Online banking is a very convenient self service channel that is offered by banks. You can use it to check balances, make fund transfers between your accounts, or a direct payment to another person or company. Some online banking services also allow you to advise your bank of changes of address, contact details, etc.
There has been a steady adoption by banking customers of online banking services. However, there still remain significant numbers of people who have not yet signed up or who have signed up but not become active users. The main reasons for this tend to be a fear of making mistakes and/or a fear about the security of the service.
A good way to learn the ropes of online banking, in a secure environment, is to check out your bank’s online banking demo. Most good banks will include an online demo on their website. This will enable you to see what the logon process is, and how to navigate around the online banking site and what all the main bits of functionality are. It’s a completely safe environment to learn about online banking as you’re not required to provide your own details.
You should also check out the service information that will be included on the bank’s public website. As well as details about the features and benefits, there should also be information on security. (Note: Typically, banks require users to create a combination of passwords and passcodes (PINs) that the user then has to enter when logging into the service.) If you find that you still have questions that the website’s not answered, then contact the bank. There may be a phone number listed on the website to deal with specific online banking questions.
Having registered for online banking, it is likely that you may initially just want to make use of fairly basic functions such as the ability to check your balance or view a statement. As users become more familiar with online banking, however, they tend to start to explore the more advanced functionality such as the ability to make payments to other people or companies. At this stage, if you are uncertain about what to do, you should contact the bank’s online banking helpdesk, or alternatively go back to their demo to see if it can answer your questions. However, generally speaking, online banking sites are fairly user friendly so in most cases there shouldn’t be any need to look for additional help.
I have used Internet banking for many years and find it an invaluable service. It means I can check my balance and transfer money easily without having to wait in a bank queue or provide my details to a Telephone banking adviser. It gives me control over my banking transactions which is something I value. I think, also, that the best way to fully learn the ropes is to sign up and then gradually start to explore the range of functions that the bank makes available to you.