Are you one of the 19% of U.S. cellphone holdouts who according to Pew Research doesn’t use a smart phone? Maybe you are a part of the 4% who still have no cellphone at all. No matter which category you fall in, you can still bank remotely through what is commonly referred to as online or internet banking. All you need is access to a computer.
In today’s busy society, many people who bank remotely use both services; online and mobile banking. Fifty-three percent of the people who responded to a recent BankChoice Monitor survey reported using their bank’s mobile app weekly and more than 88% of those individuals also reported logging into their bank’s online website during the same time period. Still, online banking doesn’t require a cellphone of any kind to give you remote access.
Today 71 percent of Americans have online bank accounts for good reason. “Online banking provides you an extremely convenient way to check your balances, transfer funds or pay bills at any time of the day,” says Mitch Brown, Pueblo West Branch President for Legacy Bank. “All of your past and current financial transactions are available for review including those pending. If you have more than one account, you can automatically transfer funds between them and when necessary you may be able to transfer funds from your bank to another bank.”
People who use online banking normally use a desktop or laptop computer to securely connect to their account portal on a bank’s website through the Internet. “Banks work hard to make their websites exceedingly secure understanding the sensitivity of personal financial information,” comments Brown. “From the moment you connect through the website, a variety of technology is in place to keep you safe and secure.”
Still, you have some obligation to help protect your information. Once you find your bank’s website online, secure internet based banking starts with a strong user name and password. Keep in mind, if you sign in from a different computer or if you have cleared your browser’s cookies, your bank may require an additional step to access your account.
Sometimes one-time security codes typically sent by the bank to a smart phone are required at time of log-in to help authenticate your identity. This step is called two-step verification. If this appeals to you, ask your bank if it can offer two-step verification every time you log in. You can also set up your own two-step verification through many of the major browsers. “If you do not own a cellphone, banks can use landlines, security questions, and phrases as supplemental ways to authenticate your identity. Be sure to state those needs when you setup your online account,” states Brown.
Mitch Brown is the branch president of Legacy Bank Pueblo West and has more than 16 years in banking and finance. Brown holds a master’s degree in business administration and is an active part of the Pueblo West community. His involvement includes Rotary Club Pueblo West and Young Life among others.
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