A Brief History of Internet Banking

The main purpose that banks have been serving since their inception is keeping our money safe for us. While keeping our money safe, they also let us earn a certain amount of interest on the money deposited with them. Traditional banks have been doing this, and internet banks continue the same function. The only difference is in the way the transactions are made.

Online banking has been around for quite a few years. In fact, it was introduced in the 1980s and has come a long way since then. The last decade has seen a profuse growth in internet banking transactions. Several pieces of legislation have also been introduced in this area.

Though it began in the 1980s, it was only in the mid nineties that internet banking really caught on. What attracts customers to internet banking is the round the clock availability and ease of transactions. Studies estimate that internet banking still has a long way to go. There are several banks that have customers who prefer banking in the traditional ways. Statistics released by the FDIC show that only 40% of the banks in the U.S. offer internet banking facilities worth mentioning. All the others may have an online presence but do not have enough online transactions to justify their presence on the internet.

Some customers have been known to turn to internet banking due to dissatisfaction with standard procedures and practices. The total absence of human interaction appeals to some people. Some customers turn to internet banking facilities for security reasons. This is mainly because of customers being assured of banks’ ability to keep transactions safe and secured.

Most online transactions are made using the Internet Explorer interface. The Internet Explorer has been around for more than ten years now.

Internet Banking Security Now More Enhanced

Guarantees against online fraud are what most consumers look for in internet banking services. As money is a major consideration here, they just want the best protection for their savings and investments. Regardless of whether they’re banking in a brick and mortar institution that has gone online or an online-only bank, consumers demand security.

Banks are working hard to convince customers to try internet banking. Security features of internet banking services are now more advanced giving customers every reason to bank through the internet for added convenience and a lot more benefits. With the ever improving internet technology, anybody today can perform all sorts of financial transactions online in the comforts of their home or office. Apart from the security and convenience, internet banking is also cost effective with less or sometimes no fees at all.

Research experts say that while some consumers see no benefit in eliminating paper when doing transactions, going paperless is actually protection in itself. As an example, a bank’s website can now allow you to view your bills and statements online in an instant instead of waiting for several weeks. This means that there’s no chance that your credit card and telephone statements will be taken from your mailbox or your trash can.

The encryption technology is the most commonly used to secure websites. As data pass through shared systems or networks wherein a large number of people have access to the information, this tool plays a vital role. It is in this light then that confidential information notably passwords needs to be encrypted to prevent them from leaking to other people and from being changed. The use of a digital signature is another security technique that also involves encryption.

While encryption remains to be used, several large banks now use the latest web-based security system known as SiteKey. The tool uses a new kind of authentication process with the main goal of avoiding phishing, an online fraudulent activity. However, only a few are using this technique because of the system’s weaknesses.

The use of usernames and passwords as well as personal identification numbers or PINs is among the standard security features provided by most banks. It is, therefore, highly recommended that the confidential information should not be shared with anyone to avoid the so-called identity theft.

Email alert is another safeguard that banks use. With this feature, customers are alerted via email or text message whenever suspicious transactions occur on their account such as withdrawal of large sums, when they get emails from phishers or when someone attempts to access an account with an incorrect password.

Many major banks also provide scanned images of canceled checks. The check’s image not only shows the front side but the back side as well. This will help a customer in verifying the check number, amount and the payee in case he or she forgets the information.

Banks are committed to providing their clients with the best online security in an effort to protect their hard-earned money. It is not surprising then that internet banking customers are now growing in number.