The world of banking for customers was known mostly to be tedious, with long lines, restricted working hours, and even bad moods. With the introduction of online banking, all of that changed. There is no need to frequently visit your bank for every small transaction anymore. Banks also have apps for mobile phones which allow you to carry your bank with you.
But people are reluctant to take their banking to the internet on account of frauds. However, one must note that fraud is all around us, whether we use internet banking or not. People can steal your wallet, steal your credit card information, dupe you into giving out your OTP (One-time password) - scams are aplenty in person, through email or phone. We need to exercise caution in every aspect of our finances - from withdrawing money from an ATM to swiping our cards at POS machines to using internet banking facilities.
The benefits of online banking are numerous and it’s free of cost! Some of the benefits are listed below.
The most important point that keeps people away from online banking is the issue of safety. Customers may feel more vulnerable to fraud as hacking is quite common on the Internet. There have been instances of bank’s systems being hacked and data being leaked. Though there is a chance of online fraud, banks make sure they use extremely secure servers, firewalls and encryptions. Such online portals are heavily encrypted with a two-tier password protection to verify the identity of the customer. You need a login and a password, which you can either request for a one-time password (OTP) which will be sent to your mobile number or you could set a password on some banking sites. They also provide virtual keyboards which are recommended. Online shopping, bill payments, and fund transfers also require OTPs. Some banks send you an SMS alert every time your account is accessed.
Check your balance and activity any time
Checking your balance and last transactions don’t require a passbook anymore. Everything is recorded online and a statement is available immediately in your account summary. This comes in handy for budgeting and tax filing. You can also access your bank account and transact at any time, day or night.
Online bill payments and recharges
One of the most awesome benefits of online banking is the fact that you don’t have to stand in lines to pay utility bills. You also don’t have to carry change to the exact amount of the bill. Everything is accessible online and the payment can be made with just a few clicks. You can also register your mobile number and DTH accounts and recharge from your online bank account.
Banks provide the option of opening deposits such as fixed deposits and recurring deposits, and tax saver deposits and so on. You can make and withdraw investments and even transfer investments in less than a minute. Some banks also give you options of investing in insurance and mutual funds. You can also set standing instructions for auto-sweep facilities and recurring deposits. Apart from this, you can also access information about the interest earned and final payout on maturity. All information is automatically calculated and generated.
Loans and credit cards
Applying for credit cards and loans can be done online, with minimal face-to-face contact. The principal amount of the loan, total computation of interest, and the EMI per month can be viewed online. If the loan is linked to your bank account, the payment will be automatically deducted on the due date which saves you the tension and effort to make any payment via cheque, ATM drop boxes or going to the bank personally. You can set standing instructions to pay the minimum due on credit cards without fail.
Online funds transfer
Transferring funds is easy and safe through IMPS, RTGS and NEFT. To transfer funds to another bank, you require the payee’s name, account number, and the name and IFSC code of the bank. An IFSC or Indian Financial System Code is an alphanumeric code that identifies the bank and its branch accurately. This ensures that your funds are transferred not only to the right person, but the right bank and the correct branch. To transfer funds, you also have to activate the payee, which again requires an OTP, stepping on the point of safety.
To transfer funds within the same bank, you only require the name and account number of the payee. IFSC code is not required, but you are still required to activate payee.
How to avoid fraud
Fraudsters are always coming up with new ways to scam money from people. You need to be aware of what could be a scam.
- Always login to your online bank account securely. Make sure you logout once you have finished your activity.
- Avoid using internet banking at internet parlours and cafes. Use a secure wifi or internet network.
- Change your IPIN and ATM PIN regularly.
- Check your bank statements and credit card statements regularly to spot any fraudulent charges.
- Alert your bank immediately if you’ve lost your card or find suspicious activity in your bank account.
- Avoid storing your card information on e-commerce websites.
- Never ever EVER give out your credit card or debit card The CVV and OTP are critical information that you use to verify your transaction. By entering these details, you are confirming with the bank that it is you carrying out the transaction. At the most, the bank employee may ask you to verify the last four digits of your card, any two transactions in the recent past, your date of birth and your registered mobile number.
- No bank will ever call you and ask for your bank account information, credit card or debit card details.
- If someone calls or emails you saying they are officials from the bank, they will try to establish a personal connection with you by trying to say they are from the same place or same religion and so on. No bank employee will stray away from their professionalism and will always stick to the point. You should know this is a scam right away.
- When using an ATM, always ensure that you enter your PIN without anyone else getting a glimpse of it. Always be alert for any suspicious or faulty equipment that might be a device placed on top of the keypad to skim your details.
- When swiping your debit or credit card at a POS terminal, enter your PIN by yourself. Avoid giving out your PIN to the merchant.
Gone are the days of errors in banking transactions, long queues, token numbers and waiting periods. Banks offer car loans, credit cards, deposits, investments, home loans and more through their online portals. Online banking is secure, easy, and accessible 24/7 at your convenience.
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Updated Date: Jan 19, 2018 11:16:06 IST