Since even before the World Wide Web became hugely popular and a staple of everyone’s daily information diet, people have been using the Internet to handle their financial transactions. One of the early national Internet service providers, Prodigy, had systems implemented with a number of different banks whereby subscribers to the service could access their financial accounts via online banking. While the exact form of online banking has changed over the years from provider-based solutions to web-based solutions, the fact remains the same: you can save quite a bit in the way of time and money by doing your banking online.
What, exactly, can you accomplish with online banking? Here are a handful of things worth considering:
- Paying bills becomes a breeze. Many online banking systems allow you to pay your bills directly. In most cases, you set up your regular payees, such as your mortgage company, the lender that holds your car loan or even your daughter’s orthodontist bill, and then you can just pay them directly from you checking account. You don’t need stamps, you don’t have to dig out an address (except for the first time) and you don’t have to write a bunch of checks.
- You save some money. Usually, you can save a little bit of money on things like stamps and envelopes if you do online banking. To be sure, we’re only talking about a few bucks a month. While this isn’t a reason to use online banking in and of itself, it certainly doesn’t hurt.
- You may be able to export your account info to an accounting program. Many folks today use Quicken or another accounting program to track their spending and keep their checkbook update. Many online banking programs interface with Quicken or other accounting packages.
- Online banking lets you keep track of your account in real time. You can log in to your online banking account to see charges from your debit card almost immediately, in most cases. This gives you a greater degree of control over your accounts, and lets you keep better overall tabs on things.