Online Internet Banking service is being used frequently as internet networks are made easily available to the masses. Convenience and safety is the prime concern of the banks providing online banking services. Customers can perform transactions anytime and anywhere on mobile devices and computers.
What is Online Internet Banking?
The system of online internet banking is a service by which a user conducts financial transactions using the internet as a medium. Two other terms, “internet banking” and “web banking” are also used for this service. The traditional banking services like depositing cash, cash withdrawal, etc. are the services the customers can use online. Banks provide customers with online banking services like bill payment, e-commerce purchases, fund transfer, mobile recharge, and many more.
Services Provided through Internet Banking
Availability of the technology to the masses helps banks provide the following services:
Pay Bills: During earlier days, physical cheques were needed to pay bills. With online banking, one can pay bills easily. There is no need to sit and wait for the next working day. The customer can pay bills anywhere and anytime. They can recharge prepaid mobile, recharge DTH connection, and pay an electricity bill, etc. Just an internet connection is needed to connect mobile phone or computer. Paying bills online saves time. It also saves some cost such as postage cost or late fee. The most important point is that there is no need to carry heavy cash if one is going for shopping or travelling long distances. All the money of the customer is safe in electronic form in his/her bank account.
View Account Details: Customers can view their bank account details like transaction history, account details, pending transaction, etc. The customer can also view the unauthorized transaction if any.
Transfer Funds between two separate accounts: The customer might need to transfer funds to help someone, to pay for some service, or to pay for some product etc. Online banking has made it possible to transfer funds between two separate accounts in just a few minutes. The customer needs only to add a beneficiary to whom he/she wants to transfer money.
Other Benefits of Online Internet Banking:
- The customer can use this facility to buy and sell products and services online. Now there is no need to visit physically to collect cash payment or payment through cheque for delivering a product sold.
- The customer can invest anywhere he/she wants to and pay the charges for the same as well. Be it a property, mutual funds, shares market, etc. the customer can safely and easily use internet banking to invest funds in.
- Whenever there is need to book tickets for railway, airlines or other modes of transport, the customer can visit the online platform of the transport providing company or department and book tickets by transferring funds for the tickets. It saves time.
- The customer can download application needed for some purpose, like taxi service app. Applications are also a platform for paying online.
- The customer has the availability of checking his/her account anytime anywhere. Now, there is no need to go to the bank and get the passbook updated. The customer can easily get all the information online. It saves important and valuable time.
- The customer can use NEFT service to transfer funds whenever he/she needs to
Tools of Online Internet Banking
ATM Card or The Debit Card – The ATM card is one of the tools that banks provide to customers to use in time of need. If a customer wants to buy something or pay for a service, he/she can use his ATM Card to transfer funds for the payment. The customer just needs to fill in the card no and security code on the site he/she needs to pay. The bank sends an OTP on the customer’s registered mobile number to complete the transaction. After entering this code on the required space and submitting the payment request the payment process gets completed. So, no physical presence is required. The valuable time of the customers is saved.
Credit Card – The customer can also use this card for payment. The process involved is same as in ATM case.
E-cheque –This can be termed as an online tool provided by the banks to transfer funds. The customer can use e-cheques to transfer funds from one account to another. The customer uses any e-service provider like PayPal for this type of transactions.
Security in Online Internet Banking
The financial information of a customer is taken as the highest priority by the banks. That is why a customer trusts financial institutions. The financial institutions take it as a target that the security of customers’ accounts shouldn’t confront any breach. The financial institutions use two types of security methods to make internet banking safe and secure:
- PIN/TANs – A PIN is used to login and TANs are used to complete transactions, under this system. TANs are one time passwords. TAN is sent to the customer via SMS on registered mobile number that corresponds with the login user id. It is valid for a short period of time.
The customer uses web browsers with SSL enabled websites in Internet banking to conduct transactions. This makes encryption a less important issue.
Internet Banking also uses signature verification as a base. Under this method, the transactions done by the customer are signed and encrypted digitally. The smart cards or any other memory storable medium can be used to store keys for signature generation and encryption.
Legalities regarding Online Internet Banking
The government has taken steps to expedite the development of Internet Banking. Initiatives by RBI have also proved to be of vital importance in the development of internet banking. The Central Government has made amendments in IT ACT regarding development, legalities, and other issues of internet banking. This IT Act, 2000 is responsible for recognizing whether an electronic transaction is legal or not. The other platforms of electronic commerce also stand within the legal framework of the IT ACT, 2000.
Tips to Use Online Internet Banking Safely
- Use of anti-virus software
While the customers use internet banking there is always a threat of phishing or malware or other kinds of security. The customer should always use anti-virus software to deal with such issues. Anti-virus helps in detecting, tracking and removing harmful spyware that targets to steal customer’s important and sensitive information. Once any information related to the bank account is stolen or destroyed, the customer might get into trouble.
- Try to avoid public Wi-Fi
The highest possible risk of using Wi-Fi network of a public place is that some hacker might strike hotspot and the end user and steal all important data easily. Hackers are always in search of such opportunities where they can send malware through open networks. So, it is advisable to avoid public Wi-Fi networks.
- Change password regularly and try using difficult one
The customer must try to maintain his/her account information confidential. The credentials of account should never be shared. For this, a strong password is always recommended by banks and it should be followed. And, the password should be changed regularly.
- Try to avoid signing-in to net-banking account through mailers
The customers sometimes get mailers persuading the customer to sign-in through links the mailer provides, but, the customers should always try to type and enter the URL of the bank themselves. Banks never ask for such actions. So, signing-in through mailers should always be avoided.
Online Internet Banking FAQs
How can a person know if a web page he or she using is safe?
While using internet and browsing for something, the user comes across with URL of websites start with “HTTP”. But, the URL starting with ‘https’ is secure. Such websites as URLs starting as ‘https’ have SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) integrated on them. SSL is a technology that establishes an encrypted link between a client and a server. The server and the clients are a browser and web server. The banks’ websites always have SSL integrated on them. Without SSL certification, not a single transaction can be performed. But, during the unfinished process, if any, the customer’s account can be at risk.
Which is the best browser to use for internet banking?
The customer should use Internet Explorer 6 or an upper version of the Explorer. As this is the browser the banking websites work best. For MacBook users, Safari browser is recommended. The resolution of the screen should be set at 1024×768 on Explorer 6.0.
Why am I unable to login into my internet banking account?
Such a situation arises due to following reasons:
Incorrect login ID or password – The customer must make sure if he/she is entering right username and password. There might be any mistake of letter capitalization or space between letters. As passwords are case sensitive, carefully enter the passwords.
Browser Issues – The customer must notice which browser is being used. It might be a browser issue.