The History of Internet Banking

Internet banking is a very important part of our new global economy. Most people really seem to take this modern convenience for granted. This article seeks to describe the history leading up to where we are today.

As early as the early 1980s, there was something called ‘distance banking services over electronic media’ which were really the forerunner to the modern online money transfer services. By the late 80’s it became popular to refer to these systems as “online” because they were accessed by connecting to a terminal with a keyboard and monitor (kind of like a PC) in order to connect to the financial systems through a telephone line.

Another precursor to online banking was called ‘Home Banking.’ This form of banking is what we would call telephone banking today but through a computer-like setup. People would call in to a service through the phone line and then send instructions to the bank using touch tone signals.

Online banking services began for the first time on a wide scale in New York City. In 1981, four New York Banks tried offering home banking services. Unfortunately, they jumped on the wrong bandwagon and tried to use the ‘videotex’ system which ultimately was a failure in the US just like beta-vision. It did, however, take off in France.

The United Kingdom also tried to offer early online banking services in 1983 through the Bank of Scotland. This system was similar to the New York System, but used a different brand of terminal to connect to the phone lines. This was commonly known as ‘Homelink’ and it allowed people to view their statements online, transfer money and pay bills. That is pretty amazing for 1983! Especially since the bill payment system worked very much the same as today’s online bill-pay systems that come standard with online financial accounts.

In the 80s there really wasn’t an internet as we know it today. It was really more of a loose web of computers which connected to each other through phone lines. However, the first financial institution to offer internet banking services to all of its members was Stanford Federal Credit Union. That did not come until 1994, another decade after these home banking systems started.

Today, there are many financial institutions that only do business through the internet. They do not have physical locations or tellers or bank branches. The world is certainly changing, but we will never be completely without physical banks.

How to Confirm an Internet Banking Company is Legitimate

When you set up your first internet banking account, you may have reservations about it. After all, anyone could set up a website, claim to be a bank, and fraudulently take your money. There are some precautions you can take to be sure your online bank is a legitimate one.

Start by going to the bank’s website. There, you can get the information the bank gives you about their banking credentials. The bank’s official name should be listed. There may be articles describing the history of the bank, including their internet banking history.

There should be an address where the headquarters can be found. There will be a base of operations somewhere, even if it is a virtual bank internet banking operation. If they are on the up-and-up, they will not be hesitant to tell you about their FDIC coverage.

It is easy to check a bank’s FDIC insurance. If you see the words “FDIC Insured” or “Member FDIC” or the FDIC logo, you might be on the right track. However, it is wise to go a step further. Go to the source to find out if the internet banking company is really affiliated with the federal insurer.

The FDIC has its own data base that includes all of the banking institutions, including internet banking companies that are covered by FDIC insurance. Just go to their “Bank Find” site to find out if your bank is one of them. You can start your search with the name of the bank or its address.

If your internet banking company is on that list, the FDIC will provide you with a whole list of helpful information. You will learn when the bank became insured, and the number on its insurance certificate. You will find out the location(s) of your bank and its official name. You will find out what government entity regulates that bank.

If your internet banking company does not appear on the list, it is time to go directly to the FDIC. They will be concerned with the legitimacy and safety of that bank. It is probably not wise to put your money in an uninsured bank. At that point, it is better to look for another internet banking operation.

Once you do sign up with an online bank, be cautious about how you use their internet banking website. Some unscrupulous people will use the internet to get your banking information. They will do this when you log onto your bank’s website.

The trick these dishonest people use is to set up a website that looks like your bank’s website. They have a URL that is very similar to your bank’s URL. Then, they sit back and wait for you or others to make a mistake typing in your bank’s URL that will get you to them.

From there, the fraudster will track all the information you type into the opening page. They will be able to get your user name, your password, and any other information you type. The best way to make sure you are dealing with your legitimate bank is by being very careful when typing in their site address.

If you are to trust your internet banking company, you must take precautions to assure yourself that it is a respectable business. Once you do that, you can bank with ease.

Let The St George Internet Banking Service Come Marching In

With the internet and a boom in the use and ownership of computers, laptops and smart phones the banking industry has gone out of their way to take advantage of this technology while at the same time incorporating their banking services into one package. Gone are the days of sending your payments in the mail where there is a chance it can get lost or arrive late due to unforeseen delays in the delivery.

Internet banking or online banking incorporates computer technology with the internet to give consumers such as yourself the ability to bypass those time consuming aspects of traditional brick-and-mortar banking.

With the St.George internet banking service you are able to get complete control of your financial accounts with the convenience of being able to transact banking business at any time and from anywhere you have internet access – dress code optional. What this means is that you can check balances, transfer funds or pay your bills even if you’re a couple of hundred miles away and you don’t have to worry about postage.

If you’re an environmentalist then you’re going to love this feature of the St.George internet banking service – electronic statements. Instead of getting a paper statement in the mail you get an email alert whenever an electronic statement is ready for you to view. And because it’s posted instantaneously you don’t have to wait for it to arrive like you would a paper statement. And it’s good for the environment too because no paper is used so no trees were cut down for it.

And because it’s electronic it’s stored in the St.George banking database where you can keep two years worth of statements and view them at any time. If you like you can even keep a copy in your computer so you can print it out anytime. You can opt back in to the paper statement at any time but once you’ve tried the electronic statements I doubt you’ll be going back to paper.

Another feature of the St.George internet banking service and one which all busy people would like is the BPAY or electronic payment system. No longer would you have to write out a check, find an envelope, stick a postage stamp and go to the post office. With BPAY you can pay your phone bills, utilities, credit cards, and much more from the convenience of your own home and with the click of a button almost at no time at all. That’s over 15,000 BPAY billers with just a few clicks of your mouse button. And with the recurring payment option you can set up regular payments be it daily, weekly or monthly for up to 24 months in advance. That’s less things for you to worry about.

With the St.George internet banking service you get 24/7 banking convenience with the security of their advanced banking technology that’s committed to your safety in doing online transactions. And as a bonus when you do internet banking you also save time and minimize banking fees. Is that an incentive or what!