While every bank has to have online presence to be considered legitimate, some have modeled their entire business around that very concept.

When it comes to these so-called Internet banks, many people are skeptical to consider opening an account despite the attractive rates and ease of use. This is largely because it’s difficult for people to break out of their deep-set banking habits.

Story Highlights:

  1. Online banks offer the same security as brick and mortar banks.
  2. Starting an online account is not as hard as it looks.
  3. There are three ways to deposit money.
  4. ATM fees donʼt have to be a deterrent.

1.) Safety. Many people are turned off to the idea of banking online because they are hesitant to put their life-savings in an outlet that is prone to identity theft. When you consider all your different options, eliminate every Internet bank that it is not FDIC insured or does not offer fraud protection.

2.) Learning the start-up process. Online banking can be considered unstable because you are not speaking with a live customer service representative when you open an account, however the process runs very smoothly.

After signing up you will receive a welcome package in the mail. This will include signature cards that you must sign and send back so the bank has your signature on record. You must also call customer service to acquire a pin number for login. This helps to make the process more secure and personal.

Like most bank accounts you will usually need a minimum of $0-50 to open. You can fund this with a credit card, a wire transfer from another account or a check. You can also transfer funds from any other bank account using your debit card.

Upon opening your account, the bank will send you a free debit card with anywhere from 1-5% cash back incentives when you use the card. Be sure to acquire your free checkbook when you open your account as well.

3.) Depositing checks and money. With a brick and mortar bank, the process of depositing a check is straightforward and obvious. But what if you donʼt have a local branch to go to?

The easiest way to deposit a check is through a direct deposit account. If you are unable to set one up, there are other options. First, see if there is a local ATM that allows deposits to your Internet bank. If not, simply request some deposit slips from your bank, endorse your check and send it back in the pre-paid envelopes.

The money should hit your account within three days.

4.) ATMs. A final snag in the Internet banking experience is the machine itself. No online bank has ATMs scattered across the country just yet. The way they make up for this is by offering reimbursement to use any ATM or specific ATMs if they set up a deal. Keep an eye out on what each Internet bank offers.

The key to a smooth and efficient Internet banking experience is taking the time to familiarize yourself with what each bank has to offer. Donʼt be intimidated by modern advancements.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Make sure your Internet bank is FDIC insured and offers fraud protection.
  2. Signing up for a new account is a quick and painless process.
  3. You can deposit checks using direct deposit, an ATM or a deposit slip.
  4. Most Internet banks offer reimbursement for ATM fees.

Zachary Ehrlich

Zachary is a staff writer and a columnist for MyBankTracker.com. He specializes in financial technology, banking trends and product innovation.