as that you have 128-bit encryption on your computer.  It will tell you how to enter your username on the bank's website.  It might counsel you to type in the bank's URL carefully to avoid phony websites that are set up to get your information.  


The next letter you will get will be one with your temporary password.  It will give you instructions on how to change your password.  It will tell about the various security tokens you have to choose, such as images and captions.  Then it will tell you how to sign on to the bank's site and begin internet banking.  


If you are using a virtual bank, the process is a little different.  To begin, you must first open an internet banking account with the virtual bank.  You can start by choosing the virtual bank you will use for your personal or company's business.  


Many considerations are the same as with bricks and mortar banks.  You want to make sure they are FDIC insured.  You will be interested in their interest rates on savings accounts, loans, and certain checking accounts.  It might be necessary to know the bank's overdraft fees.  


You will also be wise to read any information they have on their rules and procedures.  It may be dull reading, but it can be important to you.  You need to know what your rights are and what the bank expects of you.  You will be asked to agree to these terms.  If you are doing your internet banking with a virtual bank, print off this information.  


Once you choose a virtual bank, you will set up your account.  You can do this by starting at the bank's website.  Make sure it is the reputable virtual bank you have investigated before you give your personal information or send any money.  


The virtual bank will let you choose a username and password, within certain parameters.  Then, you can get down to the business of starting your internet banking account.  This will start with some input from you.  


You will give all the usual information that you would give to any bank where you set up an account.  Common questions are your name, your address, your phone number, your social security number, and your place of employment.  Then, you will send the virtual internet banking company some form of deposit to get the ball rolling.  


When you have yourself all set up to do internet banking, you can start making transactions with the click of your mouse.  It is fairly simple, whether you are doing internet banking by clicks to bricks or virtual banks.  


Internet Banking and Investing


Internet banking investing is ideal for those who have a little more than is needed for a small savings account.  Although internet banking savings accounts do better than traditional accounts, investment accounts have much more potential.  


The first thing to remember, though, is that internet banking investment accounts are not FDIC insured.  You are taking a risk to put your money in such accounts.  Yet, the possibility for financial gain is so much greater that, for most people in a position to do it, it is well worth the gamble.  


In fact, knowing how much risk you can tolerate is crucial in knowing how to plan your internet banking investing theme.  You need to determine how much of your holdings you will put into high risk ventures like certain stocks.  You also need to figure out how much you want to balance that with lower risk vehicles like bonds.  


This balance is part of your internet banking investment process.  You cannot put all your money in one form of investment without making a very unwise decision, in almost every case.  


You need diversity in your internet banking investment portfolio.  This will allow you a chance to make some serious money, and at the same time, protect part of your assets in case of a drop in stock prices.  You also need to reevaluate the percentages of low risk-high risk investments in your internet banking portfolio. They will naturally change over time and need correcting.  


You can use an internet banking savings account or invest your money in higher yield products.  You will need to bear a few things in mind.  When money compounds, you are making money without effort.  This can come from savings or investment.  Furthermore, you must find a way to beat inflation in both cases.  Otherwise your money will be worth less when you take it out than when you put it in.  


International investments through internet banking are becoming more important as world communication increases.  The planet is becoming so connected that investing in another country is like investing in the US in many cases.  This makes internet banking all the more important.  


Many investment firms suggest that you cannot invest properly without sitting down face to face with an investment professional.  This may be a good option for many.  However, much profitable investment takes place through internet banking.  


Furthermore, just because you are investing through internet banking, it does not mean that you will not have access to professionals.  You will be able to go to people who will assist you with advice on your financial decisions.  


You can generally read about the credentials of these people in the "About Us" section of the website.  It is important to know that brokers are people who deal with different companies to try to offer you the best investments, through internet banking in this case.  Financial advisors can help you with all aspects of your money matters.  


There are ways to use internet banking to do investing in a variety of stocks and bonds.  It makes the process easy and fairly quick.  It will be an important way for people to prepare for the future in coming years.  


Internet Banking and Privacy Policies


Privacy policy legislation affects internet banking just as it does any other type of banking establishment.   You might want to keep your personal information private.  If so, it is good to know how your bank treats privacy policy.  


A study was done to determine how well different banks, including internet banking companies, dealt with privacy policy.  All financial institutions should have privacy policies that are consumer friendly.  This is in keeping with the spirit of the law.  


