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Online banking: How the world banks today

From traditional banking restricted within the banking hours to mobile banking, the banking sector has come a long way in the last three decades. In this article, we are going to explore Online banking, something that changed the landscape of the banking world.

Online banking

Simply put, it gives you an ability to operate your bank account remotely. You do not have to go to a bank, send anyone cheques, or wait for days for transactions to happen.  However, a lot is going on in the background when these processes are being made easy for you.

Perhaps the most enabling factor for online banking is the advancement of internet technology. The speed of the internet has gone up in the last decade. According to the statistics, the average internet speed in the US has gone up by 500%, from 3.07 Mbps in 2007 to 18.7 Mbps in 2017.  

With an increased access to technology, the adoption of the internet is also increasing. It is evident from the number of internet users around the world. In December 1995, only about 0.4% of the world’s population then, or around 16M people were using the internet. In December 2017, in contrast, 54% of the world’s population or 4.7B people are using the internet.

In addition to the speed and access, another factor from the consumer’s point of view has been the advent of mobility. The use of mobile internet is on the rise and now, and the ownership of smartphones in the US has gone up from 62% in 2002 to 95% in 2018. In addition, tablets and hybrid laptops have increased the ability of a person to access the internet on the go.

From a bank’s perspective, the advancements in internet protocols have increased the security of transactions. People are also using apps to do transactions, leading to an increase in the volume of overall transactions.

Online banking - Bank with caution

Almost every bank today offers online banking. In fact, there are so many non-banking financial institutions like Insurance brokers that are facilitating online banking transactions.

However, the advent of remote access has also led to an increase in frauds. Phishing has been a constant worry for Banks. There are various ways in which fraudsters obtain sensitive information like passwords and safe words. Barclays UK released this advertisement a few months back warning people how easy to obtain your pin.

In addition to such calls, fraudsters send emails with link manipulations, or they can create entire websites to impersonate the bank’s website. The phishing attempts might be even more subtle, in the form of popups on your bank’s legitimate website. This is done by either tampering with the website or sending a virus to your computer.

What can we do as consumers

Here are a few things that you need to do as a consumer

  1. Never ever reveal the password to anybody, either in part or full

  2. Have an antivirus on your computer. Never turn a firewall off

  3. If you are unsure about anything, don’t use it! Just walk into a bank and ask for help

  4. Always log out from the account after use; avoid using public computers for logging in your bank account.

  5. Never click on links that seem too good to be true.

  6. If offered, use a two-factor authentication for additional safety. Many banks today issue either a physical or a virtual device for this.

That said, online banking is the most convenient way to perform transactions.  If you are in France, has a comprehensive article on online banking, comparing the various online banking options you have as a consumer. You can compare the banks and see what works for you here.

Also from Selectra:

Online banking, comparisons

Perfect bank for professionals

In the next article, we will cover more aspects of financial management, so keep watching this space.


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