With everything going electronic and online, identity theft has become an ever more common problem.
The numbers don't lie. Online banking continues to grow.
In fact, according to a 2010 survey by the American Bankers Association (ABA), most customers prefer to do their banking online compared to any other method. And why wouldn't they?
And it's not just Generation Y that's jumped on the bandwagon.
"ABA survey results showed that the popularity of online banking was not exclusive to the youngest consumers: it was the preferred banking method for all bank customers under the age of 55. Consumers over 55 still prefer to visit their local branch."
Though the convenience of managing money anytime, anywhere, is a major reason consumers choose online banking, it's not the only one. More and more people are using the tools that online banking offers to gain greater control of all their finances.
These tools allow them to accomplish a number of objectives, including:
Paying bills more efficiently. According to a 2010 survey by Intuit Financial, one of the biggest reasons people choose online banking is for bill paying. With bill pay, you can pay just about anyone with just a few clicks of the mouse. Plus, you can schedule your payments to occur automatically, thereby helping you pay your bills on time, avoid late fees, and preserve your credit rating. Paying bills online will also help you save money on postage and fuel spent driving to the post office.
Monitoring cash flow. Customers who bank online can monitor account activity in their savings and checking accounts, view bank-issued credit cards, and get up-to-the-minute bank rate information anytime, anywhere. In addition, they can set account alerts to let them know if a certain account activity, such as a specific check or bill payment having been processed, has occurred or if their account balance has reached a targeted amount.
Building savings automatically. Now more than ever, it's important to build savings. Online banking lets you set up automatic transfers to savings that make building savings easy. You can arrange to have money automatically transferred from checking to savings - weekly, monthly, or at whatever frequency you choose.
Managing finances. Most online banking services allow you to download account information to financial management software programs. That way you can monitor spending, reconcile accounts, and perform other account management activities.
Managing your complete financial picture. If you have checking, savings, CDs, loans, and investment accounts with the same financial institution, you may be able to monitor all your accounts from one place, helping you keep track of your complete financial picture.
Source: American Heritage Bank
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