The law in question is the Gramm-Leach-Blily Act, or GLB, as it is often called.  This was enacted by Congress in July of 2001.  It gives power to financial institutions to conduct business in many important ways.  


More importantly to consumers, there is a section devoted to the privacy of banking customers, including internet banking customers.  Banks must provide consumers with a copy of their privacy policy.  This explains how your personal information will be used by internet banking operations and other banks.  


Your personal information would include any information that can be identified as your particular information.  It could be your name, address, social security number, internet banking transactions you have made in your name, and other information.  It could also be any information that can be guessed by having some of this information.  


The study evaluated bricks and mortar banks, clicks to bricks banks, virtual bank internet banking operations, and other financial institutions.  It compared each company's privacy policy, how they informed consumers about their privacy policy, and what options consumers had with them to "opt-out."  


If you opt-out, you are saying to the company that you do not want your information to be shared with other companies that are not affiliated with the bank.  Under GLB, internet banking services still have the option of sharing your information with affiliates and marketing partners, but they should inform you that they are doing so.    


One problem has been that the privacy policy statements sent out to consumers by internet banking companies and other banks have been impossible for most people to decipher.  They are not exactly an easy read.  There is a movement to make them easier to understand.  


Another problem is that some internet banking companies have made it very difficult to opt-out of having their information shared with unrelated businesses.  It should be the easiest with online banking.  Indeed some internet banking companies have online forms to fill out so that you can be finished with it in short order.  


However, some internet banking sites make it nearly impossible to opt-out.  They make you go to an 800 number, or write for a mail-in form, or they may not have opt-out at all.  These are in the minority, but you should watch for them when comparing online banks.


The good news is that virtual internet banking companies that offered standard banking services like checking and savings accounts scored the best in the study.  If you want to keep your information private, check out your internet banking institution's privacy policy before you sign up.  


Internet Banking Research


Much research was done on internet banking even before it was started.  The research continues to this day, with more and more participants involved.  As people use internet banking more, it gives researchers more reasons and subjects to study.  


One study showed the devastation of identity theft on individuals.  They had trouble getting jobs, loans, and insurance, for example.  They could not conduct business in a bank, not even internet banking.  Some ended up in very difficult positions.  


The study suggested that banks, including internet banking institutions, would do well to proclaim themselves as the champions of identity protection.  This would help them by limiting their losses.  Besides this, they could charge a fee for the service.  


Another study evaluated how people felt about the security of their internet banking transactions.  78% of them stated that they would like some kind of verification of their identities to be carried out at certain times.  This, they thought, should be done at the moment that unusual transactions were being done on their internet banking accounts.  


People seem to be getting more comfortable with internet banking every year.  One study showed an increase in internet banking of 9.5% between 2006 and 2007.  Another study predicts that 76% of the households who have an internet hookup in the year 2011 will also do internet banking.  


It is true that internet banking and online bill paying are predicted to continue their rise in popularity.  However, viewing bills electronically is expected to decline.  Payment by other means besides internet banking is also expected to go down, including bill paying by phone.  


Some studies have made use of surveys that ask people if they want alerts for their internet banking accounts, and if so, what kind.  It turns out that consumers do want alerts for their accounts.  What is more, they want a lot of alerts for a variety of occurrences.  


They want to be alerted when a bill is going to be paid and when it has been paid.  They want to be able to set an alert to tell them when a certain check has cleared.  They want to be alerted when there is any inkling of fraud.  This one, of course, is an especially good idea.  


The demographics of internet banking have also been studied.  It seems that the middle income people who use internet banking are afraid they will lose control without better records.  Anything that can be done to give them better records will make them more comfortable to use online banking.  


The lower income people have many reasons for not using internet banking.  The over-$100,000 group seems to use it more.  They also tend to use it without fear.  This may be because they are in less danger of running out of money and overdrawing their account.  


A new field of study is social networking.  This is a concept that involves the use of internet banking by networks of people.  They are usually in their 30's and 40's.  They put their money together to make deals with financial organizations.  Study is geared towards finding out how this will affect internet banking for these people, and for all internet banking customers.  


Internet banking research is going on, and will continue to go on as long as online banking exists.  The banks want to know how to stay profitable.  Hopefully, they are also interested in how to better service their customers.  


Internet Banking Savings Accounts


Internet banking savings accounts are being used more every year by people across the country and around the globe.  They offer a better alternative to traditional savings accounts.  People who use internet banking savings have good reasons to do so.  


