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Online Banking

Learn about online baking, including safety concerns.

Make sure that the bank you're considering is federally insured. [©Jupiter Images, 2009]
©Jupiter Images, 2009
Make sure that the bank you're considering is federally insured.

Online banking is a popular choice for people who value convenience and flexibility. After all, transacting bank business from the comfort of your home definitely beats a trip to the local branch. Unlike banking in person, online banking gives you access to your accounts any time, day or night. In this article, you'll find concise answers to some common questions about online banking, such as what online banking is and helpful tips on choosing the best online bank for you.

What is Online Banking?

If you make bank transactions in person at a local branch, you may be wondering exactly what is online banking. Online banking allows you to make many bank transactions over the Internet at a bank's secure Web site instead of in person. With online banking, you can manage your finances electronically, at any time. You can view the status of your bank accounts, see images of your checks, transfer money between accounts and pay bills, all with your personal computer.

To pick the best online bank for you, make sure that the bank you're considering is federally insured. You can check an online bank's insurance status by using the Bank Findfeature on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Web site. 

It's also a good idea to find out if the online bank has safeguards to prevent identity theft and fraudulent transactions on your account. Safeguards include a secure Web site, e-mail alerts to customers when there is suspicious activity on an account and a policy to replace money withdrawn from accounts due to identity theft.

Online Banking Resources

To learn more about online banking in general -- including tips on choosing a legitimate online bank -- visit the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Web site's Safe Internet Banking page. Banking regulators like the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve SystemOffice of the Comptroller of the Currency and Office of Thrift Supervision are also good resources for online banking information. To learn more about online banking at a specific bank, visit the bank's Web site or stop by your local branch for information.

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