Online banking is becoming the standard way to bank in today's digital age. The ability to conveniently check your accounts, pay bills, and transfer money, all anywhere, at any time you desire, make this form of banking ideal for an on-the-go lifestyle. If you are new to online banking, do not allow the process of getting started deter you. Here is a step-by-step look at how to manage your finances online.
Step 1: Choose a reputable bank to use
The quality of your online banking experience will depend in large part on the financial institution you use. Chances are, the bank you use for your traditional financial needs will also offer an online option, so that may be a good place to start. Just inquire at your bank about their options.
If you need to find a new financial institution, look for one that has a reputation for security and robust online banking options. Here are some features they should offer:
- Ability to complete financial transactions online
- Ability to check account balances
- Bill pay options
- Funds transfer capability
- User-friendly interfaces
- Strong security measures
- Competitive interest rates on loans and accounts
If you are planning to use your current bank's online options, make sure they also check these boxes in order to get a satisfactory experience in the digital realm.
Step 2: Create an account
Once you choose your financial institution, you will need to create your very own online account. Your bank can help guide you through the process. However, in general, you will have to follow these steps:
- Visit their website.
- Download their banking app.
- Follow the online steps to set up your account.
- Choose a secure password.
- Provide necessary personal information.
Ideally, this process will be relatively simple and straightforward, allowing you to get set up in a matter of just a few minutes.
Step 3: Secure your account
Keeping your private financial information secure starts when you set up your account. Use a strong password that consists of letters, numbers, and characters and avoids using telltale aspects of your life, such as your birthdate or anniversary. Once you have a strong password in place, you can further secure your account through the following methods:
- Change your password regularly.
- Set up multi-factor authentication (whereby you use both your password and another approach, such as a code sent to your phone, to log into your account).
- Avoid using public Wi-Fi to access your account.
- Set up monitoring alerts to receive notifications of suspicious activity on your account.
- Check your account transactions regularly.
- Familiarize yourself with your bank's process for reporting and dealing with fraud.
- Report any suspicious transactions.
Your bank may have other suggestions for restricting access to your account only to you. Follow their guidelines in order to enjoy the benefits of online banking, without the fear of fraud.
Step 4: Explore the online platform
In order to seamlessly integrate online banking with your day-to-day life, you will need to understand and be comfortable using your bank's online platform. Set aside some time to explore the options available to you and to navigate through the different sections. Try to figure out how to complete common tasks, such as
- Transferring funds
- Making payments
- Checking your account summary
- Finding your statements
- Depositing checks
If you have any questions or run into any problems, do not hesitate to reach out to your financial institution. The online banking platform exists to support your financial needs, so make sure you can easily use it.
Step 5: Set up tools to streamline account management
One of the advantages of online banking is the ability to streamline the management of your accounts. Take the time to access and set up some of these tools:
- Low balance alerts
- Fraud alerts
- Recurring payments (e.g. Mortgages, credit card bills, etc.)
- Spending categorization
- Financial reports
- Budgeting tools
- And more
Because online banking is very customizable, you should be able to set up tools that simplify banking that works your way.
Step 6: Explore additional services
Your platform may also offer services that support other types of financial management. If you have them available, look into these services:
- Mobile check deposits
- Loan applications
- Investment options
- Financial planning tools
If these tools work for your financial needs, feel free to start using them and enjoy more convenient banking in all areas of your life.
Step 7: Stay updated on your banking platform
Finally, as time goes on, you may discover changes and improvements to your online banking platform. Your financial institution may alert you to upgrades that can improve your overall experience online. Make sure you stay abreast of these updates, and especially of any security updates your bank provides. That way, you will remain empowered to make the most of your digital experience.
Online banking could revolutionize your financial experience. At Bank of South Texas, robust online banking is part of the exceptional, customer-focused experience we have to offer you. Contact us today and get started!