If you opt for a traditional savings account instead of an internet banking account, you will get a very low interest rate.  In fact, you will not make enough on your money to cover the cost of inflation.  Savings in traditional banks are generally around 1% annually.  


This low interest rate barely makes it worth your effort to save.  You will be better off to buy things at today's prices.  That way, when money is worth less, you will not have your money sitting in a traditional account where it will then buy less than it can now.  Internet banking provides an alternative to this situation.  


Many traditional banks have worked to establish incentives to encourage saving among their customers.  They have set up programs where extra money can be put into savings automatically.  They have also encouraged the use of automatic transfers to your savings weekly or monthly.  


These measures do not work because the interest rates are so low that people see no future in saving.  However, with internet banking, all that changes.  Internet banking institutions tend to offer rates more along the lines of 4.5% to 5%.  


This difference allows consumers to put money in internet banking savings accounts and know that it will retain its value over time, as long as the rates stay up.  With the traditional savings, rates would have to soar to even come close to this level.  


Another advantage of internet banking savings accounts is a good deal for the small investor.  You may not have large amounts of money to save at one time.  If not, you are like many financially strapped Americans.  


In many traditional banks, this means that you will be given the lowest possible interest rates.  If you go to a brokerage firm, you cannot open a money market account for less than $1000 as a minimum balance.  Sometimes it is even more.  This is not so for internet banking savings accounts.  


If you have your savings through internet banking, you will be able to have high interest rates at any level of investments.  You can start your internet banking savings account with as little as $100.  


You might have to pay service fees until you reach a certain threshold, usually a few hundred dollars.  After that, you will be making money at better rates than you ever could at a traditional bank.  


One downside of internet banking is that some of the major banks will not deal with customers who demand a lot of time.  They will discourage these customers from using their services because they are too hard to handle.  This is not true of all internet banking, but if you need a lot of help, you should be aware of it.  


Overall, though, savings done through internet banking institutions still work out better for most people than traditional savings accounts.  There is just no reason to deny yourself the best interest rates your money can earn.  


Internet Banking with Virtual Banks


There are two ways to do internet banking.  Banking online through a website set up by a traditional bank does not seem to be too much of a stretch for many people.  However, virtual banks are taking internet banking to a whole different level.  


A virtual bank is a bank that has no physical structure where you can go to conduct business.  It has no branches convenient to you.  You simply do all your transactions through the internet banking.  


If you have a problem, you cannot go to your local branch and complain to the manager.  Instead, you have to contact representatives of your virtual bank online.  Sometimes, you can take care of these internet banking tasks over the telephone.  If you like to deal with problems face to face, though, virtual banks are not for you.  


A virtual bank does not have automatic teller machines.  It usually charges you fees to use other banks' ATM's.  There are some virtual banks that will reimburse you for ATM fees.  This is an important thing to consider when you are comparing internet banking.  


If you use ATM's a lot, you will not want to pay extra every time you use one.  It matters especially with a virtual bank.  If you do internet banking with one, it will be the way you usually get cash.  If not, you will have to transfer funds from your virtual bank to a traditional bank account and then get the cash from that bank.  


Deposits are done differently at virtual banks.  When you are doing strictly internet banking, there is no one to cash checks for you.  You can have steady income amounts automatically deposited into your internet banking account.  


However, someone will eventually buy something from you, or you will get a rebate check.  At that point you will need to make a manual deposit.  Some virtual banks now have set up deals where you can make deposits to internet banking accounts through certain ATM's.  Some will let you turn in deposits of checks at Mail Boxes Etc.  Yet, it is still somewhat of a problem.  


Do not assume that a virtual bank does not have proper insurance.  Most virtual banks in the US do.  To be certain, you can go to the FDIC's website and look up the name of your virtual bank you are considering.  Most likely, you will find it there.  Then, you can find out information about the bank's insurance with the FDIC.  If you do not find it on the list, report it to the FDIC as an internet banking company without insurance.  


Of course, there are security risks with virtual banking.  However, most of them can be taken care of by you guarding your private banking information.  Virtual banks have everything to lose if their security is breached, so they go the extra mile to assure that your internet banking is safe.  


It is an age when most banking relies on computers, whether for internet banking or for transactions within a traditional bank.  You cannot get away from the use of the internet being used in your banking.  Internet banking by means of virtual banks just takes it one step further.  


