For any member of a capitalistic, free-market society, banking is of utmost importance. It is the banks that store our wealth, affect the economy, offer loans, and generally facilitate the liquid flow of goods and assets.
For many decades, the brick-and-mortar institutions ruled the fiscal scenery, with physical locations that customers would walk into. Interacting face-to-face with tellers, human beings would perform transactions with each other, both simple and intricate. Paper bills and coins were exchanged back and forth, with a heft bit of money stored in the bank’s vault.
Eventually, there came innovations that allowed for different, even more convenient forms of banking: ATMs (Automated Teller Machine), which allowed walk-up service at all hours without a second person; and the introduction of credit cards, which allowed for purchases on good-faith credit that could be repaid later.
Another significant breakthrough in how people perform their personal and corporate financial duties is the idea of online banking; that is, conducting all sorts of banking business through the internet. Thanks to the ever-expanding power of the web, online banking is not only possible, but there are advantage of online banking to make it very convenient.
This may seem counterintuitive; after all, with all the stories about hackers and online scams, how can online banking be more secure than a vault? The difference is that the vast majority of monetary losses online result from user error, not any lack of security on an institutional scale. In addition, brick-and-mortar locations can still endure bank robberies, where online banking on an https (the “s” is for “secure,” literally) is nearly impervious to any false entry. It is quite an online banking advantage to know that many forms of transactions can occur without security worries.
One obvious difference from online banking and that of physical locations, even ATMs, is that online banking takes place over an internet connection on a computer. This means that whether it is the family’s desktop model, a college student’s laptop, or an employee’s unit at work, online banking is more available and mobile than the alternatives.
Sometimes, a transaction still requires a trip to the bank, such as is the case with cashing checks or making other forms of deposits, even meeting with loan officers. But this requires travel, conversation time, gasoline usage (and thus expense), and other inconveniences that online banking simply avoids. The fact remains that, to make one task an example, a banking customer can transfer funds from his or her checking account to a savings account with just a few clicks and a keystroke, making the operation far more efficient than if it has been done in another manner.
Online banking is here to stay, and as technology continues to grow and evolve, it will only grow better, more secure, more available, and more efficient.