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Banking Today

By Jeff Lakie

With the ease of online banking today, many people choose to do their banking from home. One bonus is that you can continue banking with the same financial institution, though you can do so from your home computer. With 24-hour access to account information and anytime transactions, banking has become much more convenient.

There are many benefits to online banking. You can avoid fees sometimes charged for teller transactions or check writing. Also, online banking options often include better deals on checking accounts, often with lower service fees and no monthly charges. It is easy to pay bills electronically, with funds taken directly from your account-check-free. And banking software, such as Quicken, enables you to download banking information from your account into a budget spreadsheet.

Most banks in America now offer online banking options. Some banks offer online banking in conjunction with online trading, allowing you to use one institution for a variety of financial needs. There are some institutions that specialize only in online banking and do not have any physical branches. These require online or phone transactions and the use of other banks' ATMs.

This is one downfall of virtual banking. You may have to pay a fee for using a machine at another banking institution, and sometimes a fee from your own bank as well. Some banking institutions will waive ATM fees, as they know this can be a deterrent to potential customers. If you are an ATM user, make sure you research this before selecting a bank.

Another likely problem is making deposits. Direct-deposit options for paychecks are convenient; however, if you receive other checks you will need to deposit them yourself. With online banking, you may have to mail your deposit or make an electronic transfer from another bank account. This creates a longer lapse before you can access these funds.

Despite these issues, online banking appeals to many customers. Virtual banking allows you to take care of bills even while traveling. You can access your account whenever it is convenient to you, not just during banking hours. With this convenience, there is little excuse anymore for bounced checks.

About the author:
Jeff Lakie is the founder of Banking Resources a website providing information on banking

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