Do you prefer going to the physical bank, or are you more comfortable conducting all of your financial business online? Both traditional and online banks now allow you to access your account online and perform most of the tasks with just a few clicks or even through your phone, thanks to the smartphone apps.
Unfortunately, all of this comes with some risks, but you will learn how to stay safe when banking online with SEON’s transaction monitoring tips.
Managing your accounts, making payments, paying bills, or even transferring funds online has made lives easier for many customers. In 2020 there were already 1.9 billion individuals worldwide that have actively used online banking software, and according to Statista’s forecast, that number could reach 2.5 billion by 2024. This clearly shows that any bank that still hasn’t accepted this benefit of digital transformation needs to get moving if they want to stay competitive in this new market.
Benefits of Online Banking
Online banking has become more and more dominant today, especially with new financial institutions opening daily that are based solely online. Businesses and individuals choose to conduct their business online due to numerous advantages:
With the physical banks, you need to wait for their opening hours to conduct your business, which means you are locked out from your account outside their working hours. With online banking, you can access your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from anywhere in the world. Some even have 24/7 customer service to help with any issues you might encounter. As long as you have internet access you can use the bank’s app or log in to the bank’s website to perform any number of financial transactions. Weekends and holidays will never stop you again from managing your account.
Pay Bills Online
We will agree that the ability to pay your bill online is one of the top advantages as it is not only practical but also saves your time. You no longer have to take time out of your day to go to the bank and wait in line to pay your bills. This can be done in seconds, especially with the option of setting automated bill payments, so you don’t even have to worry about it.
Online banking also allows you to transfer money in seconds at any time of the day, which can be extremely useful when dealing with a client or vendor.
Risks of Online Banking
While online banking has numerous benefits, there are some disadvantages and risks that come with it:
Your access to your account relies on technology. If there is an issue with your internet connection, power outage, site maintenance, or even some server issue at your bank, you wouldn’t be able to access your account.
Privacy and Security Concerns
Financial institutions, both physical and online, invest a lot of time and effort to offer the best safety measures they can, but nothing is foolproof. Valuable information, and especially financial one, will always be a prime target for cybercriminals. They have numerous options for their malicious actions, from intercepting transaction submissions to gain access to financial data, using phishing attacks and pretending to be a financial institution to gain access to the user account, or even conducting identity thefts.
While the financial institutions need to introduce necessary security practices and measures to protect their customers against these risks, it is up to every user to help them in doing so:
- Always use the mobile app and the website directly.
- Never access your accounts through links in emails, texts, or pop-up windows.
- Use public WI-FI safely.
- Be cautious whenever you use devices in public places. Do not leave them unattended or your screen idle for long periods.
- Use firewall and antivirus software.
- Have good password hygiene. Make sure it is complex, updated regularly, and most importantly, never give it out to anyone.
- Use two-step authentication.
- Log out of your accounts once you are finished with your banking session.
The truth is that nothing is entirely safe, especially online. Cybercriminals constantly try to get the upper hand and exploit innocent victims. But with the joint effort of institutions and customers, we will be able to stay ahead of them.