Online Banking

Online Banking

Is it the Product or the Bank that is Most Important?

It can be difficult choosing a financial product and thinking about whether you want to put priority over the product itself or the bank when you are comparing them. It is something that it is important to think about though as it could make the difference between whether you get a good product or not.

What to Look out for in the Product

One of the main things that people will want to look out for in the product is the cost of it. They will want to make sure that they are not paying more than necessary for the item that they are using. If this is a savings account then it will be the interest paid out rather than charges that will be considered. If it is a loan then it will be the interest and any fees. With a current account there may be charges or it might be the overdraft rate that you are looking at. It is a good idea to think about the value for money that you are getting from the product though. Consider other features of it in light of the cost to see whether you think that it is good. Consider whether you are prepared to pay more for an item due to features that it has. For example, you might be prepared to pay more for a loan if the repayments are smaller and easier to manage. You might be happy to receive less interest on your savings if the account allows instant access to the money. So, it is important to look at the cost side in relation to what else you are offered and then you will be able to think about the value for money that you are getting.

What to Look out for in the Bank

Banks will vary in different ways. It is worth thinking about what might be important for you. Firstly, it is good to think about how you want to deal with the bank. Some will have high street branches and you might want a bank that has one but some may only deal over the telephone or online. Think about what you would prefer or whether you want to be able to use all of these if you want to.

Also, you may want to think about the reputation of the bank. You might want to go for a bank that you have used before so that you are happy that you will be able to trust them. You might want to go for a bank that you have heard of or that people you know recommend. You may want to read some reviews to find out more about them. It is a good idea to be cautious and find out as much as you can. However, make sure that your sources are reliable. Reviews can be biased and even people you ask might be. Also think about what they are saying, they might love a bank as it has a high street branch but you like to online bank s that is not relevant. So, think about whether the things that people like and dislike about the bank are relevant to you and what is important to you in a bank.

It is probably the case that it should be both that you consider. However, think about what factors you feel are important to you and prioritise those. We all have different ideas and so it is hard to say whether one is better. It is important though, to be aware of the cost or interest on the item and think about whether it offers good value for money when considering its features as well as what the bank itself is like. 

Online Banking

Should I Trust Online Banking?

There are many people that use online banking but there are some people that just do not trust the system. They might worry about all sorts of things and wonder whether it is a good idea for them to use. There are some really good advantages of using online banking though

  • Can access account details at any time
  • Can do transfers and change direct debits etc yourself
  • Can check balance easily to keep a track of what is going on with your account which can help with budgeting

If you haveto wait for a bank to be open to make transfers or things like this it can mean that you might even have to wait until a Saturday if you are at work full time in the week. You may not even have a local branch or you may find that you will have to travel to one or it might be due to close in the future so then you will not have anywhere to go in order to get these things done. Being able to keep a check on your balance is really important if you are carefully budgeting and so you will want to be able to easily do this. You could keep a written record, but that will not allow for any payments that go out that you have forgotten about, perhaps old cheques that took a long time to be cashed or irregular direct debits, for example.

So online banking can be a very useful option but there is mistrust in it. People are worried about others being able to more easily get hold of their details and steal money from them. This is possible but there are different measures that you can take to protect yourself.

  • Make sure no one is watching when you are logging in
  • Try not to log in using a public computer but if you do log out and close the tab when you are done
  • Keep your passwords very secure and make them impossible to guess
  • Have virus protection and firewalls on your computer
  • Be wary of phishing

Phishing is probably the major one here. This is where you go to a website which looks like your bank and enter your details and then someone else has them. These sites are entered by people either using a search engine to find their banking website and following a link which looks like their bank but is not or by clicking through a link in an email or giving details over the telephone. It is therefore important to make sure that when you are banking you always enter the URL of the bank rather than using a search engine. Never click a link in an email as your bank will never send you one and on the telephone never give details over the phone unless you have telephoned the bank and are sure you are speaking to them. They should not phone you and if you get a call which says it is form the bank, hang up and call your bank using a number you are sure of, to check whether they just called you.

The above might sound like a hassle, but once you get into a good habit of knowing how to use your banks website, it should be easy and you should feel confident that you will not be subject to any problems. If you are at all worried that something has gone wring then calling your bank will allow you to be able to check and they will be able to sort out any problems you have had.