Internet Banking with Virtual Safe Deposit Boxes


Many internet banking companies now offer virtual safe deposit boxes.  It is a somewhat new concept, coming into popularity after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  People were searching for a way to safeguard important papers, and virtual safe deposits supplied it.  


Internet banking services own secure servers called virtual safe deposit boxes.  You can pay a fee to use them to store your important documents.  You simply upload copies of important papers onto this server.  


Then, you can download these documents whenever you choose to do so.  All you have to do is go to a computer with internet capabilities and go to the secure server.  Go through the security protocol with your internet banking service and you will have your information.  You can print is out and it will be given the same consideration as any copy of a document.  


The security for virtual safe deposit boxes includes an extremely high level of encryption.  If you use one of these "boxes" with your internet banking service, you will find them to be safer than most anything on the internet.  


About the year 2000, internet banking companies began pushing virtual safe deposit boxes.  It was at this time that electronic signatures came into recognition.  This prompted internet banking companies to look for ways people could securely store documents produced on their computers.  


Now, virtual safe deposit boxes allow internet banking companies to store all kinds of information.  Anything that can be put on paper can be stored as a PDF file and placed in a virtual safe deposit box.  This can be done over the internet after paperwork has been scanned into a computer file.  Some companies also offer to include documents sent by fax.  


If you want to make a record of your possessions for insurance purposes, you can do so.  You can make the list in a simple document file.  Then, you can add photographs of valued items.  Finally, you can attach receipts of items you have bought and appraisals of antiques you have acquired.  You can put all this on your internet banking server in your virtual safe deposit box.  


You can store official information, too.  This includes birth certificates, marriage licenses, and death certificates.  You can store legal documents like mortgage papers or divorce decrees.  You can even store medical and dental records.  Anything that can be put on paper can be stored through your internet banking company.


It is also an important service for businesses.  Reams of paperwork are generated without computers to store it.  However, even if it is put on computers, as it almost always is now, it takes up space on your computer, too.  What is more, you will want to have important business documents stored in a more secure manner.  This is where virtual safe deposit boxes come in.  You can get them wherever you do your internet banking.  


Storing documents is getting more complex as the information age advances.  Internet banking offers a secure solution with virtual safe deposit boxes.  It is a service worth exploring.  


Problems with Internet Banking


Most people who have accounts with traditional banks do some internet banking now.  Some are hesitant because of problems they see in the industry.  While there are some disadvantages to internet banking, many of the problems start with the consumer.  


For example, there are still quite a few people who do not use internet banking because of their own lack of knowledge.  They may be resistant to technology.  They may feel that it is too difficult to learn.  Because young people are exposed to computers at an early age, people who have this problem are usually older.  


Some of the same people also fear using the internet.  Others who will use computers offline will not use them to go on the internet.  They fear for the loss of their privacy.  Many of these people have exaggerated fears in their minds.  For them, internet banking will be impossible, unless they come to terms with their fears.    


Certain people just do not have proper equipment to go on the internet.  If does not take an extremely advanced computer to do internet banking transactions.  However, you do need the basic modern computer equipment with modem.  Most banks now expect you to have a 128-bit encryption browser.  You will also be better off if you have a faster internet connection than dial-up.  


Security is a problem for many users of internet banking, as well.  The user names and passwords are often complex.  This is good, for the most part, because no one else would guess them.  However, it can be a problem if you cannot remember them.  You might not be able to access your account when you want to, without going through an intense security procedure.  


What is even worse, many people who know they will have trouble remembering their user names and passwords for internet banking will write them down and keep them near their computers.  This makes it easy for thieves to get in and steal money from their accounts.  


Then, there are disadvantages that are really only to do with the internet banking more than the customers.  One problem happens when the bank's computer system has an extremely high volume.  Your transactions may not be made in a timely manner.  


There can be other failures in the communications of banks that will cause errors or lags.  If a computer virus ever got into the bank's computers, it could be a real problem.  Clearing up the chaos might take awhile.  Fortunately, internet banking companies take many precautions to prevent this, so it is extremely unlikely to happen.  


If you do internet banking through a virtual bank, you might find problems in managing cash money.  Depositing a paper check that someone gives you might not be as fast as it would be for a traditional bank.  Virtual banks usually will not let you deposit through an ATM, so often your only choice is to mail it to them.  


While there are some problems with internet banking, most of them can be overcome with knowledge and caution.  The other problems are challenges for the future of internet banking.  


