Online banking also allows you to transfer money between accounts much more quickly and check on your available funds before spending money. It is more convenient than using the automated phone service and can save you a trip to the bank.
When you apply or set up your online banking, be sure that all of the accounts you have at the bank are listed. This will make it easier to transfer money and make loan payments online.
You also have the option of transferring money between different banks online. This will not happen as quickly since the money still needs to go between financial institutions, but it is much more convenient than running to the bank.
Depending on the type of account, your bank may limit the number of online transfers and may hit you with a fee if you go over.
You can also use online banking to manage your money better by setting up more than one savings account at the same bank. Not all banks offer this, so check around.
After each paycheck, for example, you can go online and transfer money to different savings accounts to save for various goals, such as an emergency fund or a down payment for a new home.
Online banking allows you to access your account history and transactions from anywhere. This is the quickest way to check and see if a transaction has cleared your account.
You can also find out the amount of a transaction after you have lost your receipt. It also allows you to find out about unauthorized transactions more quickly, helping you resolve any issues right away.
Some banks will show you pending transactions. These are transactions that you made that day. If you spot something you did not authorize, you can contact your bank and the vendor in order to reverse the charges.
The sooner you catch a problem like this, the more quickly you can resolve it. Pending transactions may not be for the exact amount of the purchase. For example, if you leave a tip, this will not show on the pending transaction, so keep that in mind as you balance your account.
You can use your bank's online site to pay your bills and protect yourself from having your check get lost in the mail. Most banks will have a section in which you set up payees. You will need to fill out the information once, and then you can simply choose that profile every time you pay a bill online.
If your bank will not pay bills online, you may consider paying through the company's website. Be careful since some of these companies may charge a convenience fee. Some places will charge a fee for a debit card, but not if you set up a direct debit.
If you access your bank's website on your mobile phone, the bank's app typically allows you to deposit checks with just a snapshot of the document. This means that you can handle all of your banking without ever going to the bank. However, keep your eyes open for any convenience fees associated with online bill pay.