February 4, 2013 – 12:04 pm
Online or electronic banking has completely revolutionized how we handle our money, but learning how to use all of this technology can get a bit overwhelming.
By: Angie Picardo
The days of waiting in long lines at the bank on payday are long behind us. Now you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home to make money transfers, deposit checks, or even pay employees. Online or electronic banking has completely revolutionized how we handle our money, but learning how to use all of this technology can get a bit overwhelming. Don’t let the unknown scare you away from the conveniences of the technological age. Here are some tips on how to navigate this new frontier in banking.
Download Your Bank’s Mobile App
Your smartphone is your new ATM. You can check your balance, transfer funds, and even deposit checks without having to make a trek to the bank. Download your bank’s mobile app and answer the question prompts. Take some time to play around with the app and its functions before you make your first move. Most bank apps let you check your balance and pending deposits or payments. With Chase’s mobile app, you can take a photo of the front and back of the check you want to deposit and do it through your phone. Funds will instantly show up into your account in only a few simple clicks.
Pay Bills Online
There’s really no reason to send a bill in the mail anymore. You can literally pay for anything online and most companies like your phone provider or electric company will let you set up reoccurring payments so you don’t have to worry about wondering if you’ve paid every month. Paying online makes it easier for you to track your payments.
Make Money Transfers
Bills aren’t the only things you can pay online – you can also pay individuals. PayPal, Freshbooks, and most major bank branches allow you to request or send money to colleagues, friends, or family memories with pay-to-pay systems. You can request money, send money to your college student or even pay employees through these services. Research which site works best for your lifestyle – some companies do charge a service fee and some bank branches only allow pay-to-pay services to others who use the same bank branch.
Keep Track of Statements
You can keep track of all your purchases and deposits with online statements. You’ll never have to wait for a statement to come through the mail ever again. You can upload old statements and keep track of current statements all on your bank’s website.
Play it Safe
Like all things, when it comes to your finances – online or off – play it smart and safe. Make sure you are signing up for your bank’s legitimate website and NEVER give out your PIN number online. If you receive any emails that seem suspicious (even if they say they are from your bank), take the extra step and call your branch before you give away any personal information such as your social security number or account numbers. Keep all confirmation emails after paying a bill or depositing a check. Paper trails are always good and will help protect you if something should go wrong. Remember: if it seems fishy it probably is – always go with your gut!
About the Author:
Angie Picardo is a staff writer for NerdWallet, a personal finance website dedicated to helping consumers find the best credit cards.
Photo: Highways Agency