Making the Most of E-Banking

Gone are the days when visiting a branch during banking hours was the only way to take care of finances. E-banking lets you complete almost all transactions that used to require a trip to the bank. Here are four E-banking features that will help you get the most from banking remotely.

1. Online banking

Imagine settling in for the night and realizing you aren’t sure whether your account balance covers a check you mailed earlier in the week. With online banking, you don’t have to sweat it out and wait for the next day’s business hours. Free online banking lets you securely access your current savings, checking, CD and loan account information and also view your account history. Simply log in through your home computer, laptop or tablet to set your mind at ease while saving time, paper, postage and transportation costs. While you’re logged in, you can also pay bills, transfer funds between accounts and make loan payments.

2. eStatements

Not only does e-banking make money management more convenient, opting to go paperless with eStatements means you’ll have less paper clutter to contend with. eStatements are as easy to read as their paper counterparts; you can even view images of cancelled checks. With your secure login ID and password, these statements are for your eyes only, unlike paper statements that anyone might pick up and read. Typically, eStatements can be viewed online for a few months and saved to your computer for permanent storage and access.

3. Mobile banking

When banking needs arise on the go, mobile banking lets you securely do everything you can with online banking, all through your smartphone. Mobile banking uses a free, downloadable app to transform your phone into a virtual bank branch so you can pay bills, transfer funds, check balances and review history as you would at home with online banking.

One particularly nice feature unique to mobile banking is that it allows you to make deposits to your accounts from just about anywhere by simply endorsing checks, snapping a picture of them and filling in deposit information. Make sure to include the letters “MDC” (Mobile Deposit Capture) next to your signature on the endorsement line. This will help you remember if the check was deposited and avoid confusion. You’ll also be able to receive text message alerts when balances dip below a certain threshold, funds are received, or other activity occurs in your accounts.

4. P2P capability

Not long ago, if you wanted to make an electronic payment to a friend or business associate, you needed to have the recipient’s bank account information. P2P, a service now offered by financial institutions such as Farmers & Merchants Bank, allows customers with a debit card to make these person-to-person payments to any other individual with a debit card or checking account, using only the recipient’s email address or cell phone number. This service works even if the sender and receiver bank with different financial institutions. When funds are credited to the receiver’s debit card, P2P transfers can take place instantly. If the recipient prefers a bank account deposit, cash will arrive within one to two business days.

When you take full advantage of e-banking, branch hours and location don’t have to limit money management. You can save time and cash, and stay organized anywhere, anytime.

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Roberta Pescow, NerdWallet © Copyright 2015 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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