Security Measures Taken by Internet Banking Companies


You cannot do business online if you do not trust your internet banking company.  There are always unscrupulous people trying to access bank information.  It is just a modern version of the old-fashioned bank robbery.  However, internet banking companies go to great lengths to avoid this.  


Internet banking should be done only through secure connections.  There are two ways to make sure you have one.  One is to look near the line where you type in URL's.  If you have a secure connection, there should be a closed padlock there.  Also, the web address should say https://"  The "s" signifies a secure connection for your internet banking.  


  Encryption is the first line of defense for internet banking security.  Banks have 128-bit security and require you to have it on the browser you use.  Encryption is basically just a formula that puts your information into a code.  That code is indecipherable without a key.  


Many banks use the Secured Socket Layer encryption for consumers' internet banking transactions.  This is a special form of encryption.  The system will use a different master key to put each transaction into code and then that code will not be used for other transactions.  


Banks also pay considerable attention to their firewalls.  They want to be assured that their internet banking system is protected from attacks over the internet.  So, they are not connected directly to the web.  Their connection is made through a firewall which blocks unwanted activity on the server.  


Special consultants are hired by internet banking companies to help with security, too.  They do this by trying to hack into the bank's secure server.  Once they do, they know how it can be done.  Then, they come up with ways to prevent it from happening.  


One system that has come from using such consultants in internet banking is the use of two factor authentication.  With this form of security, an access number will be sent to you over your cell phone to use with your other identifying information.  With all this information together, you can access your account.  This is more secure.  


Most internet banking institutions will also protect you from yourself in some ways.  If you are using your computer to go online and do internet banking transactions, you cannot let the computer sit idle.  If you do not use it for a certain period of time, the bank will end your session and your will have to do a secure log-in all over again.  This prevents anyone from finding your account page open and using it without your consent.  


Clicks to bricks banks will often give you a username and a temporary password.  You will then choose your personal password and other security features.  Virtual banks will allow you to choose both your password and your username.  They will never have access to this information.  This means that it is secure for you to use.  


Internet banking is a difficult pill for many people to swallow.  Especially for those who did not grow up with computers, it may seem a little unreal to manage your money online.  However, internet banking security makes everyone breathe a little easier.  


Transferring Funds through Internet Banking


Internet banking offers consumers the ability to transfer funds between accounts.  This is an important service as the world becomes a smaller place.  There are many places people want to transfer money and many reasons to do so.  


People often want to transfer money from one account to another.  For instance, they may want to transfer funds from their traditional account to their internet banking account.  This could be a means of getting money into the account they normally use to pay bills.  


Another use of internet banking to transfer funds is to move money from checking accounts to savings accounts.  Money can be transferred from investment accounts as well.  Any accounts you have can be accessed through internet banking to do this.  


They also may want to transfer money from an account in one location to an account in another.  This would be useful for someone who lives a bicoastal existence for example.  When they are spending part of the year on the East Coast, they can have their money in an East Coast bank.  Then, they put it in the West Coast bank while they live there.  


This can be done through internet banking by using a traditional bank with internet banking capabilities.  You can send the money to your other account almost instantly by using your keyboard and mouse.  In fact, if you do it often and have it set up, you might only need your mouse once you get logged on.  


Another reason to use internet banking accounts to transfer funds is to send money to someone else's account.  This could be done to help someone in your family.  For instance, you might get a call from your daughter, a young adult.  She may need money to cover an emergency car repair so that she can get to work.  With internet banking funds transfer, you can have the money in her account in no time.  


Some people contract jobs from out-of-country workers.  These people need some way to send payment to their workers.  Internet banking funds transfers allow them to put the workers' paychecks into their accounts without hassle.  


Overseas products are often imported by businesses or even, on a smaller scale, by individuals.  Internet banking provides a means to carry out these purchases by means of funds transfers.  


To transfer money to another of your accounts, you can log onto your internet banking website.  There should be a tab for "funds transfer."  Click on this and you will be given options.  Usually, you will set up the different financial establishments where you have accounts.  Then they will be ready if and when you want to transfer funds.  


When you want to send money to another person's account, there is usually a different procedure to do this.  You may have a different tab to select, such as "pay person."  This will help you set up the funds transfer to another person's account through internet banking.  In either case, you can set it up for one time only, or for recurring transfers.  This is handy if you have an elderly relative on a fixed income that always needs help.  


Using internet banking to accomplish funds transfers is an effective way to approach many problems.  If you are ever wondering how to get money from one place to another, log on to your internet banking site and check out funds transfer details.  


