In today’s tech-driven world, the online bank account is a financial tool most businesses (and individuals) can’t do without. Not only does it provide a virtually real-time snapshot of your financial situation anywhere you can access the internet, but it makes easy work of managing and moving your money. Of course, certain special considerations also come into play.
When determining which financial institution and account are right for you, in addition to making sure your bases are covered in terms of interest rates and the like, you’ll need to make sure your data and finances are adequately protected. Here, Central Bank’s financial pros have pulled together insight aimed at helping you better understand the online bank account, how to get started with an account of your own and tips to help you optimize your experience.
What Benefits Does an Online Bank Account Offer?
As with most services with an internet component, an online account is all about convenience. The ability to log in and view your balances, transaction history and other financial details makes it easy to remain in the know regarding your financial standing and where your money is going. Depending on your specific online bank account, you might also be able to transfer funds between accounts and pay your bills or loans. (And you can do all that without spending time traveling to a physical branch.) For example, with Central Bank eBanking services, you have the ability to manage your money through Central OnLine internet banking, our mobile app and even via telephone.
How Do You Open an Online Bank Account?
For the most part, signing up for an online bank account is the same as going the more traditional route. And while some banks which operate solely online will allow you to manage everything from start to finish from your computer, many others will require at least an initial in-person visit. Here’s how that process typically works:
If you’re planning to open a business account, you’ll need to gather information such as your employer identification number (EIN) or Social Security number, photo ID, articles of incorporation, business licenses and information regarding when you opened.
For personal accounts, your bank will likely require a photo ID, your Social Security number and basic contact information.
Once you’ve pulled together the requisite personal information, it’s time to determine what other requirements your bank has in place for the specific account you’re looking to open. A $100 deposit is required to open a Central Bank business checking account, for instance, while a personal savings account requires $200 (or $100 for students). Minimum deposit amounts are typically pretty manageable regardless of where you bank, and are in place mainly to ensure your account is operating as it should be once activated. If you aren’t sure what your bank requires, a quick call can help you make sure you’ve got your ducks in a row.
With the proper information and funds at the ready, it’s time to travel to your bank’s nearest branch. Speak with a team member about what you’re there for, and they should have you set up with a new account in no time!
Fun Fact: If you already have a checking or savings account in place, there’s a good chance you have the ability to bank online. All it takes is getting things set up! To get Central OnLine internet banking started, all you need is basic information for your existing account, your contact details, security question information and the like. Once that’s in place, you can enroll online.
What Other Factors Should You Consider When Opening an Online Bank Account?
Every financial institution and online bank account is unique in its own right. You’ll want to dig into the details to make sure the account you choose will help you reach your financial goals while keeping your data protected. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Consider the Bank’s Staying Power: With so many online banks coming and going these days, it’s important to know you’re dealing with a financial institution that will be in place for the foreseeable future. Look into the bank’s history, check out its online reviews and make sure that your initial impression is a solid one. After all, few things can induce the anxiety that comes with learning the financial institution that houses all your funds is being sold. Central Bank has called Houston home for more than 65 years, and we’re a proud financial stronghold here in the Bayou City.
Consider the Fact that Online Isn’t Everything: As we’ve mentioned above, one of the biggest benefits online banking has to offer is the sheer convenience of it all. The in-person element can be just as important, however. If changing financial goals have you considering a different type of account, if fraudulent activity has you concerned about your funds — or if another issue altogether enters the mix — it can be comforting to sit down with a real-life person to hash things out one-on-one. At Central Bank, for instance, our status as a local bank means you’re working with people who live and work right here in Houston. Our team members enjoy getting to know our customers, understanding their unique line of work and helping them make decisions that get them where they want to be. You’re always welcome to visit any of our four Houston branches.
Consider How Well Your Money and Data Are Protected: Fraudsters are always looking to get their hands on information they shouldn’t have. It’s important to work with a financial institution that will keep your information safe while also arming you with tools and knowledge to help you make smart choices online. Our bank offers Positive Pay fraud protection on certain accounts as a means of making sure your funds are only being accessed by people authorized to do so. We also have a robust security team that is always on the lookout for potential security issues. In the rare event that an issue would occur, they leap into action to determine not only what happened, but how it happened — and how we can stop similar events from taking place in the future. Other considerations, such as online security videos and how-to guides are available on our website, while our blog is also full of security-related news you can use. In other words, safe banking is serious business at Central Bank.
An online bank account can be a tremendous asset for businesses and individuals alike. It’s all about finding the right one to suit your needs. If you have additional questions about what you should keep in mind regarding a new account, or if you’re interested in getting started with Central Bank, please feel free to contact our team. Our business and personal banking professionals are always glad to help. We look forward to working with you!