We’re living in a digital age and rely on the internet for pretty much everything! From takeaways to online shopping, chatting and even everyday banking, can you imagine a day without your phone?

Although internet banking may not be so new, it’s good to remind yourself of some of the basics, security tips and how to optimise your savings with some nifty little tricks. 

How does internet banking work?

Online banking (whether via the app or web) simply means direct and secure access to your accounts which gives you the ability to manage a lot of admin yourself. Gone are the days of needing to stand in a long queue just to transfer money from one account to another, or to make a payment. These tasks can be done in seconds, as and when you need.

You can either log on via the website or get the app linked to your phone.

What are the advantages of internet banking?

The main advantage of internet banking is the convenience and time saved by not needing to visit a branch. You can literally check your balance, make transfers, and make payments any time of the day or night. You may not think that you’ll ever need to check your balance at midnight, but wait until you’re in an emergency and you’ll see the absolute necessity of it.

There are still some functions that require a visit to the branch, such as a FICA verification or getting stamped statements which some companies insist on, but most of your day-to-day banking is more easily done at home.

Another super advantage is that transactions done electronically are generally cheaper than at a branch. You can save money while saving time. Schweeet!

Is internet banking safe?

Definitely! But, as online security improves, so do criminals in their ingenuity to scam us. Think about having the most secure lock for your front door and then leaving the keys under a pot plant for your friend. That would be silly! The same applies to your online banking account and you have a real responsibility to keep your personal details safe.

Here are some tips to remember:

  • Never share your online password or PIN with anyone
  • Don’t make your banking password the same as your email password
  • Don’t click on links from emails asking you to verify details, check your balance or that claim you have inherited millions
  • Don’t log on to your banking profile via an untrusted or public WiFi (do an online search about this to see the dangers!)
  • Don’t brag about your bank balance as that only attracts attention
  • If you’re using the online banking site, always log off instead of just closing the browser tab
  • Change your password and PIN often
  • Don’t trust strangers lurking around ATMs

Living in this day and age, we need to be vigilant at all times. Keep this in mind when using internet banking.

How can I save with internet banking?

Ever heard of the saying “Pay yourself first”?

One of the smart features of online banking is that you can set up automated payments. This isn’t just to pay bills, but can be used to pay yourself! If you have an African Bank MyWORLD account, you can easily add a Savings Pocket and set up an automated transfer to move money from your primary MyWORLD account to your savings pocket. This can be set up to happen weekly or monthly and it’s amazing how quickly small amounts will add up.

Another great way to use the online banking for savings is to transfer money when you save it. If, for example, you decline an invite to dinner, why not transfer R150 to your savings pocket as you would have spent that money anyway. Or if you shop smartly and get some good discounts, transfer some of the money saved to your savings pocket straight away!

Having quick and easy access to your accounts means that you can always save towards your goals and check up on your progress. It can be a fun process and super rewarding!

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