Many consumers today are turning to the ease and convenience of Internet banking to take care of their financial needs. With the new levels of access made possible by the Internet, people can now check the status of their finances with the click of a button. The history of Internet banking has evolved from simply allowing customers to check balances online, to now being able to trade stocks and bonds from the comfort of their own home!

What is Internet Banking?

Internet banking is the technology that allows banking customers to do the things they would normally do at their bank from the comfort of home with a connection to the Internet. Anything that would normally be done in the offshore bank account, which is done on the Internet, is considered Internet banking.

History of Internet Banking

The history of Internet banking begins as progressive banks realized and harnessed the power of the Internet revolution. In the year 2000, an estimated fourteen million Americans banked online, according to Pew Internet and American Life. In comparison, by 2004, some 53 million Americans (a figure which is almost half of the population of the country) were performing online banking transactions. Obviously then, online banking is one of the fastest growing Internet activities in the U.S.

Why Use Internet Banking?

Internet banking services have grown from simply allowing customers to check balances, to trading assets. Today, banks like ING Direct are functioning entirely online, with no brick and mortar building. With the costs saved by requiring fewer employees and the lack of facility expenses, these virtual banks can often offer higher interest rates than their traditional counterparts. Internet banking gives you the power to control your finances completely. You are no longer tied down to managing your money during the hours the bank is open. If you want to transfer a balance after business hours, you can! If you have access to the Internet and have a number of recurring monthly bills, then you should use Internet banking to make your life easier.

Features of Internet Banking

Today, Internet banking services are quite varied. One of the best features of online banking is putting the user in control. The user controls all bill paying, transfers, and investments from home.

There are other features, though of online banking. One of these is increased accessibility to your account information. Users of online banking services can access their account information from anywhere in the world! This is particularly helpful for businesses. Internet business banking is becoming increasingly popular, as businesses are becoming more global in their reach. Now business people can access their accounts, even when on overseas business trips. Business Internet banking is extremely popular for this reason.

A particularly popular aspect of online banking services is the ability to make bill payments electronically. With a minimum degree of set-up, customers can enter the amounts of their paper bills (or opt to receive electronic bills) and process all their payments at one time, from one screen.