Online Banking Tips for the Technophobe
For many people that grew up with technology, the switch to online banking wasn’t very difficult. However, for those that are less familiar with digital tools, using online banking can be difficult and nerve wracking. It’s not uncommon to be resistant to the change of how everything seems to be done with technology now. However, there are many reasons to take the plunge into the world of personal banking technology. Having a broad view and more access to your finances can lead to more opportunities — and even catching fraud faster.
The first step is understanding what tools are out there, how they will benefit you, and how to use them. The next is to keep yourself secure so that you can take full advantage of the online banking tools available. It can be daunting, but here are some beginner tips to begin learning how to begin online banking, even if you’re a technophobe.
Why Use Online Banking?
When you’re so used to traditional banking, it can be hard to understand why you need to make the shift to online banking. If you’re uncomfortable with new technology, you have even more incentive to stick with what you know.
However, it’s important to understand why you may want to try using these services. Online banking is one of the many ways that technology is changing personal finance. First of all, it’s convenient. Instead of going to the bank, just tap on an app on your phone, or login using your computer. You have access to your transactions at all times which can help to identify fraud faster. You can make transfers instantaneously, pay a credit card bill, or send money all while waiting in line at the grocery store.
With more access to your finances, you’ll have a bigger picture of your spending. If you have some poor spending habits, you’ll have a clearer idea of what they are so you can work to fix them. If you have questions, talk to your banker and they can help you understand all the perks that come with online banking, some of which can be extremely helpful and lucrative. Getting an update on your credit score, calculating your credit utilization ratio, making a retirement plan, or learning about a brokerage account can all be done with online banking tools. You don’t have to participate in online banking, but you’re missing out on a lot of amazing financial tools if you don’t.
Knowing Useful Tools
Online banking has a lot of useful tools that you may not even know about. These tools are created in order to make life easier and allow customers to bank without a hassle.
- Automatic bill pay
- Direct deposit
- Mobile Check deposit
- Free ATM transactions
- Automatic savings transfers
- Overdraft protection
- Fraud protection
While you can always keep things old school, it’s helpful to know the tools out there designed to make banking easier. Instead of going to the bank to deposit a check, you can take a photo of it and have it deposited completely online. Instead of paying bills every month, you can have them taken out each month on a certain day with automatic bill pay.
The next steps of personal finance technology will involve customer service technology to help with individualized banking advice, but until then you can still chat with a customer service representative via online banking. For the technophobe it can seem like a lot, but a simple tutorial with a banker will teach you more than you realize. The interfaces are user friendly and there is help ready for you at any branch.
How to Keep Yourself Secure
Those who don’t use technology often are sometimes mistrustful of it, which is not an unreasonable worry. There are plenty of security risks in terms of personal finance technology that can have lasting effects on your credit and financial stability. However, it’s important to take note of those risks and work to keep yourself secure.
- Keep current virus protection
- Create strong passwords, and don’t use the same one for everything
- Use a passcode/fingerprint/lock on your cellphone
- Watch your transactions and set up fraud prevention
- Never enter your credit or debit card information on a site you don’t trust
- Shred sensitive financial documents
Identity theft, credit card theft, and bank fraud are all things that can happen whether or not you use online banking, but using personal finance technology does add another layer to security concerns. However, just as personal finance technology is growing, so is cyber security. By taking extra precautions with online banking you can keep your funds as safe as possible.
The world is becoming so technologically dependent that it can be difficult for those who didn’t grow up in that world. Learning a skill that so many seem to simply understand without difficulty is frustrating.
However, even for the technophobes of the world, online banking can work for you. Using online banking can help you have a instant and more broad understanding of your finances. It can help make your banking easier, more efficient, and you can budget better with the many tools available through online banking. By taking some security precautions and being aware of the risks, you can keep your money and credit safe while still taking advantage of the tools available.
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Chelsy is a writer from Montana who now lives in Boise, Idaho. She graduated with her journalism degree from the University of Montana in 2012. She enjoys talk radio, cold coffee, and playing Frisbee with her dog, Titan. Follow Chelsy on Twitter @Chelsy5
This post was updated August 15, 2017. It was originally published July 30, 2017.