With the advent of online banking, customer service and interactivity have reached a new level. Now individuals can access their bank accounts, make balance inquiries and transfers, and access a variety of other useful services all from the privacy of their own home computer. Though there are some banking services that still require you to visit a local bank branch in person, it seems that more and more online services are being added by banks every day.
Unfortunately, a number of people don't take full advantage of their bank's online access. The reasons for this may vary from being afraid that their information simply isn't secure online to simply not knowing how to set up an online access account. If you are one of these individuals, then take heart... accessing your bank accounts online is a relatively simple and secure process. In order to begin using online banking, simply do the following:
- Visit the internet homepage of your bank, the address for which can usually be found either on documentation from your bank or by typing the name of your bank into an internet search engine.
- On the homepage, look for a link or button that refers to online banking or online account access and click it. Not all banks offer online access as yet, but the majority of them do.
- You should be given the option to either sign in or create a new account. Click the account creation button, which will begin walking you through the account creation process.
- In most cases, you'll be presented with the terms of service agreement for your online banking account. Be sure that you read it before you agree to its terms, since the terms of service outline what you can and can't do with your account access and detail any fees or other charges that might be levied against your account in conjunction with the service. (As a note, most banks offer online access completely free of charge.)
- Once you agree to the terms of service (or if they aren't displayed), you can begin entering your information to set up the account. Information that you have to enter will likely include your name, account number, and personal identifying information to prove that it's really you setting up the account. This information will be submitted to your bank via a secure encrypted connection, so you don't have to worry about it being intercepted or stolen.
- After you've filled out all of the information, submit it to the bank. In some cases you'll be granted instant access to your accounts, and in others you'll have to wait for a password to be mailed to you after the information you submitted has been verified. Either way, you'll soon be able to access your account balance, account history, pending and completed transactions, and various other services that will depend upon the amount of access that your bank allows from online. (Just so you know, banks use the same secure encryption technology for account access that you used to submit your information in the first place... meaning that the online access is completely safe and secure.)