The ease of online banking can benefit seniors, especially those with mobility issues, those who no longer drive or simply those who want the convenience of banking from the comfort of their own home. So without further ado, here’s the 411 on banking online and how you can get started.
What Is Online Banking?
Online banking is any banking that is done on the internet. Many banks and credit unions have both a website where you can do your banking online as well as an app for smartphones or tablets. Whether you have an account with a local institution or a national bank, odds are they provide some form of online banking.
What Can You Do with Online Banking?
Every bank is different, but many offer similar services online. Many banks allow you to check your balance, transfer funds, make online bill payments and even deposit checks simply by taking a photo with your smartphone or tablet.
Some banking apps have more functions than others. With an advanced online banking app, you may be able to order checks, apply for credit cards, see your credit score, lock lost debit or credit cards to prevent theft, change your card’s PIN and more. You may also be able to sign up for smartphone notifications that let you know anytime a transaction occurs. These notifications can help you catch fraud or theft if you see a purchase you don’t recognize.
While you can do most basic functions through online banking, accessing cash is a different story. You’ll still need to go to an ATM or local branch if you need to withdraw or deposit physical money.
How to Start Banking Online
Start by visiting the website of your bank or credit union. Every bank is different, but may have a space on their website for you to register for online banking. This will allow you to start banking online through your personal computer.
Once you’re registered on your institution’s website, you may be able to take your online banking to the next level by downloading their app on your mobile phone or tablet. You may find a link to their app on their website. If you can’t find a link to your bank’s app on their website, you might try calling your local branch for assistance or having a tech-savvy friend help you find and download it.
Never Do Online Banking on a Public Internet Connection
One word of caution when it comes to banking on the internet: avoid using public WiFi connections to log in to your online banking or conduct transactions. That means coffee shops, restaurants, libraries and other public spaces that provide a wireless internet connection.
While banking online at home tends to be relatively safe, public internet connections are typically less secure than your home internet. It can be easier for fraudsters to hack into your banking information on a public connection, which makes public spaces a popular target for hackers.
More Apps for Tech-Savvy Seniors
From the way we bank to how we shop, apps have changed the world for everyone. Once you’ve gotten the hang of online banking, check out our article on another tech trend: grocery delivery apps.
The above content is shared for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional or financial advice and should not be relied upon for making financial or other decisions. Please consult your attorney or financial advisor before acting on any content on this website.
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