Because online banking reduces banks’ overhead of wages, benefits, and branch maintenance costs, most institutes charge no fee for online banking. However, some transactions performed through an online banking portal may cost account holders transaction fees, but most are free of charge.
Common Fee-Based Services
Non-standard electronic transactions generally incur a fee, such as:
1. Wire transfers from an institution not within the banking network can cost both the transmitting account and receiving account.
2. Transactions involving off shore accounts may not only incur a fee but also may be delayed longer than usual.
3. Overdraft fees are standard, whether through an online transaction or at a local store, and are commonly debited from the account within five days of the initial transaction information reaching the bank. Many banks offer overdraft protection with a service fee, regardless of other fee accrual or account structure.
4. Late fees are incurred if payment on an outstanding loan or line of credit is not made on time or if there are insufficient funds on a due date of automatic payments. Additional fees may be charged by the creditor who is requesting the automatic payment.
5. Account fees may debit the account balance, if the account is structured to require a minimum balance. Generally, reduced balances on such accounts incur fees whether online or physical location banking is preferred.
Some Common Free Services
While each banking institute or savings and loan organization may have different services outlines, some common free services via online banking include:
1. Online Bill Pay: Whether ordering a physical check printed by the bank or a continuing or one-off payment on a bank card, online bill pay services save banks enough money in processing costs that most offer free online bill pay services.
2. Monthly fees on accounts can be waived with direct or electronic deposits, easily verified with online banking. Because those deposits do not ordinarily require human intervention, many banks waive monthly fees so long as there is at least one qualifying electronic deposit made within the monthly account cycle.
3. Outgoing money transfers qualify with some banking institutes as free services, so long as both the transmitting and receiving accounts are with the same bank.
4. Other free services may differ depending on banks, credit unions, and savings and loans.
Online banking can save significant time and effort, enhance banking convenience, and offers a wealth of easy-to-use services for their account holders.