Are you late to online banking? You were skeptical about how the whole thing works. Or you forgot your bank offered it. After all, checks are how we pay our bills and keep track of our money.
But online banking has its perks. It’s faster, more secure, and more convenient. And best of all, it’s free! Most banks offer online banking at no cost or a small monthly fee.
Don’t know how to get started? Fear not! Just follow these steps, and you’ll be logging into your banking in no time flat:
Step One: Gather Your Details
You will need your account number (usually the 10-digit number printed at the bottom of the checks you get from your financial institution) and your PIN (this is usually the last four digits of your social security number).
You will also probably need your full name and address or Social Security number to complete the enrollment process.
Step Two: Visit Your Bank or Credit Union Website
Next, visit your bank’s website. To find the site, type the name of the bank or credit union into your browser’s search engine. You’ll probably want the most current version of your web browser (i.eInternet Explorer or Firefox) to ensure the best online banking experience.
Once the bank’s website opens in your browser, search for “Online Banking.” It will take you to the online banking homepage and registration form.
Step Three: Register to Access Online Banking Services
Now it’s time to fill out a few forms to set up with your bank or credit union’s services.
However, some banks will already have your information on file and may not require you to fill out the online forms. Check with the bank first to find out. If the bank does request this information, be sure to fill it out accurately and completely.
After completing your registration, you will be directed to the sign-in page. Here, you will enter your user ID and PIN. For instance, this sign-in page, like most, has a “Forgot password” option in case you forget your user ID or PIN.
Step Four: Access Your Online Banking Account
After you’ve connected to the bank’s servers using your user ID and PIN, you’ll need to choose a new password for your account. Be sure to choose a strong password that will be difficult to guess.
Afterward, you will be taken to the online banking dashboard. This is where you’ll see all of your accounts and see recent transactions made to each account.
This will include checking and savings accounts, loans, and credit card account for most banks.
Tips for Staying Safe Online
Although online banking is convenient and safer than using a paper check, there is a chance that a scammer or malware could compromise your account on your computer.
Just like you need to be careful about who you share your personal information with offline, the same holds for online banking. Here are some ways to be safe while banking online:
- Set up separate user IDs and passwords for every account you have
- Protect your computer with a firewall
- Be cautious when it comes to links in emails or chat rooms
- Always log out when you finish banking
- Never give anyone your user ID and password (no one at your financial institution, either!)
Save Time on Your Next Bank Transaction by Using Online Banking
Online banking is the best way to pay bills and conduct other transactions with your bank or credit union. But are you taking full advantage of it? If you’re not, now is the perfect time to get started!
Once you get the hang of it, you probably won’t want to go back to writing checks or going to the bank or credit union regularly.
Stay on top of your finances, and you’ll never have to stress about when you paid.