What is Online Banking and is it for You?

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In our app-happy world, many people are turning to cool budgeting, finance, and banking apps to help them manage their debt, keep track of their spending, and keep them on a good financial path. But in all the excitement, a lot of people overlook the great services they already have available to them. In this post we’ll answer the question of “What is Online Banking” so that you can see if it’s something you really need. If you’re like some of our readers you might find that you can avoid using a bank altogether and all the fees that go along with it.

Banks offer some amazing financial services right on their websites. By knowing about these services, you could eliminate a lot of problems that you have been purchasing apps to fix. Check your bank’s website to see which of these services they offer:

The Most Common Online Banking Services

Some functions of online banking are commonly used by all – primarily account monitoring and money transfers. But are you using them to their maximum capacity?

Monitoring Accounts

Rather than just scanning the total to see how much money you have left, you could also:

  • Reconcile receipts with electronic transactions
  • Keep an eye out for mysterious withdrawals that could indicate mistakes or fraud
  • Identify how much money you are spending on non-essentials (fast food, entertainment, etc.)
  • See what money is going where (info that will help you make a new budget)

Transfers

Benefits of money transfers go beyond shuffling emergency money from account to account. By transferring money strategically, you can avoid overdrafts, maximize interest earnings, protect your savings (in case someone steals your credit card), and even pay back your friends for last night’s dinner.

Less Common Online Banking Services

Aside from checking up on accounts and the occasional money transfer, most people ignore the other tricks their online banking sites can do. Not all sites offer the following services, but most do.

Alerts

If you are anything like the average American, you’ve most likely had to pay fees for overdrafts at least once. Fortunately, most banks offer you the option to set alerts for when you are running low.
There are also alerts for suspicious transactions, credit card payment due dates, spending beyond a specified limit (set by you), statement availability, auto-payments, and more! These alerts can help you keep within your budget, warn you of mistakes/fraud, and ward off fees.

Pay Bills

Instead of working with cash, paper checks, or handfuls of other sites, pay all your bills online through your secure banking website. Many banks offer bill-paying services, usually through Bill Pay.

Thanks to technology advances, your money and your accounts will be very secure when you pay through most banking website.

Nickname Accounts

Another great feature many banks offer is the option to name your accounts anything you like. This could go a long way in helping you budget, save, and manage your money. So rather than having several vague “savings” accounts, you could name them “college,” “mortgage,” “rainy day” and “vacation,” which will help you know where you stand and resist fishing in for some spare cash.

More and More

The list of helpful services your very own online banking site can offer you is continually growing. Everything from online check deposits, to managing investments and monthly spending reports, your bank is eager to help.

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