The Internet, Bank on It?

I have been a customer of Bank of America since I was ten years old and with the same banking institution. In fact, I have been with Bank of America since it was Nation’s Bank. I remember that transition, never mind that I was in elementary school.

I even still have my first account, it’s a savings account held under the eye of my father and the money in it came from my earnings from Austin County Fair Auctions and birthdays, Christmas, the essential money making opportunities for young kids (cutting the grass for grandma…).

Perhaps I was a little different than most kids, I had my own business at age twelve where I pulled in a few hundred dollars a month. That is small dough to adults and other people who held bank accounts at Bank of America, ahem, Nation’s Bank, but to me is was a big big deal.

There was a problem though. I lived in small town Bellville Texas, population, just under 4,000. There was no Nation’s Bank. If I wanted to do any banking, I had to catch a ride to Houston with my dad. Intro Online Banking.

I do almost every single bit of my banking online and only go to banks now to deposit checks from relatives at Christmas time and even then, I don’t step into the bank. I pay my bills through my current accounts with Bank of America; my cable bill, my Target Corp. card, my Express for Men card, my CapitalOne card my utilities… It’s all there.

In fact, Just an hour ago I paid a months worth of bills, a month early through the delayed payment system. Post-dating checks doesn’t work anymore, companies will cash them as they get them, but with online banking I am able to post date payments and the institutions don’t even know it!

However, there are some scary aspects to online banking. Many people question the safety of online banking, hackers can crack your password… banks have been in the news recently losing thousands of SS numbers to data thieves. But you don’t need to worry so much about these Unfair Bank Charges. Your money is FDIC insured whether you bank online or offline and banks often have serious security systems in place and backup plans in the case that something bad does happen.

I have fallen victim to the electronic bank robber, a number of times. You should always check your banking institution’s policies in regards to these losses. Bank of America replaced my money instantly and resolved the entire situation in 30 days, and they guarantee that.

But what if the bank is the thief? The last link I posted, Unfair Bank Charges has some really great information about your rights if you become a victim of an inside job. I didn’t know this but the Brits really have it good:

Under the Data Protection Act – they only have 40 days to provide you with the information that you have requested. And you can legally claim 8% APR on each charge for that full period. So don’t worry about waiting because the longer you have to wait, the more money you will get back out of them. If you don’t get the information that you have requested within the 40 days, you need to report them for a breach. You report them to the information commissioner.

Damn, I live in America. We have similar rights and your bank is required to reveal those rights to you.

There are sometimes fees that come with online banking. You should check your bank’s fees and limitations to online banking and look around for loop holes.

  • I’m a student and by signing up for a CampusEdge account, I get free a free account; Generation D would demand nothing less I suppose.
  • I also get a free online bill pay by having my paycheck electronically deposited. Those fees attached to banking can almost always be avoided, through some creative banking tactics.
  • I also got a great deal on a credit card through Bank of America because of my student status and free overdraft protection.

Wells Fargo and Washington Mutual have similar offerings.

Well, I’m off to do some banking. I’m saving up for the new iPhone, so far I’ve got around $500 in the bank. That’s one more benefit to online banking, it doesn’t burn holes in your pocket 😉

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