online banking

Definition

A system allowing individuals to perform banking activities at home, via the internet. Some online banks are traditional banks which also offer online banking, while others are online only and have no physical presence. Online banking through traditional banks enable customers to perform all routine transactions, such as account transfers, balance inquiries, bill payments, and stop-payment requests, and some even offer online loan and credit card applications. Account information can be accessed anytime, day or night, and can be done from anywhere. A few online banks update information in real-time, while others do it daily. Once information has been entered, it doesn't need to be re-entered for similar subsequent checks, and future payments can be scheduled to occur automatically. Many banks allow for file transfer between their program and popular accounting software packages, to simplify record keeping. Despite the advantages, there are a few drawbacks. It does take some time to set up and get used to an online account. Also, some banks only offer online banking in a limited area. In addition, when an account holder pays online, he/she may have to put in a check request as much as two weeks before the payment is due, but the bank may withdraw the money from the account the day that request is received, meaning the person has lost up to two weeks of interest on that payment. Online-only banks have a few additional drawbacks: an account holder has to mail in deposits (other than direct deposits), and some services that traditional banks offer are difficult or impossible for online-only banks to offer, such as traveler's checks and cashier's checks.

Use online banking in a sentence

My favorite perk of online banking is the ability to instantly review my account balance and any recent transactions that have gone through.

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