Traditional banking like waiting in line to apply for a loan, using an ATM to manage your money, or even talking to a teller to open a bank account aren’t exactly a thing of the past, but they’re fast going there. We now live in an era of absolute convenience and instant results- and this applies to banking processes. Online banking has taken over, and it’s developing more useful features as time goes on.
A Short History Lesson
As the internet entered mainstream consciousness sometime in the 90s, many conventional businesses and banks have looked for ways to utilize its efficiency in their operations. This has led to banks continuously developing financial technology, not just for their internal use but also for customer use. Eventually, internet-exclusive banks and financial businesses such as Paypal blossomed. These types of companies offer financial services and online banking activities without the control of traditional banks.
Eventually, the technology matured enough for it to become highly reliable for all kinds of financial operations. Nowadays, we can send and receive money with little worry. We can open our accounts to manage and change some details- all with a touch of our fingertips. Truly, technology has far evolved to the point that we can’t imagine a world without it.
Everything is Digital
With online accounts being stored digitally, you can easily use them for online transactions, such as buying at an online store or paying for video streaming services. However, a major downside to this is the usual lack of a physical entity for your account. This means there aren’t any ready ATMs for your account. Fortunately, many online banks are now collaborating with traditional financial institutions to create account integration systems, allowing you to possess a card for your online account. These cards are then usable with related ATMs, allowing you to withdraw cash despite simply owning an online account.
Faster Loan Applications
Traditionally applying for a loan at a bank requires going to the brick-and-mortar bank itself and presenting your case. You are then subjected to banks’ conventional risk management measures to figure out the loan’s terms. But what is risk management in banking, especially online ones, and what does it mean for you? It essentially means finding out, evaluating, and then controlling any potential risks.
When it comes to online banking, since many of your transactions are kept in an online ledger of sorts, this allows banks to easily access it (once you’ve permitted them) to figure out the terms as efficiently and as quickly as possible. No longer do we have to wait for “ten to fifteen” business days to get a result. Often, it takes less than 24 hours to figure it out.
Taking on the Risks
One of the biggest hurdles financial technology had to overcome was the safety of making online transactions. Concern and worry over such an innovation were rife when online transactions were first launched. Nowadays, more people trust online banking, but there are still dangers to dealing with online transactions. Especially when it comes to financial matters such as online banking, the risk remains, and everyone has to apply safety measures to defend their assets.
Being careful with how your account details, such as username and passwords, are stored, making sure you’re using safe browsers connected to a network you trust are needed to maintain safety. Thankfully, due to the sensitivity of online finances, service providers are continuously increasing their defense against malicious attempts at gaining your accounts.
Lower Barrier for Investments
Since banking operations and procedures are now ported online, it made sense for investment interfaces to move online. This has opened a whole avenue for individuals of all backgrounds to access investments. The relatively lower entry barrier makes it accessible and affordable, gaining the interest of many. Traditional investment schemes such as stocks, exchange-traded funds, mutual bonds, and even gold trading can now be done online.
Services catering to almost hands-off investment plans also exist, giving options to people with varying financial knowledge. This stands among the largest developments in online banking- the ability to make a small investment in the comfort of your home.
Online banking will continue to evolve. It has improved and changed significantly from its initial inception, but with its prominence and popularity, we can expect it to improve more. Perhaps in the future, we can expect to see faster and more efficient banking operations. We might even enter a world with little cash, with every transaction happening online and through a computer.