The Internet has simplified so many aspects of life and made many daily transactions instantaneous. It can be easy to take these seemingly small conveniences for granted sometimes. How often have you hopped on the Internet, logged into your online bank account, and transferred money instantly from your savings account to your checking account to splurge on new clothes or pay for an unexpected expense? Going to the bank is no longer the chore it once was. Now the bank comes to you. It’s on your laptop and your smartphone and stays open 24/7 as long as you have an Internet connection. From saving trees and customers’ time to reducing overdrafts and identity fraud, online banking has streamlined the way most people manage their finances today.
While e-banking cannot provide every service that physical bank locations and real live bankers can, it comes pretty close. With a username and secure password, bank customers can access their accounts through their bank’s website and view balances, authorize transfers, order checks, view loan statuses, and receive and review monthly statements. Many bank sites even offer the option to chat instantly with a customer service representative. Through this service, customers can skip the long lines and wait times at brick-and-mortar banks and have questions answered in a timelier fashion.
Another bonus of going paperless is sustaining the environment. Every time a bank customer opts out of monthly paper statements for e-mailed versions, countless trees are conserved. Also, the fuel used to transport the paper is saved, and carbon emissions are drastically reduced. Making this small switch has already had a significant positive impact on the environment.
Finally, the conversation about online banking isn’t complete without addressing mobile banking. Now, you can open an app on your smartphone to access your bank account. This technology is already the norm for millennials and will undoubtedly be how most people bank in the near future. Through a bank’s app, customers can instantly access their account balances, make transfers, and even cash checks. To deposit a check, customers can simply snap a photo of each side of an endorsed check, and the funds will appear in their account as soon as the check is authorized.
Now that bank customers can access these services in the palm of their hands via mobile apps, avoiding overdrafting and quickly spotting identity fraud is easier than ever. The world will always need real banks and bankers, but online banking, and, more recently, free smartphone apps offer an easy, efficient, and eco-friendly option when waiting in line at the bank simply doesn’t fit into your day.