Internet banking explained

We’re living in such a fast-paced world that instant gratification has become a priority. It’s with this reason, that internet banking quickly grew in popularity and is currently a commodity for many. Now, individuals can access their bank accounts from anywhere at any time, with multiple transaction-types being at their disposal. Suffice it to say, this modern way of controlling finances has become the most convenient and pervasive form of banking.

If you are new to online banking or need some encouragement to continue with your online accounts, then this guide is for you.

In This Guide:

What is internet banking?

Starting with the basics, let’s take a brief look at what internet banking or “ebanking” is, exactly.

Banking using the internet means that you can access your bank account online. You will need to enter login details to view your financial information and, depending on who you bank with, you’ll be able to carry out certain monetary transactions. You can complete these transactions by connecting to the internet via your computer, tablet, or even your smartphone.

This service is generally offered to you for free by your banking institution, although sometimes a small admin fee applies.

Most South African banks will allow you to use your online account to:

  • Check your bank balance
  • Do inter-account transfers
  • Pay your bills and taxes
  • Check the status of mortgages, loans, and savings
  • View a detailed statement
  • Create or cancel direct debit orders
  • Check on linked investments

The Advantages of Internet Banking

Other than being utterly convenient and increasingly secure, internet banking poses many benefits. These include:

  • It’s affordable (or free): Even if your bank does request a monthly online banking fee, it will be minimal. Many banks make the service completely free.
  • Office hours don’t apply: You are not restricted by time when it comes to doing your banking online. You can access your account 24/7.
  • You have more control over your finances: You will be able to view the status of your accounts, loans, and investments at any time. This means that you can have better control of your finances overall.

Online Banking Safety Tips

While there are many benefits to banking online, it does come with risks. There are hackers and fraudsters who are continuously coming up with new ways to access your data, and it’s not yet accurate to say that banking via the internet is 100% secure. There are, however, actions that you can deploy to avoid being a vulnerable target. For example, you can:

  • Make sure that the device/s you use always has an updated anti-virus programme running.  
  • Avoid banking on public or unfamiliar computers and devices.
  • Avoid using WiFi hotspots, and ensure your own wireless network is encrypted.
  • Be suspicious if you receive many spam emails or text messages.
  • Avoid inserting unknown devices into your computer (such as USB flash drives).
  • Refrain from downloading pirated software.
  • Try to never share or write down your PIN and passwords.
  • Be discreet when you enter login details.
  • Change your passwords immediately if you think your account has been compromised.
  • Choose a difficult pin and password.
  • Register for your bank’s cell phone notification and security pin service.
  • Remember to log off immediately when you have finished banking.
  • Make sure that your online banking does not autofill your login details.
  • Notify your bank immediately if you notice any suspicious activity.

Is ebanking for you?

Now that you have weighed the pros of internet banking (ebanking) with the cons, you should have more insight into whether this type of banking is, in fact, for you.

If you feel that you would revel in the convenience of electronic transfers and that you will have a firm hand on security measures – then we say, go for it!

What do I need for online banking?

To qualify for online banking in South Africa, you will need to supply a valid ID document/card. Once your identity has been verified and your account has been set up, then you will need to create a pin and password for secure access. This process may differ slightly between institutions but overall, the same protocols will need to be followed.

For successful internet or electronic banking, you will also need a reliable device and a stable internet connection. This connection doesn’t need to be superiorly fast, but it should be consistent so that there aren’t any interruptions while you are making transactions.

How to Find the Best Internet Deals

There is no shortage of options when it comes to finding reliable and cheap internet in South Africa. As a matter of fact, we can supply you with a list of plans to choose from within minutes. To compare internet deals, simply use our free online quote comparison tool. All you need to do is fill in a few details, and we will supply you with a list of providers in your area.

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