A popular trend in banking today is online account access, which allows individuals to check on their bank accounts and perform certain actions with their account from the privacy of their own home via the internet.
Of course, not all banks offer online account access, and not all consumers use the service if it is offered. Some people may worry that online access to their account might increase their risk of identity theft, while others may simply not know how to set up online account access at their bank. The information provided below is intended to assist you with both of these issues, hopefully putting your mind at ease while helping you to get the most out of your online banking experience.
Signing Up for Online Account Access
Most banks that offer online account access allowing users to sign up for the service on the website, though there are a few that require you to sign up for access at one of the branch offices of the bank. In most cases, online account access is a free service that is offered alongside other account services… there are a few institutions that require a fee for online services, however.
The fees may vary from a one-time setup fee to a monthly or yearly service charge; you should carefully consider the options presented and the value of the banking services offered before deciding to pay for online account access that would be provided for free elsewhere.
Online Account Options
Though online account access may differ from one bank to another, there are some options that are common to almost all of the banks that offer account access online. Most of these banks allow you to view balances, check for outstanding cheques or debits, and download account statements from previous months or for a specific time period.
These services allow consumers to take more control over their finances, giving the most current information about their accounts at any time of the day or night. Of course, in addition to these basic account services many banks offer more advanced options so as to give their customers even greater control and convenience.
Advanced Online Options
Advanced online account services can include a variety of options, depending upon the bank that offers them and the type of account that the customer has. Some of the more common advanced options include the ability to transfer funds from one account to another, online bill payment sent directly from your chequeing account, and even some forms of online account creation or alteration. It’s important to keep in mind that many of the advanced online account options such as online bill payment may require additional fees, even if basic online account access is free.
Online Account Safety
Of course, having all of these online account options doesn’t do much good if the website that you use to access your accounts isn’t secure. Banks that offer online account access take great pains to protect the personal and financial information of their clients, utilizing advanced encryption and security software to keep your information safe and out of the hands of hackers and identity thieves.
Should you have any questions about the safety and security of your bank’s online account access, feel free to address them either to the individuals working at your local branch office or to the support staff of the website itself… after all, they want to make sure that you enjoy your banking experience and get as much out of it as possible.