Advantages of online banking

Online services are in high demand among credit union members. And no wonder—online banking has brought the functionality of the teller window into people’s homes and, increasingly, into their mobile devices. It’s hard to remember a time when you had to visit a brick and mortar building to conduct the most common transactions, like transferring money from your savings to your checking account.

It’s easy to understand the popularity of digital services. From the comfort of your living room, before you even change out of your pajamas, you can complete most ordinary transactions, including:

  • Checking your account balance
  • Viewing your account statements
  • Transferring money between accounts
  • Paying bills
  • Depositing checks with your smart phone
  • Opening an account
  • Making mortgage and car payments
  • Quickly sending money to another person
  • Applying for loans
  • Checking account activity to look for fraud or to confirm a deposit has been posted
  • Managing your debit and credit cards
  • Setting alerts on your cards and accounts

Online and mobile banking is secure; credit unions and banks have spent billions of dollars making it so. Financial institutions have installed firewalls, anti-virus protection on their computers, fraud monitoring systems and website encryption, which scrambles data so only the intended recipient can read it. You can do your part by creating a strong password and being vigilant about your account safety.

Only a generation ago, paying bills was a household chore that took time and energy. A person would have to sit down with their checkbook and go through the household bills one at a time, writing checks and stuffing envelopes, hoping nothing would be lost or delayed in the mail. With online banking, that task has shrunk to mere minutes. Bills that recur every month can be scheduled for automatic payments, and one-time payments can be scheduled in advance so they’re never late. The cost savings add up, too. In addition to spending nothing on envelopes and checks, you can save $50 to $100 a year in postage.

Today, online and mobile banking users are finding new ways to use electronic banking. It’s much easier, for instance, to avoid the expense and embarrassment of overdrafting your account when, with just a couple of taps on your smartphone, you can check your account balance before making a purchase. Parents are keeping tabs on their college students by checking the transactions on their credit and debit cards, and transferring funds into their student’s college account before they run short. Birthday checks from Grandma might not arrive in a card anymore but show up as a P2P transfer on your phone. As consumers find new and ever more useful ways to integrate online and mobile banking into their lives, the days of standing in a teller line or sitting on hold with a call center is fading into a quaint memory.

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