Online banking refers to any type of activity that you can take with your own checking or savings account while using the Internet as the means of access. With the rise in the importance of the Internet over the past 10-15 years, it has become the banking norm for millions of people.
For most of its long history, banking was strictly an in-person affair. Bank customers would drive, bike, or walk to their local branch to make a deposit or withdrawal or to see about a loan. Then along came ATM machines, which allowed people to make cash transactions without actually entering the bank.
With the advent of online banking, bank customers no longer have to rely on the phone, in-person visits to a bank teller, or visits to the ATM machine in order to conduct meaningful banking business.
Online banking has become so versatile today, in fact, that there are few things that a bank customers cannot do via his or her online account.
Examples of the types of things that you can do via this method of banking include:
* make payments to other people or companies
* make funds transfers between your own checking and savings accounts
* purchase an investment, such as a stock or bond
* complete a loan application
* view recent account activity, such as purchases, payments, deposits and withdrawals
* view and print out paid checks
* download recent or historical bank statements
* contact bank personnel
In terms of the technology utilized, most bank customers access their account information or perform transactions via their bank’s website. More recently, the rise in popularity of apps or mobile applications accessed via smart phones has led to a number of banking apps that allow similar transactions.
Here is a brief history of online banking:
1. In the early 1980s, a select few people had access to special keyboard terminals and monitors that could access their bank account information by using the phone system. However, these systems never enjoyed widespread acceptance in North America and only limited acceptance in Europe.
2. In the 1990s, telephone banking become popular. Customers could use their telephone keypads to check account balances and to perform simple transactions such as balance transfers. Telephone banking is arguably the most significant predecessor to today’s online banking systems.
3. With the advance of the Internet in the mid-1990s and, later, broadband, online banking was born. Online banking services leveraged the World Wide Web to allow bank customers to access their own account information via password-protected, encrypted connections. Initial online banking service offerings were fairly basic, but as time went by offerings become more complete.
4. Today, online banking via the World Wide Web is still quite popular. In addition, many smart phone apps are now in existence which allow bank customers to access their account information without using the World Wide Web at all: the app takes them right to their account information.
Clearly, online banking is still in its infancy and its story is still being written. Over the next decade or two, further advances are expected in terms of the ease of use and fullness of service offerings available through online banking.
By rihaij from Pixabay