Times have changed so much from the days when you moved through the world with just an ATM card and a checkbook. Today, ATM cards have been swapped for debit cards, and you rarely need cash anymore. Despite the advances in modern banking technology, there are still a group of people who have stuck with the tried and true.
If you’ve found that you just can’t avoid internet banking any longer, you might be considering dipping your toes into the online banking pond. Don’t worry if you feel overwhelmed by the process. Read on to learn how to get started!
Why Internet Banking?
It’s hard to track down which bank was the very first internet bank, but you’re probably not here for a history lesson. Internet banking rose to prominence in the early aughts. Since that time, it has significantly reduced customers’ reliance on brick and mortar banking services.
The only thing you need to do to keep track of your account balance is an internet connection. Customers are able to take a peek at their balance and see which transactions are pending and which ones have cleared. You can also do things like order new checks, replace your debit card, and download your account statement.
Need to collect cash from a friend? Want to send funds to your kids in college? Link your online account to apps like Zelle or Venmo and you to send and receive cash in an instant.
As an added bonus, many banks give their customers access to their credit scores so they can monitor their credit.
Start with Your Account Information
When you’re ready to get started with online banking, you’ll want to collect all of your account information. Most online banks require their customers to go through some identification steps in order to register for online access.
At a minimum, you’ll want to have your bank account number available in order to set up your online account. You can find your account number on the first page of your most recent bank statement. If you don’t have a recent account statement on hand, all you need to do is grab your checkbook and look at the numbers on the lower right-hand side of your checks.
If you have multiple accounts at your bank, like a checking and savings account, you’ll want to make sure you have information available for all accounts. Unless your bank says otherwise, you’ll only need one login for all of your accounts.
Set Up and Tour Your Bank’s Online Portal
You’re prepped and ready to get started with setting up your online banking account.
The first thing you want to do is navigate to your bank’s website. If you don’t know the URL, you can usually find it on the back of your debit or ATM card. If you aren’t sure, give your local branch a ring to verify so you don’t hand over sensitive information to ne’er-do-wells.
Once you’re on the homepage, click on the link that says something along the lines of “enroll” or “register your account.” For example, Farmers National Bank online banking has a green button that reads “enroll now” at the bottom of the page. US Bank internet banking, on the other hand, has a link to create your username and password on the right side of the page.
From there, the website will prompt you to enter your account number, and they may ask for your social security number, as well. Follow the step-by-step process as directed by the bank.
After you create your account, you will be able to log in and see live account information. Take your time going through the various buttons and drop-down menus. This will help you learn about the features your bank offers, and you’ll be able to navigate to them when you want to use them.
Download the Bank’s Mobile App
Getting enrolled in your bank’s internet banking services is a great first step toward modernizing your personal finances. If you really want to take things to the next level, though, then you need to download your bank’s mobile app.
All you need to do is download the app through your phone’s app store. From there, you just log in using the same credentials you use on the website. Like the website, mobile apps are designed to be super secure and protect your privacy and personal information.
Learn About Mobile App Functions
You never know when you’re going to need access to your financial information. At a minimum, a mobile app is great for getting a quick snapshot of your finances when you’re out. There are more benefits than that, though!
One of the best features of a mobile app is the fact that you can deposit checks through the app itself. You just need a phone with a camera so you can take a photo of the front and back of the check. The check will then be deposited just as if you had made a trip to the bank.
Get to know your bank’s mobile app to learn all about how it can make your life easier!
When Should You Bank in Person?
Internet banking is a wonderful thing that makes life much easier, but it doesn’t replace brick and mortar banks altogether. There are still a number of reasons why you should visit your bank in person.
Many banks have limits on mobile deposits. If you need to deposit a large check, then a trip to the branch is in order. You’ll also need to visit if you need to make a large withdrawal or purchase money orders or cashier’s checks.
When in doubt, call your local branch to get their opinion.
Are You Ready to Start Internet Banking?
Internet banking is a great way to keep track of your money. It doesn’t matter what time it is, you’ll be able to go over your banking transactions with a fine-toothed comb with just a few clicks. If you need more advanced assistance with your bank account, you can always stop in at your local branch to get that great customer service you know and love!
Do you need more help getting your personal finances in order? You’ve landed in the right spot. Head over to our homepage to browse through tons of helpful content!