» Is an Online Bank Account Right for You?
Are you bored with having to wait in line at the bank, just to pay a bill or order a new check book? Does your bank charge you for this privilege? If your answer to either of these questions is “yes” then you must also ask yourself whether an online bank account is right for you.
Online banking is a cheap and easy way to look after your personal finances in the comfort of your own home. You can simply log-on to your online bank account in the evening after work to clear your gas or electricity bill, or to get an up-to-date balance. In fact, you can even use your online bank account to move money between your own accounts, as well as make payments to other people.
Online banking has really come to the forefront of personal finance in the past ten years. The online bank account market is now in a position where you can do everything from setting-up standing orders and making payments, right through to ordering a new check book or requesting the issue of a new bank card. You can even use online banking to keep a close eye on your mortgage payments and arrange to make overpayments when possible.
A typical online bank account is cheaper to run than a traditional bank account. The reason for this is simple: If you use online banking your bank can reduce its overhead. The good news is that the big bank bosses do not keep this extra cash; the extra money available through the reduced operating costs is normally returned to customers with online bank accounts in terms of higher interest rates on their savings as compared to traditional accounts.
You may have noticed in the newspapers that high-street banks are closing branches all over the place. This means that lines are getting longer, so the advantages of online banking are increasing more and more. The traditional branches are closing because the non-counter services are being centralized. You may find yourself, after having waited in line to arrange a mortgage, that you are led to a private room with a chair and a phone so that you can discuss your mortgage with an adviser in a centralized office. With your online bank account you can often speak directly with a mortgage lender through a chat window, or arrange a direct phone call from your home.
Finally, for those of you worried about the safety of online banking, you should realize that online banking can be even safer than traditional banking. Not only will you no longer run the risk of dropping a bill in the street and being a victim of identity fraud but some online bank accounts in other countries are issued with an electronic card reader. With this, you will have all of the protection offered to you when you use your debit/credit card in a shop to identify yourself, but in the comfort of your own home. See Online Banking.