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Making life easier through e-Banking.

Four decades ago online banking was still in its infancy, and everyone was still heavily relying on good-old face-to-face bank transactions. It surely wasn't a great time to be in, especially if your hands are full due to heavy workload. Plus, imagine the long waiting lines you have to endure just to get quick cash. Indeed, it isn't the most convenient way, but what other choices did people have?

Luckily, you can now open an account, check balance and pay bills, among others, with just a few clicks or swipes on your smart phone or computer. Everything is now made easier, thanks to the advanced banking technology.

In recent years more and more Filipinos are embracing the world of online banking. According to the 'Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes' study, over half of Filipinos with smartphones use mobile-banking services at least once a week while 80 percent of them would rather transact online than go to a physical branch. Apparently, people are ditching conventional bank transactions since they have found a more convenient way to effectively handle their finances.

The big question, however, is, why didn't the proliferation of online-banking applications sway half of the smart-phone users in the country?

Many are still uncomfortable with entrusting their financial information on a vulnerable platform like the Internet. Yet, giants in the banking industry would bet their businesses on online banking with their promise of nothing but convenience, security and efficiency.

What is personal e-Banking?

In a nutshell, online banking lets user conduct financial transactions via the Internet while providing services that are traditionally available in local branches. You can either use your smart phone or tablet to browse transactions you wish to do without any hassle.

It's also worth mentioning that online banking used to be limited to banks that operated exclusively online. Digitalization, however, has opened up a lot of doors for brick-and-mortar banks and local credit unions in the online banking realm.

Security is a priority

One of the biggest myths about online banking is it's an easy target of hackers. Instead of the classic crime of robbing a bank, some people think that a thief will only have to do a few keystrokes to whisk away the money.

Banks and credit unions, however, are equipped with policies to keep online customer accounts safe. Standard measures include firewalls, antivirus protection on bank computers, fraud monitoring, and web-site encryption.

In Banco De Oro, an online user can rest assured that their money is secured. This bank utilizes cutting-edge security technologies to guarantee the confidentiality and privacy of their online-banking sessions. For instance, your account will be automatically logged out of the system if there is no user activity for a fixed number of minutes. With this security feature, your account will be protected even if you're using a public or shared computer.

Even with these security measures from the bank, online-banking users still need to be responsible for their accounts. For instance, changing your password regularly and using difficult combinations that are tough to guess will make it extra challenging for anyone who wants to access your account. You may also opt to receive alerts via text or e-mail whenever large transactions are made on your account.

Convenience is key

With online banking, everything seems possible. In fact, transactions can be made 24/7, which can help users save time, money and effort in the long run.

In the Philippines about 41 percent of smart-phone users are making mobile payments at least once a week. On-demand services from transport network vehicle services, such as Grab or Uber, mostly contribute to the growing mobile-payment usage in the country.

With convenience as one of the main reasons people are shifting to online banking, it shouldn't be a surprise if the numbers continue to rise in the following years. By 2020, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is hopeful of its cash-lite program, which will make most financial transactions digital.

Apart from online payment, transferring money in cash card or any enrolled bank account is effortless through e-banking. Most banks now allow a prompt transfer, which is most helpful during emergencies.

You can also count on online banking to help manage your finances. Since you'll be able to view the account balance and transactions, you have the power to regulate your spending habits.

Online loan application made easier

Through your online-banking account, you can now apply for a home loan or auto loan. For some, the application may be saved and finished at a later date. In the Bank of the Philippine Islands, loan payments and outstanding balances may also be monitored any time of the day, through their online-banking system.

Note, however, that some banks may prohibit direct online-loan application. You may always check out their web site to know more of the procedures.

Linking multiple accounts

Another unique feature of online banking is it can connect multiple accounts. This is undoubtedly useful for people who have several bank accounts. In a single login, they can now check their finances.

For families who want linked accounts, some banks may give members of the family access to the account but with a few restrictions, depending on the levels of authority.

Hopes for digital banking

In 2017, the BSP claimed that only an estimated 15.8 million adult Filipinos have bank accounts. With the emergence of a more convenient form of banking, many people may be encouraged to open their own bank accounts in the future, especially with the latest features of many e-banking systems.

For instance, BPI has recently launched a new banking platform. Cardholders can now personalize their debit Mastercard settings with the new card-control feature on their web-site. This new addition will allow users to alter purchase limits, enable or disable international access, or tag cards as lost.

The Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp.also believes that accurate and timely information can help empower and protect depositors. Through online banking, people can stay in the loop, especially when it comes to their finances.
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Publication:Business Mirror (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Mar 29, 2019
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