Hamara Paisa

Online Banking Guide

Online Banking Guide

16 January 2018

What is online banking?

Online banking gives you the ability to manage your money online over the internet, using your computer or mobile device instead of visiting a bank branch.

Besides saving trips to the branch, you can view account balances, move money between accounts and much more.

Sign on

To start banking online with your existing account, you will need to sign up for electronic services. In most cases, that is just a matter of going to the bank’s website, looking for “Online Banking” or something similar and clicking “Register” when asked for a username and password.

If you use mobile devices, you can do everything there which is very convenient — just download your bank’s app and register for a username and password.

Things You Can Do Online

·       View your account balances - It is a good way to keep on track with your spending and to identify fraudulent transactions

·       Pay bills - One of the most useful features of online banking is free online bill payment. Instead of writing checks and mailing in payments, you can pay someone or organisations directly inline or from your banking app

·       Move money -  You can also move funds between your own bank accounts, whether they are current or savings and even transfer funds from one bank to another

·       Research history - Need to know how much you paid for a particular item or your average monthly utility bill? That information is probably in your banking history and you can look it up online. You can download statements and images of checks you have written if you need documentation for anything

·       Go paperless - You rarely need paper statements and those papers just create clutter and make things easier for identity thieves

·       Know your balance -  If you need to know exactly how much you have in your account and how much is really available for spending the best place to get that information is online.

·       Get help - If you need help with service issues, try taking care of business online. It may be easier to send electronic requests to a customer service agent instead of calling. Self-service options are also available, and that may even be your fastest option. You can change your address, order copies of checks, and handle other routine tasks yourself

·       Borrow money - You can also borrow online. Traditional banks let you fill out applications, and newer online lenders make borrowing completely different, it is easier to get approved and faster

How to Stay Safe Online

Online banking makes life easier, but it also creates opportunities for thieves.

Security features at online banks are robust and you do not have to worry about old-fashioned techniques like mail theft and forged checks. Some fraud is out of your control and but your behaviour is important and it is fairly easy to stay safe:

Information requests - Think twice before you provide personal information online. Your bank will never contact you by phone, email, or text and ask for your account number, CNIC number, password, or PIN, those requests are almost always fraudsters wanting to gain access to your account. They will sound very convincing and you must be alert to these. Sometimes a SMS or email may ask you for private details and on the surface they look identical to similar emails and SMS you have received from your bank. Always call your bank and check with them that they did indeed send you this email or text rather than revealing your details online or over the phone to such fraudsters.

Security software -  Keep your devices up to date including operating system updates, spyware and malware programs and antivirus protection and you will be immune to most threats. Avoid using old, unsupported computers for financial transactions.

Public places- Avoid using public networks to access bank accounts including free hotspots at coffee shops and even hotel networks. If possible, save those tasks for when you are at home or at work on a network you trust. If you have to conduct business while out and about, use your phone’s cellular data connection instead. Likewise, public computers like those found at libraries are not a good option for online banking.

So as we can see the benefits of online banking do outweigh the negatives as long as we as users are smart about our private details.

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