Having your own online bank account can save you a lot of money. One of the best things about personal banking is that the services and the products being offered by your bank have been tailored to fit your banking needs. You can use various banking products, like savings accounts, checking accounts, loans, credit cards and other personal trust and private banking services.
Banks offer customized and technology-enabled products and services to their clients. You can now do your banking anywhere, anytime; you have ATMs for fast cash and you also have online and phone banking services to make paying bills and checking your account a lot easier. If you already have a bank account, one of your main concerns should be avoiding being a victim of identity theft or having to pay unnecessary bank charges and fees. The following are the top ten tips on how you can improve your online banking experience and how you can avoid making pricey mistakes.
1. Review Your Bank Statement
They may seem like a pile of unimportant papers in your mailbox, but your bank statements are important. Most people make the mistake of opening their bank statement and throwing it away without reading it. Review your bank statement to catch unexplained charges and errors on your credit card.
Keep your receipts to help you check these statements against your purchases. This could also help you discover whether or not you’re a victim of identity theft. Don’t get cheated: read the fine print.
2. Check before You Pay: Warding Off Unnecessary Banking Fees
Before signing a check or giving the bank the authority to instantly deduct money from your account, make sure you look at your bank charges and fees. There are some banking fees that are avoidable. You may find that you have taken an offer that you have no use for and, as a consequence, you have been paying useless and utterly unnecessary banking fees for months. By checking your banking fees and asking questions, you can potentially save thousands of dollars each year by avoiding these unnecessary banking charges.
If your bank is charging you too much for certain services, you also have the option of looking for better rates from other banks.
3. Establish a Relationship with the Banking Staff
To get the best deals, you have to know how to deal with the staff at your bank. You may be the customer, but it doesn’t mean you can instantly mouth off for every mistake they make. Be friendly with the staff and they can help you answer your questions regarding your personal banking account. They can also give you sound advice when you get into money trouble. Remember, it helps to be polite and courteous.
4. Don’t Leave a Trace: Shred
Yes, there are some banking documents that you may no longer need. Instead of leaving these old documents lying around the house, make sure you tear up or shred the papers before you throw them out. Leaving old banking documents unfolded and intact makes it easier for thieves to steal your identity. It always pays to be cautious when it comes to money matters.
5. Keep Your Banking Documents in a Safe Place
If you’re planning to keep your bank documents, which is highly advisable, learn how to keep them locked safely away. Throwing away banking documents that contain your personal information can make you an easy target when it comes to fraud and identity theft. Make sure you keep all your documents away from curious eyes, whether in a safe or in a locked filing cabinet. Before throwing anything away, remember to completely destroy or shred old banking documents.
6. Be Wary When in Public
True, online banking is a lot easier than heading to the bank every week, but it is also less safe when conducted in a public place. WiFi is becoming more common in many public and private places. Although this type of service is great for online browsing, it is considerably less safe compared to your home network.
Hackers can easily check your account and access your details through public internet connections. Save your online banking for home.
7. Change Passwords Often and Don’t Write Them Down!
A lot of people make the mistake of choosing easy-to-remember dates, such as their birthday, as their PIN number or password. An identity thief will try these dates first if they get ahold of your cards.
Change passwords often and make sure you don’t write down your pin number anywhere! Your memory is the best place to keep these vital numbers.
8. Human Shield for Your PIN
ATMs are fantastic when it comes to obtaining fast cash. Just like your personal banking password, you have to remember never to write your pin number down. If the bank issues you a temporary pin number, make sure to change it immediately. Once you’ve changed your pin, take the necessary precaution of shredding the paper before throwing it away.
While you’re using the ATM, remember to use your body as a shield while you type in your number. Make sure no one is standing near you. This is an effective way to prevent ATM crimes.
9. Careful Does It: Sign Checks At Your Bank
If you’re using a check to pay for bills, make sure you endorse these checks at the bank. Avoid issuing blank checks. In the unfortunate event that you do lose your check, someone could easily cash the check, stealing your hard-earned money.
10. When Making Loans or Mortgages, Look Around
You don’t need to stick with your bank when it comes to loans or mortgages. If your bank has great services but killer prices, then you might as well start shopping around. There are other places where you can borrow money through loans or credit cards. Shop around for the best possible deal before signing anything.
When it comes to personal banking, keep your money well protected. Avoid common personal banking mistakes and use these helpful tips to avoid getting cheated.