Paperless or online checking is one of the services most major banks such as the Bank of America and ING offer to provide an eco-friendly and convenient way for people to access their bank accounts and pay their bills. Using an online check, as a safer alternative to using a credit card, to make purchases and payments, enables people to make funds transactions remotely and with more security and convenience.
Here’s how to open and use an online checking account:
- Most major banks offer online checking services. You can easily register and open an account through the banks portal or website and follow the step-by-step instructions. If you have an existing checking account with these banks, you can opt to just register your account for their online banking services. Keep in mind that most banks do not charge fees for online checking services. Registering for an account with a bank charging for the online service is not recommended. Upon registering, banks will need a confirmed electronic signature from you for filing purposes. Sometimes, banks will need verification from you on a specific transaction and will contact you accordingly.
- Before registering or opening an online checking account, it is very important that the computer you will be using to access it is free from malicious software and viruses that can compromise your online security. Make sure that you perform a thorough scan of the computer with an online virus scanner. Using an online scanner can be the means to save your banking information from prying eyes. A better option would be to use security software that you can buy to protect your computer and vital information.
- With an online check, you can pay your bills online. This can be done manually or through the banks auto-pay function. Usually, the most common thing to do for bills payment is to go the bank portals bill payment site and adding the bill manually. Make sure you enter the correct details of the bill. Once you add the bill and all its details, you can pay it electronically. There is an option to auto-pay or auto-debit your account should you want the bank deduct and facilitate regular payments automatically for you.
- Personal payments using an online check are also easy. Most banks will provide an option for you to pay people directly through online checking. Having the correct account number and the bank’s routing number of the person or organization you are sending payments to, is essential in this transaction. If you have made an order for a specific item, this is a secure and convenient way to send payment. Most banks will provide you a personal payment or P2P area in their online portal to accomplish it.
- A lot of banks also offer services like check mailing and check overnight sending. These services are not free as there are some expenses to keep in mind when sending a physical check. To avail of these services, just go to related areas found in the bank’s online portal and fill in the details. You can specify that actual date the check should be sent. Make sure that the details of where you are sending the check are correct to avoid delays and possible security issues. Most banks will charge around $20 to overnight a check. Any expenses will be deducted directly from your account.
An online check is a convenient and secure way to make payments and transfer money. However, you must make sure that you have enough money in your account before sending and online check. Always check your balance and make sure to deposit funds whenever you can to avoid check bouncing.