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14 Steps How To Use Online Banking

( How to Use Online Banking - When it comes to monitoring your bank accounts, online banking is a great option. With many new online-only banks emerging, it's important to understand how to access your accounts online. Setting up your online account, locating and using helpful and important functions, and maintaining online banking security are important parts of using online banking.

14 Steps How To Use Online Banking

  • How to setting up account

How to Use Online Banking: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

1. Open a bank account if you don't already have one. If you already have a bank account, you can skip this step. In order to use online banking, you need a bank account that you can access and manage online. Head to a branch of your favorite bank and open a checking or savings account to get started.

There are some banks that do not have physical, brick-and-mortar branches. These online-only banks like Simple or Ally rely entirely on their web interfaces to serve their customers' needs. To open an account with an online-only bank, simply go to their website and follow the account opening instructions.

When choosing a bank, make sure it is FDIC-insured. Also check current interest rates and compare them to bank rates to ensure you are getting the best return on all investment accounts.

Banks like Marcus, Ally, Capital One 360 ​​and Barclays all offer online banking with competitive interest rates.

How to Use Online Banking: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

2. Set up your online account. Once you have an account with a bank, you can go to their website and enable online access to your accounts. You need some form of identification associated with your account, such as a social security number, federal ID number, driver's license number, date of birth, and/or bank account number. Follow the online instructions to open an account and gather the information you need to proceed.

You'll likely need your account number to set up an online account, so have it ready. A bank clerk or teller at your bank should be able to give you this number if you don't have it. So call your bank or visit a branch to get them.

On the home page of your bank's website, look for an option for "Register", "Login " or "Online account open".

Call or visit the bank and ask a banker for help if you're having trouble setting up your online account. Most banks have a toll-free 800 customer service number that you can call if you need help.

How to Use Online Banking: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

3. Choose a secure username and password. Follow the online portal's requirements for username and password. For extra security, use special characters, numbers, and uppercase and lowercase letters in your password. If you are concerned that you will have trouble remembering it, write it down and keep it in a safe place. Choose a username that you don't already use for another account. If you use your name, consider adding numbers to make it more unique.

Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts. Also, avoid using dates of birth, social security numbers, and other identifiable information in your passwords or usernames.

How to Use Online Banking: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

4. Set up your contact information. As part of the sign-up process, you will likely be asked for your contact information. Compare this with the information your bank already has. You can use this online portal to change your contact and billing information in the future and it is important that you always know which address the bank has on file for you as certain transactions with your bank card may require verification of the billing require zip code.

When entering your contact email address, make sure you use an email account that you check daily or periodically in case the bank needs to email you important information or in case you lose your password or forgot and need a new one by email.

  • How to Find and use important features and pages

How to Use Online Banking: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

5. Learn how to use the portal. Once you've set up your account, take some time to click around the banking portal and see where things are. If you have multiple accounts, click on each one and see what each account looks like when opened and broken down in more detail. Locate the "Log Out" button so that you feel safe every time you're done log out of your banking sessions.

It is important to understand how your specific banking system is set up and where important pages may be located. Simply taking some time to explore the interface is key to learning the ins and outs of your online banking portal.

A bank teller or customer service representative from your bank will likely be available to show you the website. Call your bank or go to a branch if you need help.

How to Use Online Banking: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

6. Avoid paper statements. A great feature of online banking is the ability to receive digital or electronic statements instead of traditional paper statements. Not only is this better for the environment as it saves paper, but it can also help you stay more organized and keep track of your accounts. Most online banking portals have a tab where you can view your bank statements in electronic format, sometimes as a .PDF, which you can also save to your own hard drive.

In most cases, your online banking portal gives you the option of no longer sending paper bills home by post and of switching completely to digital bills. Choose this option if you are interested.

Some banks offer incentives, such as bonuses, to customers who want to switch to electronic statements. Check with your bank to see if there are any benefits to switching to digital bank statements.

How to Use Online Banking: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

7. Use online bill payment. Many banks offer a free bill payment service through their online banking portal, which you can use to pay for utilities, rent, and other monthly fees. You may also have the ability to schedule these payments in advance and not even have to worry about them every month. Many services now have the ability to link your bank account for automatic payments, which you can then monitor through your online banking portal.

Remember : only set up automatic or scheduled payments if you're sure the money will be in your account by the day those bills are processed. You don't want to be hit with overdraft fees.

To keep track of your bills, try writing them all in a notebook or enter them all in a spreadsheet. You can also use budgeting software to give you more tools to track your bills and expenses

How to Use Online Banking: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

8. Apply for credit lines or loans via the online portal. If you are a customer of a bank and have an account there, you can often open new accounts through the online banking portal. Once you're logged in, you can access all the information the bank has on file for you, so applying for new lines of credit, opening new accounts, or even applying for a loan or mortgage can sometimes be done right from home.

How to Use Online Banking: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

9. Search the portal for special offers or news. Online banking portals often have message inboxes that securely notify you of new bank statements and changes to your account information. Make sure you find and check this inbox regularly. There you will not only find these important account information, but possibly also special customer offers for new banking products. Via this inbox, you can be offered targeted lines of credit with low initial interest rates, high-interest savings accounts and other services.

These notifications can also be forwarded to the personal email account that you have linked to the bank account. Some online portals may require you to explicitly select this option in your online banking inbox settings.

How to Use Online Banking: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

10. Transfer money between accounts. If you have multiple accounts at a bank, you can use your online banking portal to transfer money between these accounts. You can also send money to other people who have accounts at the same bank and even to people who have accounts at partner banks. For example, Wells Fargo and Bank of America allow customers to transfer money between accounts at the two banks.

Make sure you understand what fees may apply for this service. Most of the time, transfers between your own accounts are a free service, but federal law prohibits more than 6 transfers from a savings account to a checking account in a month. If you use the transfer tool on your banking portal, all fees are listed before you confirm the transfer.

How to Use Online Banking: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

11. Use a mobile banking application. Many banks have smartphone apps that you can download and access on the go. Simply search for your bank in the App Store on your smartphone and download the application. Make sure the app is developed, owned and operated by your bank. You will likely see offers or advertisements for this app on the bank's website or in its branches. Some banks even offer the option of depositing checks using your smartphone's camera. You can also use these apps to transfer money, monitor account balances, and find nearby ATMs and branches.

  • How to take care of yourself

How to Use Online Banking: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

12. Avoid online banking on public WiFi. When connected to a public Wi-Fi connection, avoid entering personal information, including passwords and bank details. There are opportunities for hackers and thieves to steal your information when it's transmitted over unencrypted signals, which is often the case with public or free WiFi connections.

If you rely on this type of connection, you should consider downloading encryption software in your browser to protect your data.

How to Use Online Banking: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

13. Be aware of your surroundings when banking on your smartphone in public. Just like entering your PIN at an ATM, when banking online in a public place you should make sure that no one can see your screen. For example, if you use your smartphone to check your balance, make sure no one is looking over your shoulder or standing in close proximity. Keep passwords and balance information secret from viewers.

Cover your phone or laptop screen with your hand if you're afraid of prying eyes, or simply wait until you're home or a private location to access your online banking information.

How to Use Online Banking: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

14. Monitor your accounts for signs of fraud or theft. One of the best ways to ensure your accounts are safe is to monitor them for signs of unauthorized withdrawals. Online banking provides 24/7 access to your accounts, which makes it easier to monitor activity on them. If you see charges that you don't remember making yourself, contact the bank immediately. Keep the charges in front of you so you can easily see and access them.

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