Using Quicken for Internet Banking


Many people use quicken to keep track of their internet banking.  It is a way to make transaction details more clear.  It also allows you to keep your personal or business records on your computer, and at the same time, use the services of internet banking.  


Quicken is a software program for managing money.  Other examples of such programs are Microsoft Money and Quick Books.  Quicken and these other programs make your record-keeping more detailed and accurate.  They can also be used in conjunction with internet banking.  


The first thing you can do before doing internet banking is to set up an electronic check register.  This is similar to the traditional check register, with a few distinctions.  For one thing, the information you put into the electronic check register can be more detailed than you can put on a line or two of a paper register.  


You can put the check number or transaction type, the date, the payee, and the amount.  These are essentially the data you would put into a paper register.  On Quicken, however, you can categorize the entries.  You can use preset categories or make up your own.  Your internet banking transactions may have special categories.  


For example, transfer of funds from one account to another through internet banking would be in a different category than other deposits in most cases.  You can also get creative with your categories.  If you are a musician, you might have a category for guitar equipment, for example.  


There are two ways to get the information from your internet banking website into Quicken.  One way is to set up your account on Quicken.  You will need to type in all your personal information that needs to be provided to access your account.  This includes name, account number, username, and even password.  


This information will be stored on your computer in the Quicken program until you tell Quicken to download the latest transactions from your internet banking account.  It will do this automatically.  It will log on, download the transactions and log off of your internet banking website.  


This is not a very secure method, since all your information is easily accessible to anyone who gets their hands on your computer.  There is a different means to do this.  This takes a little more effort, but it pays off in tighter security.  


You go to the internet banking website and view your statement online.  The internet banking set-up will give you the option of downloading transaction data to your computer.  Use the drop down menu to select the program to put it in, such as Quicken.  


Once your internet banking transactions are successfully loaded into Quicken, you can reconcile your account.  Quicken will check your electronic register against the information from your internet banking account.  If they do not match, you will be alerted.  You will then be given the option to correct individual transactions or to correct all discrepancies.  


This way you can keep up with your internet banking account regularly and with precision.  You will know when you make mistakes or fraud has occurred.  Using Quicken with internet banking is a good way to understand and manage your finances.  


What Is Internet Banking?


Even those slow to warm up to technology are beginning to use internet banking.  It is often more convenient than banks that do not have such services.  Sooner or later, most people find it hard to resist.  Yet some still do not know what internet banking is.  


There are two types of banks that do internet banking.  Many brick and mortar banks or credit unions are now offering online services.  This still allows customers of the bank the option of going to the building to do their transactions in person.  Or, they can take advantage of internet banking services through a bank website.  


The other type of bank that does internet banking is a virtual bank.  These banks do not have a location where you can go in person.  They only do business over the internet.  With banks like this, you do not have the option of visiting your local branch and making a deposit.  


These banks charge very little for internet banking.  Their services may even be free.  Virtual banks can afford to do this because, without a building to maintain, they have lower costs.  They do not make their money by charging for standard transactions in most cases.  Banks and credit unions also charge little for their online services.  


You can make a variety of transactions by way of internet banking.  You can pay bills directly from your checking account.  This saves you the cost of a stamp.  It also gives you more leeway in how quickly you need to pay the bill.  If you have to mail it, you have to send it out long ahead of time.  


Funds can be transferred from a checking account to a savings account, or vice versa.  You can fill out loan applications for anything from signature loans to mortgages online.  You can even use internet banking for investments.  All these services are available at both types of banks.  


You can view your transactions whenever you want.  If you have software for your computer, you can download the information from your internet banking account to your virtual check register, in Quicken for example, and reconcile automatically.   


You can access your internet banking account any time, day or night.  As long as you have an internet connection of any kind, you are in business.  You can do your banking from a laptop in a hotel room, or from the computer in your home.  You will find it easy to get the information and do the transactions you want.  


Extra caution is taken when setting up internet banking systems.  If you have an account online, you will have a complex password.  The information will be encrypted.  There might be security images you can choose from that no one would have a way of knowing.  Furthermore, if you try to make risky transactions, you will be asked more security questions.  



Online banking is becoming more and more popular.  You can do most of it without leaving your home, if you wish.  Internet banking is a safe and convenient way to handle your money.  


