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Online Banking Demystified: Addressing 6 Common Fears

By SDCCU , 03.23.2021 Financial Education
woman-looking-at-tablet Online Banking Demystified: Addressing 6 Common Fears

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we do everything, online banking was already increasing in usage and demand. Today, online and mobile banking represent the primary banking channel for a majority of Americans. Online and mobile banking allow you to conduct most of your daily financial transactions with just an Internet connection or mobile phone data plan. Transactions such as depositing checks, transferring money, viewing your balance or account activity, opening accounts, paying bills, applying for loans and more can be done from the convenience of any device: smartphone, tablet, personal computer or laptop.

However, for many there is still a lot of fear around using online banking, which prevents the adoption of this convenient technology. In a U.S. News Report and Poll, six of those top fears were identified as to why consumers are deciding to not use online banking. Each of these fears is addressed below.

1. Identity Theft
According to the report and poll, 37 percent of Americans said identity theft is their biggest fear about online banking, which is reasonable considering TransUnion reports about 19 people are victims of identity theft every minute. Identity theft can happen in many ways, but it commonly happens through fraudulent emails mimicking your bank's branding to lure sensitive information like your account numbers, login credentials, Social Security number and more.
 
Here are ways you can protect yourself to help prevent identity theft:

  • Don’t reply to emails that ask for personal details or passwords.

  • Always log out of your online banking session, and only store your passwords on personal computers, never ones that are shared.

  • Only use secure Wi-Fi connections to access online banking. Public Wi-Fi connections are often not secure, so don’t use them for banking or to make purchases. If you’re out with a mobile phone or tablet, it’s safer to use your cellular connection.

  • Keep your operating system and anti-virus software up-to-date.

  • Use long passphrases for passwords with a good mix of numbers, letters and symbols and don’t use things that might be tied to your personal information like date of birth, anniversary, etc. Make sure your phone has a password and locks automatically after a couple minutes of inactivity. Also use a different password for everything, so even if one password is compromised, everything else should still be safe.

  • eStatements are more secure as they are password protected and encrypted versus mailed statements which can be subject to being lost or stolen in the mail.

  • If your information has been compromised, you should check your credit and add a credit freeze to your credit report so that anyone who tries to apply for credit will be blocked and you will be notified. This can be done through the credit reporting agencies.


2. Technology Hiccups
Another concern nearly nine percent of Americans have is the fact that technology isn't flawless. Consumers want and need payment transactions and deposits to reflect accurately online and if there is a discrepancy, they question the technology. If a mistake occurs, reporting it early to ensure it gets corrected is smart. Reviewing your account frequently allows you to check for mistakes to address them quickly. The ability to access your accounts with online banking anytime provides you more control to review your account more often.
 
SDCCU Internet Branch online and mobile banking allows you to dispute charges online, quickly and conveniently, without the need to call or visit a branch.
 
3. Misuse of Information
About seven percent of online banking users worry their information could be misused by financial institutions and companies. All financial institutions must follow strict regulations on how your personal information is shared and what control you have to limit this sharing.
 
4. Lack of Documentation
In the survey, about three percent of those polled said the lack of documentation is the most unnerving part of digital banking. However, it's important to remember that paper statements aren't entirely out of reach for customers with online banking as they can print them at their convenience. In addition to the benefit of reducing paper waste, account holders can monitor their funds 24/7, which means fraudulent charges, errors and all account activity can be monitored regularly. You can also set up transaction alerts, which is a lot quicker than waiting for a paper statement to arrive in the mail.
 
5. Lost or Stolen Phone
The next fear about using online banking is losing your phone, or someone stealing your phone where you access your accounts. If you lose your phone, be sure to change the passwords on any accounts you had enabled on your device—especially financial accounts, email and social media. The likelihood a thief who has your phone could access your information is slim, but it is a good practice just in case.
 
 6. Fake Smartphone Apps
Another fear about online banking is accidentally downloading a fake banking app posing as the bank or credit union's "official" app. Before downloading anything, go to your bank's website to find their legitimate smartphone app and follow their link to the Apple or Google app store or find it within the store using their exact instructions.  Do not load any applications outside of the Google Play or Apple App store.
 
Yes, SDCCU’s mobile banking is safe! The mobile banking application is protected in many ways, including: access to the application on your mobile phone requires your username and password or biometrics, and SDCCU uses two-factor secure authentication.
 
Now that we have covered the fears with online banking, let’s address a common question; what is the difference between online and mobile banking? The biggest difference between the two is their functionality. Online banking allows you to conduct online transactions through your PC or laptop with an internet connection. On the other hand, mobile banking can be done with or without internet with a cellular plan on the go from a smartphone, tablet or any other app-enabled device. Data charges may be incurred.
 

SDCCU Internet Branch Online and Mobile Banking Features:

Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication is an additional security feature that kicks in at login or during transactions that may be sensitive or require an additional check to make sure it’s actually you performing the transaction.
The One-Time Passcode (OTP) is sent to the registered phone number via text or a phone call, for login verification. This is why it is also important to ensure your financial institution has your current contact information like phone, email and address.
 
Bill Payer Plus™
One of the best features is the ability for customers to pay their bills and receive their billing statements online with Bill Payer Plus, eliminating the need to write checks and mail payments. Using Bill Payer Plus also offers customers the option to set up automatic payments, giving you peace of mind that payments will be received on time.
 
Open an Account and Apply for a Loan
Customers are able to use the links on the Open an Account tab within both online and mobile banking to apply for a loan or to open a new account. Customers can select Learn More links to get more information or they can select the Apply button to get the process started. This is one of the most convenient features as it gives customers the ability to apply for an auto loan from anywhere.
 
Transfers
One more top feature of SDCCU Internet Branch online and mobile banking is SDCCUdirect®. This feature allows you to transfer money quickly and easily between your accounts at outside financial institutions and your SDCCU accounts. You can process one-time and recurring transfers quickly and easily!

SDCCU customers can also send money to friends and family using just their email address or phone number with our convenient Popmoney tool which is free with an active Bill Payer Plus.
 
SDCCU Mobile Deposit
One of the only features you can do with our mobile app that you cannot do with online banking is deposit a check. This is one of the most convenient features as it allows you to deposit most checks with the simple tap from your phone. No need to visit an ATM or a branch anymore!

Hopefully addressing some of the fears associated with online banking can help you or a loved one adopt the use of online banking. As we’ve learned from the pandemic, in-person is not the only or best way to do things anymore, and once you’re comfortable with it, you’ll love the convenience of online banking. For more details, please watch our educational video on SDCCU’s Internet Branch online and mobile banking here.  

Visit our Financial Knowledge Blog to learn more tips on setting up a solid financial future or join us for Financial Wellness Wednesdays.

₁. According to a 2014 U.S. News Report and Poll, they identified the top 6 reasons why consumers are not using Online Banking. https://money.usnews.com/banking/articles/biggest-fears-americans-have-about-online-banking

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