Bank On the Go with Online Checking!

by Mr. Checking

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Online checking accounts allow banking customers the luxury of banking on the go. Gone are the days when driving up to the teller window was considered ultimate convenience. Online checking accounts cut the time of processing transactions in half or better.

Advantages of Online Checking:
With traditional banking, paying bills requires a checkbook, pen, stamp, envelope and time. With online checking, the process is streamlined and can be completed from a computer terminal just about anywhere in the world. All that is required to initiate a transaction is being able to access the bank website, enter the payment amount, address, date and hit “submit”. It’s that easy! The process can be further streamlined if the transactions have been scheduled as recurring. Once set up, the system with send the payment automatically.

Your Security is Important
Identity theft is a valid concern and online banking has proven to be a safe method of banking. All it takes is to experience a check being lost in the mail once to be able to appreciate the security online checking offers. In most cases you will be able to prove when a check was processed and whether or not it has been cashed.

Fast Processing Time
The ability to have your transaction record at your fingertips will help to avoid payment delays and provides undisputable proof when a check for payment was negotiated. Online checking removes the worry of losing your checkbook because the debit card, which is linked to a checking account, allows purchases to be made ease. In most cases, the purchases are deducted almost from your account. This will allow you to keep an accurate accounting of money spent. Crooks are constantly thinking of ways to intercept paper checks. Some have the skill and know how to modify the payee and dollar amount of the check. In many cases, the routing and account numbers remain the same and if the check is negotiated, the funds could be deducted from your account.
When paying your bills using an online checking account, you will be able to access your balance in real time. This gives you the opportunity to keep better track of your finances. Being able to account for monies spent is beneficial for those who value their financial future.

Good for the Environment
Many banks are working toward going paperless. In this effort, banks now offer incentives to customers who are willing to switch from a traditional to online account. These incentives could include cash, higher interest rate or free checks.

Disadvantages of Online Checking
Although there are numerous benefits of having an online checking account, there are some disadvantages as well. Unless your bank is local, you will not get the face-to-face interaction with branch employees. You will more than likely be doing most of your communication with the bank via phone or email. The inability to walk into a branch and receive personalized attention could sometimes cause a delay in getting specific questions answered. Most times, you will be required to contact the customer service center and because many banks are outsourcing their customer service functions, you may be met with language barriers or experience long hold times.
Additionally, If you happen to live in an area where internet connections are difficult or nonexistent, online banking may not work well for you.
Because of expedited processing times with an online account, floating money is no longer possible. When you use paper checks, you can usually rely on a 2-7 day float time between the time the payment is mailed to the vendor and the time it takes for the payment to clear your bank. With advent of online banking, checks processing could be immediate or within 24 hours.
Most major banks like Bank of America and Wells Fargo offer online checking and more small banks and credit unions offer the service as well. There are also online only financial institutions that offer services and interest rates that are competitive with the larger institutions. For example, ING Direct offers an online checking account called the Electric Orange. This particular account is connected to their Orange savings account and offers services comparable to a local branch.

Overall, online checking accounts are a great option for those who have access to the internet and prefer to bank on the go. Financial institutions have your security in mind when building and improving the online banking platform so banking online can be safer than sending paper checks. Free online bill pay saves processing time for payments so late fees can be avoided. Most banks offer free debit cards with online checking accounts, which allows for easy purchasing in person as well as on the internet. The debit card also doubles as an ATM card which gives access to ATMs worldwide.

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