What is Home Banking?
Home banking refers to banking services that can be accessed from home, either through the internet or by phone. Often referred to as online banking, most banks offer digital services that allow customers to conduct various transactions through the internet. They can include viewing account balances, reviewing transactions, making payments, and transferring money.
In addition to more traditional branch banking, home banking services form one part of a bank’s overall system. In recent times, some banks operate as virtual banks, which provide banking services directly through the internet. While home banking provides customers with greater convenience, banks also benefit through greater cost-effectiveness by being able to maintain fewer physical locations.
Home banking refers to banking services that can be accessed from home, either through the internet or by phone.
Services offered through home banking can include viewing account balances, reviewing transactions, and transferring money.
Home banking minimizes the need for physical locations, which results in greater operating efficiency
introduction of Home Banking
The increasing popularity of home banking has fundamentally changed the character of the banking industry. Many people can arrange their affairs so that they seldom need to visit a physical branch. Online-only banks have profited from this shift in the industry.
The absence of brick and mortar locations allows many online banks to offer favorable interest rates, lower service charges, and other incentives for those willing to bank online.
Many of the limits on home banking revolve around initiating large transactions. Requiring a personal appearance reduces and even prevents some forms of fraud. Although there is an increasing trend toward offering more services online, many banks normally require that some transactions occur in person.
For instance, applying for a personal or business loan often calls for an appearance at a branch office. Applying for a mortgage is another financial transaction where the applicant historically had to visit the bank at some point.
How Home Banking Works
Home banking operates as an alternative to branch banking by providing banking services through the internet or by phone. For a customer to access online banking, they typically register with their financial institution and set up credentials for online verification. After setting up the account, a customer can log in using their credentials and access banking services.
Home banking services are linked to a customer’s accounts within the bank, such as checking accounts, savings accounts, or credit cards. Once connected, customers can conduct transactions through the internet or by phone.
In addition to providing a more convenient customer experience, banks also benefit financially from home banking services. By providing customers with a platform to conduct their banking from home, banks can reduce transaction costs and save money by being able to maintain fewer branch locations.
Home banking can also provide a better way to market new products to existing customers and allows for greater integration of services under one platform, which helps retain customers and minimize overhead.
Types of Home Banking
Banking via mobile phone apps has become increasingly popular. Most mobile apps are easier to use than websites, and they have some security benefits. In particular, banking apps can provide protection from phishing attacks.
Mobile apps also often allow users to access features that are not available via websites. For example, it is frequently possible to scan paper checks with an app, while this feature is less common on websites.
Web banking via the Internet is still fairly common. Nearly all banks have websites that allow access to checking accounts and savings accounts. Web banking is generally available for both individuals and small businesses.
Some users may be more comfortable with web banking than new apps for mobile phones. The vast majority of web browsers are also open source and thoroughly tested, which makes them more secure than most mobile apps.
Banking Over the Telephone
Banking over the telephone is one of the oldest forms of home banking, and it still has some uses. Some of the earliest home banking services were automated systems for obtaining account balances over the phone.
While the Internet has mostly taken over that function, banking by phone remains a useful fallback. Phone calls are a way for banks to verify if customers actually made suspicious looking transactions. Phone calls also help customers to resolve issues when errors occur.
Banking by Mail
Banking by mail continues to enjoy some popularity. Depositing paper checks via mail is simple and intuitive for people who usually do their banking in person.
Furthermore, banking by mail does not introduce the cybersecurity risks associated with online banking. Banking by mail is a good alternative for customers with a temporary need for home banking.
Functionalities of Home Banking
In terms of the services provided through home banking, each bank may differ in terms of functionality. At a minimum, most banks provide a basic level of online and phone services. They can be broken down into two main categories – transactional and non-transactional functions.
- Bill payments
- Transferring funds between accounts
- Depositing checks
- Buying and selling investments
- Applying for loans and credit cards
- Viewing account balances
- Reviewing recent transactions
- Viewing bank statements
- Ordering checks
- Updating address and other personal information
Pros and Cons of Home Banking
Real-time money management
- Greater convenience
- Often offered as a free service
- Increased difficulty reaching customer service
- Risk of security breaches
- Real-time money management: Home-banking technologies can present a faster and easier way to access financial services, track your spending, and manage your finances.
- Greater convenience: Home banking allows the ability to accomplish tasks on the go, which offers greater convenience for customers.
- Often offered as a free service: Home banking is provided by many financial institutions as a free service to customers.
- Increased difficulty reaching customer service: When consumers use home-banking services, it may be more difficult to access customer service if there is a discrepancy or something goes wrong.
- Risk of security breaches: Home banking can present privacy or security concerns when consumers use mobile devices to conduct their financial transactions.
Advantages of Home Banking
Saving time and reducing physical risks are the main benefits of home banking. Financial transactions can often be completed in minutes at home. At best, banking in person requires walking over to a small branch office in a convenient location, such as a grocery store.
At worst, traditional banking demands a separate trip and waiting in a long line upon arrival. Home banking also eliminates the need to take physical risks. Car accidents killed tens of thousands of Americans every year in the early 21st century. Furthermore, many people are afraid of being robbed at ATMs.
Disadvantages of Home Banking
With the increased shift to online banking, new security threats have arisen. All online information, such as account numbers and recent transactions, is vulnerable to malicious hackers and other thieves. Commercial banks with online arms have put into place cybersecurity measures to prevent such thefts from occurring. Cybersecurity has become essential as the world becomes more reliant on computers than ever before.
There are two main types of threats to online banking customers, black hat hackers and computer viruses. Professional hackers usually focus on servers, where they can compromise many accounts at once. User defenses against these attacks are limited to using unique passwords for each site and some forms of two-factor authentication.
Viruses often automatically harvest banking credentials from the systems that they infect. Antivirus software and firewalls usually stop most of these attacks. However, using a separate device or live boot media for sensitive financial transactions can offer even better protection.
Requirements for Home Banking
To access your financial institution’s mobile or online home-banking features, there are few basic steps you’ll need to take:
- Start by gathering your account number from your bank statement or deposit slip
- Locate your bank or credit union’s website, or download the mobile app
- Register by creating an online account with your financial institution and set up passwords for security purposes
- Log in and take the tutorial provided by your financial institution
Once your online account is active, you’ll be able to use your devices to perform many of your regular banking transactions, such as transferring money, monitoring your transactions, and checking your account balance.
Is Home Banking Worth It?
Choosing the right bank or credit union is an essential step toward meeting your financial needs. If convenience and easy access to your financial information is important to you, you’ll want to ensure your chosen bank or credit union offers some form of home banking.
Another key factor to keep in mind is that some financial institutions offer reduced fees when you conduct all your banking online.