Online banking pros and cons
Monday, 11 May 2020
Online banking allows you to manage your money and banking services from any computer with secure internet access. This is particularly useful now as many bank branches are temporarily closed to walk-in customers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
What is online banking?
Online banking is a digital platform that gives you secure online access to your bank accounts. In most online banking services, you can view account information, such as balances, deposits, withdrawals, and other transactions. You can also transfer money between accounts, pay bills, set up account alerts, get your statements, and more. Online banking is free with most bank accounts.
Are online bank accounts safe?
Many banks, including BBVA, use a broad range of industry-leading measures— including Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption, multi-factor authentication, anti-virus and anti-malware protection, firewalls, automatic logout, and more— to provide the highest level of security for their online banking customers.
There are also some important things you can do to help keep your online banking more secure. These include:
- Set a unique password and changing it frequently
- Memorize your password so you don't have to write it down
- Never share your login or password information with anyone
- Don't use an automatic login feature (do not save your login and password on your devices)
- Don't use public Wi-Fi for online banking
- Keep your computer software up to date to ensure the most recent security upgrades
What are the pros and cons of online banking?
There are many pros to online banking, including the ability to access your online banking service from any computer with secure internet access, 24-7, which means you can bank when it's convenient for you. With online banking, you can take care of most of your banking and money management safely from home.
Online banking also allows you to access your account information in one convenient place. With some services, including BBVA Online Banking, you can add accounts from other banks or financial institutions, giving you even greater insight into your finances. You can also streamline your money management documents by opting in to receive and view your monthly statements electronically and more securely via online banking, which means no more paper statements to sort and store.
Bill pay is another popular feature of online banking. You can pay bills in a few clicks and even set up recurring payments on a weekly, monthly, or custom basis. And, online banking will alert you to any account activity. You can set up alerts to notify you when payments or deposits are made, your balance gets low, there's suspicious account activity, and more. This keeps you in touch with your accounts and gives you greater control.
What about the cons of online banking?
While online banking services vary from bank to bank, most currently do not give you the ability to deposit checks. You can, however, deposit checks using many mobile banking apps and at some ATMs.
Some online banking services give you the ability to apply for accounts, including mortgages and other loans. But you typically have to sign the paperwork and complete the loan process in a branch.
You do need to be somewhat computer proficient in order to manage many online banking platforms. While most are designed to be easy to use, you will need to know how to log in and perform other basic computer tasks in order to use the system.
How to open an online banking account
All online banking platforms are different, but in most cases you'll start by filling out an online application to set up and activate an online banking account.
Typically, the following information is needed:
- Name, address, phone number, birthdate
- Valid form of identification, such as a driver's license, passport or state-issued ID
- Employment and income information
- Minimum opening deposit, which can be from another debit card or bank account
- If you are opening a joint account, the other account holder will need to provide the same information
At BBVA, once you have completed and submitted your application, you will be contacted by a bank representative to finalize the account-opening process. Once your account is open, you can easily activate online banking.
The content provided is for informational purposes only. Neither BBVA USA, nor any of its affiliates, is providing legal, tax, or investment advice. You should consult your legal, tax, or financial consultant about your personal situation. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BBVA USA or any of its affiliates.
Links to third party sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement. BBVA USA does not provide, is not responsible for, and does not guarantee the products, services or overall content available at third party sites. These sites may not have the same privacy, security or accessibility standards.
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