Online banking makes it easy to manage your money without having to visit a bank branch. It also allows you to track your accounts on a regular basis and spot errors such as unauthorized activity, and you can easily transfer funds from one account to another if you need to pay a bill or make a large purchase. Depending on your needs and preferences, you can choose an online bank that provides a full suite of banking services or simply offers a checking and savings account with competitive interest rates.
If you want to find the best online banking for your situation, NerdWallet has compared top options based on fees, interest rates and extra features. The most important thing is to find a bank that offers the types of accounts you need, and be sure to consider whether the bank has a good reputation for customer service. You should also check if the bank has a mobile app and what types of deposit methods are available.
You can access online banking services on a computer or a smartphone. You will need to provide a valid email address and a password to log in, which you can get from your bank or credit union. Some banks also offer assistive technologies, such as screen readers and voice command capabilities, to help people with disabilities use online banking.
Once you have a login, you can view your account balances and history in real time. You can also view your recent transactions, as well as pending transfers. If you notice any suspicious activity, you can alert your bank through a secure email message or phone number. Some of the best online banks offer features such as automatic payments to reduce your risk of fraud, and you can set up automated reminders to pay bills.
Withdrawal and deposit limits are usually a bit lower for online banks than traditional ones, but most do offer options to increase these limits if you need them. You can also open multiple types of accounts with an online bank, allowing you to move money between accounts to maximize earning potential or meet specific needs, such as having a savings account to cover expenses during emergencies and a checking account for day-to-day spending.
One of the biggest advantages of online banking is that you can use it on any device, at any time of the day or night. You can access your account in your neighborhood, at work, on vacation or anywhere else you have an internet connection. In addition, you can complete many tasks with a smartphone, such as sending payments to friends and family or making purchases at your favorite retail store using virtual debit cards that are generated online for a single or recurring use.
You can also save on paper by choosing to receive your billing statements electronically instead of by mail. It’s not uncommon for thieves to steal physical checks from mailboxes and change their amounts, but if you send payments directly from your bank account, the risk is reduced since your account information never gets exposed on a paper document.