An online banking account is a type of virtual bank. However, this does not mean that it isn’t real. Every transaction and transfer you make is exactly the same as what it would be if you were to have an account with a physical bank. The only thing that really sets an online banking account apart from a regular account with online banking facilities, is that you cannot go to a bank to deal with any questions or requests.

Should You Have an Online Banking Account?

Before you decide to have this type of account, you need to do your research and find out what is available. The best way to do that is, unsurprisingly, online. Have a look at which accounts are there and what benefits they offer – at what price. You have to find the one that best suits your personal needs. Some of the things to look for are:

1. What is the interest percentage, both on any overdraft you may have and on any savings in your account. Some accounts do not offer interest on savings.

2. Whether you have to hold a minimum balance in your account.

3. How easy it is for you to access your money. Look at, for instance, whether you will receive a debit card and whether that can be used in most ATMs.

4. Whether you can link any of your current accounts to your new online account.

Consider the Products and Services that Come with the Online Banking Account

You should also look into the products and services that come with your new account. For instance, you need to find out whether you can pay your bills online as well. This will make it much more efficient and quick to pay for your bills and it is one of the key features of online banking. Others also offer additional features, so make sure that you compare those before signing up. Naturally, you should also find out about the bank’s customer service. This should be a top priority, as you cannot wait when you have questions regarding your money.

You might also want to look at whether there is an automatic savings plan available. These are usually called “auto piloting plans”. This could be an essential feature for you, particularly if you are on a higher income, or if you don’t have any savings or retirement plans.

Check on the Security:

A final thing to investigate is the security and safety offered to you. Online accounts are particularly vulnerable to cyber crime and it is vital, therefore, that there are various hacker-proof and antivirus features onto the website of the bank. You have to provide them with a lot of personal details, and they hold responsibility over your money, so this really isn’t something you can have as an afterthought.

We live in an increasingly digital world, and this affects every part of our life, from banking to working. Opening an online account is a logical way forward. However, you do have to make sure it is fit for purpose and completely safe.