Sunday, 13 August 2017 18:23

    The benefits and downsides of internet banking

    Internet Banking Internet Banking

    Believe it or not, there are still quite a lot of people out there that still don’t use online banking.

    For the younger generation amongst us, this must be somewhat hard to believe. It is quick and easy to set up, lets you access your account and check incomings and outgoings wherever you are and is the way forward when living in a hectic society. Why wouldn’t everybody be using this tool? You may well ask yourself.

    It isn’t just the older generation like grandparents who haven’t progressed with the times either, there are many middle age people who refuse to use online banking tools and in this post, we’ll take a look at the most common reasons for this behaviour – as well as the reasons for people, like you and me, who simply couldn’t live without the convenience of the latest banking technology.

    You’ll not be surprised to learn that the biggest fear people have is identity theft and this is one of the main reasons why some people won’t use online banking facilities. In the grand scheme of things, online banking is probably the most secure of all the things online, and when you put it into context, hardly any people at all have problems with people hacking into their account – but in very rare instances, it can, and does happen, and it is the latter that still puts a lot of people off. Even if there is a remote chance that someone will get into a bank account, a lot of people will stay away from it entirely.

    As previously said, banks and their online facilities are probably the safest things that you will ever get to grips with on the internet – and so they should be. But this does not mean that they are one hundred per cent secure, nothing online ever can be and there have been people who have been victims of stolen money and identity theft.

    The case for online banking and security was further hampered when news broke of hackers targeting institutions such as the NHS and this made people very nervous about the safety of their money. In people’s minds, if something as massive as the NHS can become a successful target, what’s the chances for online banking?

    For people that have ever been the victim of online banking hackers, it can be a miserable experience. In a way, they feel violated and this is before they realise that money has gone missing, won’t be traceable, and that somebody out there knows a hell of a lot about them such as name and address etc. Of course, the bank will be quick to act, but in a lot of instances it will be too little, too late. Plus, the setup of another account and the investigation that will be underway could take a while, which means the money that is left in your account may be unobtainable whilst the bank closes the account and sets up a new one.

    You’d also expect that all high street banks would have the same level of security when it comes to their online facilities, they do not. Some are better than others in terms of how easy it is to log on; so, a bit of research is needed to establish which bank has the most secure facility – this could mean changing banking providers in order to get optimum security, and for people who have been with the same bank since they were 16, this may be something that they are unprepared to do.

    There are many reasons why people won’t warm to the idea of doing their banking through online means and that is there business, and to be honest, a lot of the reasons that they give are valid ones. The fact of the matter is, however, that is the way that the banking world is going.

    Regardless of whether people want it or not, there will be a time when there are no banks on the high street and all monies and banking facilities will be done through our computers or phones.

    This leads us nicely onto our final, most commonly complained about, aspect to online banking. When people have a query or something doesn’t seem right with their account, people currently  have the knowledge and the ability to pop into their bank in their local town and speak to a person directly about their concerns. This isn’t the case with online banking. Everything is done online which can be frustrating when there is nobody to talk to about problems with an account.

    Unfortunately, for the people who refuse to be swayed onto online banking platforms, they may find that in only a few years’ time, they are forced into making the switch. The majority of people in the country now use internet banking meaning it is only a matter of time before everyone is forced to go the same way.

    To be fair, we live in a more hectic society than we ever have done, and the convenience of online banking is clear for all to see. When you need to check whether bill payments have gone out, or you need to know whether you have been paid on time, you can simply log onto the app on your phone and everything is there – at the touch of a button. You can also monitor and track things going in and out of your account much easier than if you were paying a visit just once a week to your local banking branch for instance. This could potentially be a big advantage for people who struggle to keep track of their finances. If you only check your account once a week when you go into a high street bank, there could be payments going out that you forgot about which could see you get into needless cash flow problems. Being able to check regularly and monitor incomings and outgoings is a great way for better money management. Being able to check on your account wherever you are is also good for monitoring and checking to see if there is any suspicious activity with your account. Think about it. If money had gone missing from your account and you only paid a visit to the bank once a week, days and days would’ve passed where something could’ve been done to stop it and money could’ve been rescued sooner. With internet banking, you can check in on your account whenever and wherever you are. 

    As with anything, there are advantages and disadvantages to online banking. Regardless of what you think about this type of banking, however, one thing is for sure; we will soon all be forced down the line of using it. So, people that are none too keen of the idea will have to simply ‘get used to it.’ 

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