The term “electronic banking” is broadly used to describe any virtual financial transaction. Whereas transactions carried via an ATM, smart cards and credit or debit cards can be referred to as a form of electronic banking, the term is more commonly used to describe transactions that are carried through e-banking websites or via e-banking cellular applications. E-banking facilitates any traditional banking activity, yet it does so virtually so there is no actual money changing hands. In order to conduct your business using e-banking services, you simply need an internet access and an electronic device, such as a computer, tablet, laptop, Smartphone, etc.
In general, e-banking services are available 24/7, and you can access them globally. E-banking services can help you manage your personal and business finances by viewing your account; viewing paid checks information and images; ordering check books; transferring funds; paying bills; applying for a loan and credit cards; printing bank statements etc. Furthermore, online banking allows you to receive financial alerts, view Forex rates, set up stop-orders for recurring payments, and manage your bank account access and authorization. There are also special features available through e-banking, such as the bulk payment service – making regular international payments for employees and/or suppliers. Customer support is often given using an online chat, secure email correspondence or via phone.
Types of e-banking services
There are several prominent forms of online banking.
- Internet banking – can be accessed via your personal computer, laptop or tablet.
- ATM banking – a computerized telecommunication system, allowing customers access to their bank accounts in order to perform a few central banking tasks, such as depositing cheques and cash withdrawal, without the mediation of a teller.
- Tele-banking: through a telebanking number, and a series of instructions given by a user-friendly online menu or an Interactive Voice Response system, customers are granted access to their account.
- Smart card: through its embedded integrated circuits, also known as a microprocessor, the Smart Card can be used in international financial transactions – one such example being the Reloadable Transport card.
- Debit card: while it functions similarly to physical money, when using the debit card method, no actual money changes hands when a purchase is made.
- E-cheques: a method which parallels the traditional paper cheques.
Characteristics of e-banking
Electronic banking is conducive to an easy and efficient management of your financial businesses. It is an economical banking method which often offers an extensive variety of free or low-priced transactions. E-banking also saves you time as it is open 24 hours a day, thus sparing you the trouble of waiting for your bank to open. Furthermore, with e-banking you can independently, and most conveniently, regard your day-to-day banking affairs and control your funds. An accessible customer interface further facilitates a straightforward use in the online website, therefore complementing the overall e-banking experience of efficiency and ease; most e-banking systems incorporate a mobile app which allows you to conduct your businesses directly from your mobile phone – a useful alternative for times you cannot access a computer.
Opening an electronic bank account
Provided that you already have a bank account at a traditional bank, opening an e-banking account would require your existing account number, security verification, in addition to a username and password of your choice. Opening a new electronic banking account necessitates that you choose a bank; decide which type of bank account you wish to open (savings, business etc.); and, provide personal information, such as your name, social security number, date of birth, address etc. If opening a business account, further documents and information, such as your company’s registration number, might be necessary. Finally, you will be able to make a first deposit into your new electronic bank account. Online customer support – in the form of an online chat or via phone – will accommodate any question or concern you might have and accompany you throughout the process.
An electronic bank transfer
An e-banking money transfer is an electronic process which parallels a regular transfer of funds, money transfers via online bank account, yet no money changes hands and the process is more economical and speedy. Electronic bank transfers can be carried either online or by using an EFT system – whereby funds are deposited directly into a specific account; an employer, for example, can deposit an employee’s salary directly into the latter’s account, without issuing any actual cheques. Since the entire process is computerized, funds can be transferred to and from your e-banking account through the use of your computer and mobile. With just a simple click on the “Fund Transfer” option, adding a beneficiary name and his/her bank account details, you can effortlessly transfer your funds.