When you think about things that make your life easier, the first things to come to mind are probably cell phones, household appliances or cars. But, another way you can improve your lifestyle is by making sure to take advantage of the banking options available to you online. Whether you’re looking to save money or just keep track of your accounts, online and mobile banking has a lot to offer.
Generally, you’ll need to have an Internet connection and an account with the bank you want to use. You’ll also need a computer, tablet or smartphone with an app that allows you to access your account. To set up an account, follow the prompts on the website or mobile app. You’ll need to answer questions to verify your identity, choose a username and password, and set security features and preferences.
The convenience of online banking means you can check your account balance and transactions whenever you want, on your own schedule. It’s also easier to spot any unauthorized transactions, which can be quickly and easily flagged before they get out of control. Plus, you can usually get customer service in person or on the phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Most banks provide their customers with free and secure online banking services. In fact, you can often access more features on an online banking platform than you’ll find at a branch. For example, many online-only banks have tools that help you manage your spending and savings goals — including tools like automatic savings, alerts on low account balances or overdraft fees and free ATM withdrawals if you don’t have an account with the bank.
For businesses, you can typically add business accounts to your personal online banking portal, giving you easy access to all your company’s financial information in one place. In addition, you can often see all the accounts that are linked to your taxpayer identification number (typically a Social Security number) in one place in online banking. Some banks also allow you to access the accounts of others by linking their Social Security numbers to yours, allowing you to view and monitor those accounts as well.
Lastly, you can also find online-only banks that are specifically designed for your needs. For example, if you’re a new mom who wants to save for your child’s college tuition, consider opening an online savings or money market account with a bank that offers high interest rates and other benefits.
With so many choices out there, finding an online or mobile-only bank that’s right for you might seem daunting. But we’ve done the research to find the best options for all types of users. We’ve looked at rates, account offerings and fees, minimum deposit requirements, apps, and much more to bring you a list of the top online banking banks. To learn more about each, click on the links below. We also took the time to review the apps of each of our picks, so you can see for yourself how easy they are to use.