Integration of offline services to online portals has taken on every aspect of our lives. It has taken shopping, reading, watching movies, even socializing online. This creation of a virtual world where anything and everything can be done has taken on the financial sector of our society as well. Now, people don't have to queue in banks to access their personal finances, because these services are readily available to them with the click of a mouse. But before you access online banking services, you need to do several things first:
- Open an account with your bank. Before you are able to use online banking services, you have to have an account with a bank that has an online banking presence. Check which of your local banks offers this service and sign up for an account with that bank. You would need identification documents and a primary fee (ask for their bank rate) in order to open an account.
- Enroll for online access. Once you've opened your account, you need to enroll in the online banking service for your account. Enrollment and access of your account online is free, although it may take time before you can access it, because you still have to process and sign papers before being able to do so. Ask the customer service clerk of the bank how to go about the process of online banking.
- Log on to the online banking portal of your bank. Once your bank has given you details of your online banking account, login to their online portal using the username and password given to you by your bank. Remember that you should be the only one who knows about these login details in order to secure your account. Make sure to access this facility on a personal computer, and not on public terminals that can be accessed by other people. Keep these login details in a secure place to avoid compromising your bank account.
- Complete your transactions. After successfully logging on, you can now do your transactions. Your account window may contain tabs for account information, transfers, withdrawals, loans and credit and the like. Some banks even offer insurance quotes and sales online. Your online account should host a number of financial transactions you can access even if the bank has closed or it's a weekend. That's the power of online banking.
- Do not forget to log out. To keep your account secure, do not forget to always log out of the portal even if you are using your personal computer. This would prevent other people from gaining unauthorized access and eventually getting hold of your money.
Online banking is very convenient, but it has also been one of the many targets of computer hackers and phishing scams on the Internet. It is important to keep your account secure by employing measures that will safeguard the use of your online banking account. Many people have already lost thousands of dollars due to these scams, so be aware and be a safe user of online banking. That is why the Federal Reserve is always encouraging banks and their users to practice safe and secure banking online.