What is different about managing an account online?

Friday, May 29th, 2009

What is different about managing an account online?

Managing your bank account online

Online checking accounts and online savings accounts function exactly the same as offline bank accounts. The difference lies mainly in the area of customer service.

For online accounts at traditional banks, the difference is the access the consumer has to the account history and to make transactions. For online accounts at online-only banks, the difference is in the level of convenience for things like deposits, check clearing, transfers of funds, and use of ATMs.

For consumers who have an account with a traditional brick and mortar bank the process and the customer service level will probably be familiar. For consumers who open an account with an online-only bank, managing the bank account online will be a bit of a different process and level of customer service.

Because virtual banks do not have physical branches, like a traditional bank, consumers do not have an opportunity to build a personal relationship with anyone at the bank, which is something that can help when there is an important issue to deal with. In addition, the lack of a physical location means that account holders are tied to their computer and Internet access, and are at risk if either of those is compromised.

Internet-only banks also may not be able to clear checks or accept deposits as fast as traditional banks, so consumers may need to plan the extra time for those account activities.

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