The advancement of information technology is making life easy for many people. Nowadays, it is possible to do everything from home. A mother can shop for basic necessities, including groceries, through the Internet. Students can study at home and earn degrees from online academic programs. Numerous kinds of business transactions can be facilitated through e-commerce. And more recently, banking has benefited from going online, too.
Know Your Internet Bank
Generally, there are two kinds of Internet banks: depository institutions with websites and the Internet-only banks.
The first kind is a traditional bank that maintains a website where you can also do your banking transactions like deposits, withdrawals, bill payments, etc. The second exists only on the Internet. The government regulates both kinds. In the United States, it is the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) that monitors the activities of the banking industry.
Just like a regular brick and mortar bank institution, Internet banks are further classified as thrift or national banks. An Internet thrift bank is subjected to the powers of the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS), while the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) supervises those that qualify as national banks.
Tips on Internet Banking
Internet banking has many advantages. Aside from the convenience it provides (you do not have to leave your home and stand in line to do your banking) an Internet bank allows you to set up automatic investment plans. And with higher interest rates than traditional banks, 3.4% to 4%, you get more from your money.
There are, however, some important things you have to consider before opening an account with an Internet bank. Foremost is the credibility of the institution you with which you are entrusting your money. Always check the bank against the listing of the FDIC. The Internet has become a dangerous place for unsuspecting individuals. Make sure the institution you are selecting is legitimate.
You also have to realize that with Internet banking, you may have to do without the kind of customer care that a teller or bank manager can give you, face to face. With Internet banking, everything is automated and mechanical. You may have to be ready to accept this trade off.