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Internet Bank Accounts - The Benefits and Drawbacks

It’s a Wonderful Life

Traditionally, the banking industry has been regarded as extremely conservative and accountants as rather boring. But these days the world of banking is far from either boring or conservative. In the past few years it’s seen the last barricades against progress crumble as it has succumbed to the hype of marketing. With all its associated talk of brand values, customer service has arrived in banking.

Internet banking is a great example of the way the industry has changed to suit the customer. So what are the pros and cons of using internet banking?

A Safe Breaker

Security is the number one argument against using Internet bank accounts. As soon as you sign up for any of them, Smile or First Direct being but two o f the more well known ones, you will be inundated with fraudulent emails asking for your banking details in one dastardly way or another. If you are an experienced internet user you will be used to receiving a deluge of junk mail, but if not, then it can be a bit disconcerting.

Banks are only too aware of customers concern over security and take as many steps as possible to safeguard their customers’ information, even offering guarantees against fraud. But no matter what banks do, there will always be a few hackers that proclaim they can beat the system. As long as they remain very few and far between and are after the limelight more than real cash, they should just be regarded simply as a fact of internet life.

Think Positive

A really good reason for using Internet banks is that they offer higher interest rates to accounts that are kept in credit than their branch based counterparts. Internet banks don’t have the cost of running branches and all their associated staff so they can afford to offer these higher rates.

Branch out for hours

But if you like to see who you are dealing with then you may miss that personal touch of being able to go into a branch and discuss your account with somebody on the other side of the glass.

Branches of course are only open for the usual business hours between 09.00am and 5.00pm and with our increasingly hectic lives this can sometimes be a problem.

Many shops now offer extended opening hours and certainly supermarkets have seen the benefits of 24 hours opening and that’s what you get with an internet bank: you have access to your account twenty four hours a day. In our convenience-driven society what could be more convenient than that?

Not for the cybercafé

If you are opening an internet account it’s important that you have internet access from home. Accessing your bank account in a cyber café is not a very wise thing to do. It will leave you open to all sorts of security risks. Even if you are not directly overlooked by somebody in the room remember that you are using a computer that is accessible by many people who you do not know and therefore cannot vouch for their honesty!

Equally although some internet accounts conveniently enable you to access your account from your hand held organiser or mobile, it is advisable only to do so if your signal is encrypted. Never access your bank account using unencrypted WiFi.

Paper Mountain

Another disadvantage with internet banks is that you don’t get monthly statements sent through the post. However, you can always print off a paper copy of your account whenever you wish.

But I don’t understand

Websites are curious things. Some of them are so difficult to navigate they are infuriating. Some send you down one way links that don’t deliver what they promised while others hide their information in obscure places with illogical links that simply don’t make sense.

But some are so simple; they give you exactly what you want where you expect to find it. These are the ones that are a delight to use. So delightful, in fact, are they in their simple efficiency you feel you could kiss the designer!

Suits

If you think Internet banking might be for you then the answer is to have a good look round and find a site that suits your needs. The chances are there is one out there that will offer you everything you ever wanted from a bank account.

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Posted on: [ November 03, 2017 ]       Add to Del.icio.us   Digg it   Add to Blinklist   Add to FUrl   StumbleUpon