Why Some People Fear Internet Banking


Some people could not be happier with internet banking.  Others fear it and want no part of it.  Sometimes these people will give you reasons for their fears.  Other times, they will just say they do not like it and leave it at that.  


Some people are simply shy.  They do not want to even get on the internet, much less do internet banking.  These people often see the internet as a vast community of people that do not know them.  Perhaps this is more alarming to those who have grown up in tight-knit communities.  


At any rate, shy people will avoid internet banking because they feel embarrassed about what they are doing.  It is not that they are doing anything wrong.  It is just that they feel scrutinized by a larger group of people than they would at their local bank.  


If these people can understand that their internet banking transactions are their own private business, they will be less alarmed.  If they can see that the internet is not a tool to make them feel embarrassed, they can begin to get comfortable with it.  Some of these people eventually overcome their fears and become the most avid internet banking customers.  


Other people are afraid that using their computer for internet banking will lead them to obsess over money.  They feel that if the information is available to them at all times, they will have a hard time ignoring it.  They think they will be consumed about every little thing that is happening with their account.  


Some people may actually have this problem at first.  The answer is to set limits on your internet banking time.  Do not check over your account more than once a day unless you have a very good reason to do so.  Take time to write out what those reasons would be limited to, and then stick to it.  Eventually, the new will wear off and reasonable internet banking use will prevail.  


One fear is that internet banking will lead the person to deal in a paperless business environment.  They fear that if they do not have written proof of transactions, they will lose the ability to prove anything.  They want the control a piece of paper seems to give them.  


The truth is that internet banking does not have to be completely paperless.  For those who want a paper trail, it is easy to construct one.  You can print off transactions.  You can keep ATM and debit receipts.  You can print off a monthly statement.  You can even print off a copy of a given check, in most cases.  


Most people have some fears about internet banking security.  Indeed it is a difficult business keeping up with those who would break into the virtual vaults.  However, with encryption, firewalls, and other forms of security, banks are making internet banking fairly secure.  They are constantly working to better security too.  


It is good if fears about internet banking can be overcome.  Internet banking is a useful tool to make life easier for those who employ it.  If you are hesitating about starting an internet banking account, be courageous and give it a try.  


Your Consumer Rights in Internet Banking


There is much controversy over whose responsibility it is when something goes wrong in internet banking.  Banks sometimes step up and hold themselves accountable for security measures as they should.  Other banks want to lay the burden on the consumer.  


You do have rights as a customer of internet banking.  For example, a phishing scheme might lure you into giving out your personal information.  This, in turn, could result in your internet banking account being raided.  


Internet banking companies are quick to point out that it is your responsibility to keep your username and password secure.  It must be un-guessable in the first place.  You must never write it down.  You must tell no one. It is your consumer right to keep this information to yourself and not divulge your password to a bank employee.  


You might be wondering who is responsible.  After all, you did fall for the scam, not your internet banking establishment.  You were the one who gave out all that information.  However, there is a regulation of the federal government that can help you.  It is referred to as Reg-E.  


This is the Federal Reserve Board's Regulation E.  It covers all kinds of situations revolving around transfers made electronically.  The most important thing to remember about Reg-E is that you will recover your internet banking losses according to how soon you discover them.  


For instance, you might get your internet banking statement, see that fraud has taken place, and report it immediately.  In this case you will be required to recover your money.  Yet, you could get your statement, let it set on the server for two weeks without looking at it, and then discover fraud.  In this case, you would get less of your money back.  


The longer you waited, the less you would get.  At some point, you would lose everything in the account plus overdraft charges.  That is why it pays to take a quick look at your internet banking account frequently.  Even if you do not have time to go over every transaction, you will often notice discrepancies that you can report.  


If you wait two days or less from the time you get your official internet banking statement, you will only be liable for the first $50.  Another day and the price goes up to $500.  After 60 days, you have no recourse through the bank.  You would actually have to find the perpetrators of the crime, bring them to justice, and be awarded compensation.  


Furthermore, your internet banking is protected in ways that traditional banks are always protected.  You should receive safeguards to your personal banking such as the Fair Credit Opportunity Act.  The Truth in Lending and the Truth in Savings Acts are important to internet banking customers to assure that they get what they have agreed to.  Banks in this country are also required to have FDIC insurance.  


Most internet banking companies are on the level.  They are trying to establish a name for themselves through tight security.  Barring that, they seek to remedy the situation with great customer service.  Find a bank like this and you will have no problem getting them to respect your consumer rights.  



















 







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