Online Banking Definition


The use of the internet to carry out financial dealings is made possible by the advent of online banking. Online banking, Internet banking, and online banking are all names for the same thing.

Customers may make deposits, transfers, and online bill payments via their bank's online banking platform, which provides practically every function that was previously only accessible at local branches. The vast majority of financial institutions now provide some online banking services, which may be accessed via desktop versions and mobile applications.

Understanding Online Banking

Because most customers can now handle most of their banking needs through online banking, it is no longer necessary to go into a bank branch. They can carry out all these activities at their own pace and at any location of their choosing, whether at home, at work, or while traveling.

Online banking necessitates the use of a computer or other device, in addition to a debit or credit card, and a connection to the internet. Customers are required to register for the online banking service offered by their financial institution before they may use the service. They will need to generate a password to complete the registration process. As soon as that step is completed, customers can utilize the service for all their banking needs.

The kinds of banking transactions that may be completed online differ from institution to institution. The majority of financial institutions provide standard services such as money transfers and payment of bills. Several financial institutions now enable consumers to apply for credit cards and create new bank accounts through their online banking platforms. Other duties may include reporting a change of address, placing a stop payment on a check, or ordering checks.

Pros of Online Banks

Reduced fees

Since online banks do not have to spend money on the upkeep of physical branches, they may often offer lower or even free banking fees. For instance, many online accounts don't charge monthly subscription fees, and some don't even charge fees for going over their limit.

To provide context, checking accounts held at traditional, brick-and-mortar financial institutions typically include a monthly service charge of around $10. However, this fee may be waived if certain criteria are met, such as maintaining a minimum daily balance of $1,500. According to research in 2019, the average overdraft fee assessed by big financial institutions is $35.

Better interest rates

Deposit accounts at online banks often provide greater annual percentage returns than those held at traditional banks. For instance, annual percentage yields (APYs) for the top online savings accounts hover around 0.45%. Compared to the average savings rate in the country, which is 0.24%, and the savings rates offered by some of the major traditional banks, which are just 0.01% APY, this rate is much higher.

A few percentage points difference may not seem like much, but the greater your balance, the more significant the difference becomes. When deposited for a year at 0.01%, a sum of $10,000 will earn one dollar; when placed at 0.45%, the amount will yield a little over $45.

Cons of Online Banks

Not a single branch

You should be prepared to have limited access to in-person assistance if you use an online bank. Many financial institutions now provide client assistance via the telephone as an alternative to in-person interactions. Additionally, several financial institutions provide customer service via social media and online chat.

Depositing cash might be hard at times

The steps for depositing funds into online banks are sometimes laborious. You may have to look for an ATM that accepts deposits. You might also be required to transfer funds into a conventional bank account before moving those funds to your online banking profile. You may alternatively use cash to purchase a money order and then deposit the money order digitally using the mobile app associated with your online bank.

Should You Open An Online Account?

An online bank could be a good option if you're looking for better interest rates, want to avoid paying as many fees and don't need to visit a branch often. Bear in mind that if you want to, you may opt to register an online account even if you already have an account with a traditional financial institution in your area. Having accounts at a conventional bank and an online bank might provide you the best of both worlds, including the highest possible savings rates and access to in-person assistance whenever you want it.

Alternatively, you may take a more significant step and transfer all of your financial dealings to an institution that is only online. Read this post on how to transfer banks so you can discover the processes involved. You may set up a new online account in a matter of minutes and have access to it whenever you want, right at your fingertips.