Online banking is one of the easiest ways to manage your finances. Various banks in the UAE offer great online banking features to help you open bank accounts online and operate your finances with ease. Still, you need to compare the benefits and find the right option for yourself.
In this article, we’ll help you navigate through a few factors that you must consider before opening a bank account online. Before we proceed, it is important for you to understand what is online banking and how it works.
What is Online Banking?
Online banking also known as Internet banking allows users to manage their financial transactions on a dedicated online portal. The platform provides users with almost every service that’s made available to them in a brick and mortar bank branch. These services include transfers, deposits, bill payments, etc.
Online account opening is easier than ever. It grants you access to your bank account online using a smart device like your laptop, desktop, and your mobile phone. Accessing banking services online is quick and comparatively easy.
Here is a list of things that you can do using an online banking account:
- Check your account balance
- Pay your bills in just a few clicks
- Check any linked savings accounts, loans, etc.
- Transfer money to other bank accounts
- Get a soft copy of your bank statements
- Apply for a checkbook, credit card, e-statement, etc.
- Set up/cancel standing instructions or direct debits
To be able to use online banking, you must first open an account in a bank. So how do you know you are going to find the bank that offers the best online banking services? Let’s take a look at the factors that you need to consider while choosing a bank for online banking services.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Online Account Opening
To open a bank account online, you must choose the best bank for yourself. Here is a list of things you must consider before you sign up with a bank.
- FDIC Insurance: You must check if the bank is FDIC insured before you open an account with them. This ensure that your money is safe even if the bank fails.
- ATM Network: As a customer, you won’t like paying extra for anything. Online banking doesn’t mean you will go cashless completely. Various banks come with an extensive network of ATMs to help their users withdraw cash when they need it. However, there are some charges levied after withdrawing a certain amount per month or year. Make sure you check those charges and see if the ATM usage is pocket-friendly or not. Also, a few banks do not even provide ATM access which makes it difficult for the account holder to withdraw money from their account. So make sure you get the ATM facility to avoid visiting branch every time you need cash.
- Financial Management Tools: Various banks come with fintech apps to help account holders manage their money. These apps offer multiple effective tools and features that save their money and sometimes make a profit with the same. CASHU, Trriple, and Monami Tech are a few popular fintech apps used in the UAE. Most of these apps come with easy online bank account opening options with the benefits like applying for a loan and sending money across the globe. They offer useful online banking services and help you avoid going to the banks and let your bank come to you.
- Customer Service: Check what modes of contact the bank offers to help you get in touch with a customer support representative. There are time when you night need instant assistance to prevent cases of frauds and theft. For example, if you have lost your debit or a credit card, or you notice an unauthorised transaction or suspicious activity, you would need to get in touch with your bank as soon as possible. In such cases, mode and availability of assistance play a critical role.
- Security: Make sure you check the bank’s security records and go through the password system it offers. As you are going to do all the banking online, the bank must send you an authentication pop-up if you are using a new device to log in to your net banking. Also, you must get alerts for all the changes made in your account like cash deposits, withdrawals, login prompts, etc.
- Interest Rate on Deposits: A lot of banks provide attractive interest rates. Make sure you compare the same and choose the bank that provides the best rates to help you make more money from your deposits.
- Stability: Check the bank’s financial records to verify its market performance. An FDIC insured bank is an ideal choice to prevent cases of bankruptcy and bank frauds.
- Other Service Options: Various online banking portals offer attractive features like asking for an e-statement, check the account balance, provide personal loan in a single click, request a checkbook, and a lot more. Check for all the options to see if the bank fulfils your requirements.
Online banking is becoming popular because it completely bypasses the need of visiting a bank branch for simple procedures. Banks on the other hand are encouraging customers to opt for online options by designing fully functional virtual banks in the form of banking apps.
If you’ve made up your mind to opt for online service, just go through the list of services provided by the chosen bank to see if they align with your expectations. It is also important to understand online account opening process with different banks, their charges, limitations, risks and features to make an informed decision.