Online Banking Finally Taking Off?

from the could-it-be? dept

I’ve been using online banking for a while now, and it’s great. I can’t imagine ever going back to living without it. It seems I’m not the only one. The NY Times has an article (of mostly anecdotes) saying that online banking is really taking off. While there have been online banking operations for a while, many of the big name online-only banks (or online spinoff banks of brick-and-mortar banks) ended up failing. That doesn’t mean that it’s not a useful concept, though. However, the article also points out some of the downsides of online banking. The biggest one is that usually when you pay by electronic check, the money is immediately taken out of your account – as opposed to when the recipient cashes a regular check. I know I had a problem with this last year when an electronic check of mine was lost. I couldn’t just write out another check, since the money was already gone. As a completely random aside, I’m pretty sure I went to business school with the guy they talk about as the “power online banking user” at the beginning of the article.

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Comments on “Online Banking Finally Taking Off?”

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pasi says:

Finlands online banking

At least in Finland online banking is doing great, we don’t really experiace the check problem, ’cause most people from younger generations have never used a check here. We work with cash, cards and transfers.. and bills ofcourse.

I do belive every major bank here is using online banking, and just recently we got our first 100% online bank.

Phibian (user link) says:

Re: No Subject Given

I love online banking – especially because my bank doesn’t charge any fees, has good interest rates and gets me free groceries (www.preschoicefinancial). It’s a so-called “virtual” bank, and I’ve had very few problems. Only issues – sometimes the posting dates occur a couple of days in advance. For instance, the first of the month coming is a Saturday. Any transactions due to go through on the first have already happened and are posted to the account, even though it is only Thursday today. The money has left the account, BUT the posting date is listed as the 31st. It’s very confusing, mildly annoying (and I worry that I’m getting gyped a few cents in interest). The weirdness to do with posting dates happens routinely.
Other than that, when cashing US cheques (or savings bonds), you don’t get access to all the money until they have cleared. If you go into a real bank, you can get the interest and exchange bonuses right away, but the machine has no way of telling what kind of material (ie cheque, US cheque, savings bond, cash etc) it’s “eating”
However, the real reason I started writing this was in response to the “downloads directly to quicken” comment. I think this is a bad, bad idea, and encourages people to be lazy. On the other hand, I guess it’s better than not looking at your bank statements at all (which apparently happens…). The problem with direct downloads is that most people just download their statements. They should be entering the information into Quicken first and then doing a cross-check against the bank records. Just downloading means that if the bank screws up (which happens!), and you are using the bank’s records as your primary source of accounting info, you are never going to notice!

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