Net Assets

Net Assets

If there’s one old economy sector that has undergone a complete transformation completely in the past few years, it is without doubt the Banking Sector. Take online Banking. Where earlier, just to withdraw some cash you had to wait for what seemed like an eternity just to withdraw some cash, you can visit your net-banking website today, log on to your account using a secure gateway and accomplish a number of transactions online, minus the long queues! Online banking is akin to a revolution. It has been hailed by many as the second greatest boon of the Internet, after email. And not without reason, considering that the extent of flexibility, convenience, speed and control it offers to the consumers was unconceivable even a few years ago. Many feel that online banking is the way forward for both financial institutions and customers alike and consequently this method of money management is continually gaining popularity and credibility.

So what’s so great about online banking? Lots. For one, with Internet banking, you can do everything that you can do at a traditional brick-and-mortar branch, only more conveniently. For another, it has completely changed the way we carry out our banking transactions. Today you can pay bills, download up-to-the-last-minute statements, transfer funds, pay for stuff, and even apply for loans, all from your desktop at any time of the day (or night!).

If you transact with the traditional open-four-hours-a-day type of a bank, consider this: In the middle of the night, you get an urge to find out the status of a certain important cheque that you have issued/deposited, you have no option but to wait for the next morning to find out. But, online banking is accessible 24/7. At time of the day, you have to simply log on to your bank account midnight and find out the status of that all-important cheque. Similarly, if you remember that you must pay your credit card bills just minutes before the due date expires, there is little you can do except for paying the penalty, unless you bank online and make that payment at 11.50 pm!

But in spite of these great benefits, there are many who are shy of banking in the web. The two major issues that prevent people from banking on the internet are security or safety concern and technology readiness.

How safe is online banking?
Before considering how secure online banking is, think about how secure your current payment methods are. If you write a check, use your credit card over the phone, carry it with you when you leave you your home, or use it at a restaurant, you have taken a financial risk much greater than online banking. With a check, the cashier, store managers, and check processing representative not only can get your name but also you bank account number. A credit card carries less risk but giving it over the phone to an unknown person, or to a waiter, who could easily copy down the information before returning it to you, also carries more risk then online banking. With online banking the information is not available to anyone but you and your bank, and online banks use passwords, encryption, and firewall security measures to protect your account. This is more security then you have when using traditional checks or credit cards.

Nevertheless, there are some risks associated with online banking too and it is better to be safe than sorry. Never store your online-banking account details and password in a place which can be accesses by someone. It’s advisable to store it in memory and keep changing the password occasionally. Also keep cryptic passwords, which are not easy to guess. For God’s sake, please do not store your birth date or anniversary or even your children’s birthdays as passwords. Try to have a combination of characters and numbers.

Worried about technology?
Many people are scared of using online banking because technology intimidates them or because they don’t want to learn new ways of doing old things. If you are one of them, I earnestly suggest that you spare some time and make a serious attempt to use this method of banking. Online banking helps you become more of a banker, running your accounts like a small business that you control every day. Once you get started, you’ll be hooked. Soon enough you’ll be checking your bank account as often as your e-mail. The Internet, and the technology that powers online banking, are both very user friendly. Try it – you will never have to worry about a bank holiday then.

How do I get an online banking account?
To utilise online banking services you need a PC with Internet access and either a bank account with a traditional bank that offers online banking, or an account with an Internet-only bank. Those interested in online banking should make enquiries with their usual bank. There are many useful resources online to help you do this and which provide a listing of links to many banks that offer online banking. You can then access the banks’ details and view information regarding the services that they offer and their terms and conditions for opening an account.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *