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Online Banking 101

How to Get Started With Online Banking

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Online banking allows you to manage your money more easily, and earn a competitive return. This page helps you get started out on the right foot.

If You Need a Better Return

Since the beginning of online banking, the main attraction has been the rate (APY). Online banking accounts typically pay a higher rate of interest than you can get from a brick and mortar competitor. If you’re just looking for an online savings account, here are some good places to start:

If You Need Online Checking

Savings accounts are great, but some people want to write checks. A number of online bank accounts offer free checking -- and some even pay a high yield on your checking account balance. To integrate checking into your online banking experience, try some of the following:

Adding Extra (Free) Features

Online banking is all about making life easy. You can use technology to automate tedious tasks and save time for the more important things. As an added benefit, you often experience fewer errors and have an easier time of tracking things. Consider these tools to make your life easier:

In addition to online banking services, most banks now allow you to download account information so that you can manage your finances with your computer. Find out how powerful this can be at About.com's Financial Software site.

Staying Safe Online

Online banking makes our lives easier. However, it also makes a few things easier for criminals. For the most part, online banking actually makes you safer -- the U.S. Government encourages everybody to receive Social Security via direct deposit, for example. To keep your money and your account safe, it’s good to know the basics of online banking security.

The Pitfalls

While you can enjoy better returns and more convenience, online banking isn’t perfect. Set your expectations on what you have to give up in order to enjoy the benefits of online banking.

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