Online banking services are becoming increasingly popular among both major and small town financial institutions. These tools offer a number of conveniences for anyone with a busy schedule, but not all banks offer the same tools to all users. With this in mind, it's a good idea to find out just what online banking services are available to you.
A lot of utility and service providers offer online payment options, but many banks have been adding auto-payment tools to their online services. When using these through your bank's website make sure you know whether you have the choice of setting up single payments versus recurring drafts. In the event that the company you're paying assesses a fee for using their online service you can often avoid that cost by setting up a draft through your bank instead.
Unfortunately, online payments through your bank account will normally require account data from whoever you're sending the payment to. Not all service providers offer this information, which can make it difficult to make these arrangements without help. However, if you have a credit card through the same organization this can almost always be tied directly to your checking or savings account.
Deposit and Transfer Tools
What makes most online banking services invaluable is access to tools that allow you to move money between accounts you control, or deposit money without making a trip to the bank. Making use of these tools can allow you to save a great deal of time by avoiding transactions in person, where a number of factors can impede the process. Further, online tools initiate electronic funds transfers, which are often far faster than those initiated through a teller.
While you'll still have to make a trip to the bank to deposit hard currency, online banking tools make other deposits far easier. If you're concerned about security when depositing checks then make sure you upload photos directly to the bank's website, rather than transmitting them from your smart phone. You can also set up direct deposits from employers and other sources of income too, which reduces the risk of your information becoming public and cuts down on your time in a bank line.
While there will always be a place for live tellers and brick-and-mortar banks, much of the banking that the average consumer does no longer requires you to look anyone in the eye. Getting a handle on the tools your bank offers through your online account will not only streamline your finances, it will also give you greater control over your money instantly.