Next Generation of Banking: Online Banking 101

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Photo: Dan Barbus

The next generation is upon us, as we will explore in this article series.  Efficiency and power is key in many of these topics – banking is certainly no exception.  It may be the primary strength for many basic and power users who utilise banks in Australia.

Still Living in the Dark?

For some poor souls in the world of finances, they are lost.

They pay their utilities and car payments through the mail, writing out each check.  Balancing their checkbook – well, it’s done in an actual checkbook.  This person or family will also go to their bank, or progressive ones in this category will call the bank, to receive information about their account.

Does this sound like you?  If so, you should get acquainted with the foundation of the next generation of banking.  It can save you a great deal of money and time – if you made it here, you can do it.

Your Bank Account – Online

Instead of calling an automated number, or going to your bank, you can see your account whenever you’d like, online.

Having it visible on your computer is beneficial enough.  You can view your account(s), look at previous transactions, and use all of the data to budget, plan, and anything else that you desire.  Bank statements will also be available, commonly in PDF format and for easy export to a financial software or Excel – we’ll get into that in another one within this series, though.

Depending on your bank, you will be able to utilise other helpful services.  Move money between your bank accounts, sign up for banking/investment/loan opportunities with your bank, and so forth.  You might just want to order checks, which should be an option for you with your online banking account.

The Holy Grail of Online Banking

Remember the part about writing checks out?  Here we are – no more worrying about postage, and you won’t even need to walk to the mailbox…

Online bill pay represents the pinnacle of online banking.  All you need is an Internet connection to pay your bills.  And it gets better.

Let’s start off with the basics.  For bills that you pay in the mail (note that credit card bills are often easily paid at the company’s web site, with your account info – a similar setup), you can simply enter the contact information of the company.  Once they are in your account, you can simply enter the amount – and your bank takes care of the rest.

There is plenty of power in this system.  For instance, you could automate all of your car bills – 23 more monthly payments of $290.00?  No problem.  Need to enter the amount each month for your water bill?  No problem.

You can use it for anything – your bank can send a check to friends and family if you’d like.  Whatever the case may be, you should absolutely look into the online banking features at your bank. Banking in Australia has moved light years ahead of many other countries – take advantage of the powerful technologies that are available to you.

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