10 Ways Online Banking Can Improve Your Life (and Save the Planet)

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You might have known that online banking is convenient, but did you also know that it can help you improve your credit, cut the clutter in your home, carve out a comfortable retirement, and save the planet? Read on to learn more about how online banking can improve your life.

An Ernst & Young international survey of 32,000 banking customers found that more of them are availing themselves of their banks’ online and mobile services. Specifically the study showed that weekly:

  • 57% of customers used Internet banking
  • 30% used mobile banking services
  • 24% accessed banks and branches

 

Comprising both Web access of accounts held by brick and mortar banks, as well as online-only (also called Internet or direct) banks with no physical locations, online banking offers myriad benefits worth considering. Let’s take a look.

  1. Improve your credit score. Avoid credit-damaging late payments with automated online bill payment services. Payments go out whether you remember to send them or not! Your good credit is a gateway to lower rates and financial security — protect it!
  2. (In the) red alert.  A text or email alert to your computer or mobile device can let you know when account balances start getting low. This commonly offered service can help make bounced checks (and their steep fees) a thing of the past.
  3. Feather your nest egg. Stay on track for retirement or other savings goals by setting up automated transfers into a linked savings account. Personal finance gurus often proclaim, “pay yourself first!” Now your computer or smart phone can do it for you.
  4. Convenience, convenience, convenience. With online banking, you can check your balance while waiting in line at the grocery store. Use time saved to cook a gourmet meal, learn Mandarin, or binge watch the latest season of “House of Cards.”
  5. Fees? Forgetaboutit! (Or at least pay fewer of them.) With reduced operating costs, online banks can offer substantial savings by way of lower fees for the customer. Save on stamps too. If you have 10 bills per month, that’s a savings of almost $60 per year in postage alone!
  6. Better budgeting. Real time account information along with budgeting software integration puts you in a better position to make smarter spending choices. Know exactly where you stand financially at any given moment.
  7. Avoid travel trouble. Mobile access means you can access your accounts wherever you have mobile service. This can take some of the stress out of traveling, knowing that you can always pay a bill or make a transfer even when your closest branch is far away. If your job requires a lot of time away from home, online banking can be a real lifesaver.
  8. Cut the clutter. Online statements take up no space in your file cabinet or your desk. Less stress and less mess — you can’t ask for more than that!
  9. Raise your rates. Lower operating costs can also translate to higher yields on investment accounts. Some of the highest savings rates are available at online-only banks. With saving account interest rates remaining historically low, this is one way you can boost those returns.
  10. Help save the planet. Save a few trees with your online statements and decrease your carbon footprint with fewer trips to the bank. Enjoy the satisfaction that comes with saving money and the planet too!

Sources:

http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2014/02/18/banks-see-more-confidence-but-face-threat-from-new-providers/?KEYWORDS=online+banking+survey

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/best-online-savings-accounts-2014-141815559.html