ACCC provides seven tips on how to utilize online banking so consumers can more efficiently manage their personal finances
Boston, MA – April 30, 2018
Online banking is an incredibly convenient way for consumers to monitor their bank accounts and finances more efficiently. Understanding how to access accounts, locate helpful features, and stay secure is necessary to get the most out of online banking. To help consumers, national nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) has provided seven tips on how to utilize online banking resources.
“Over the last couple of years, online banking has become extremely popular among consumers across the country,” said Steve Trumble, President, and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “Not only is it an easy and convenient way to control your finances and stay on top of payments, but it’s also a great way to monitor your accounts to ensure there is no suspicious activity.”
According to a survey by American Bankers Association, 66 percent of respondents use online or mobile banking to access their accounts. Only 18 percent say they visit their bank most often and seven percent prefer ATMs. A survey by CreditCards.com found that 84 percent of respondents check their accounts via online or mobile banking at least once a week and 35 percent check it once a day. The survey also found that having unlimited access to their accounts decreased respondents’ daily stress levels (41 percent).
ACCC provides seven tips on how consumers can make the most out of their online banking experience.
- Use a secure username and password – Choose a username and password based on the online requirements and consider adding numbers, upper and lower case letters, and special characters to make it more secure. Be sure that all your computers, tablets, and mobile devices require a password or a pin to access them. You should also use consider using a different password for each of your online accounts.
- Pay bills online – A majority of banks offer users a free online bill service. There is also an option to schedule payments ahead of time to ensure on-time payments. It is important to remember to only set up automatic bill pay if you can ensure you will have the funds in your account so you don’t get charged with overdraft fees.
- Apply for new accounts – Most banks will allow users to apply for new accounts, lines of credit, or even loans through their online portal. Once you are logged in, the bank can access all the information on file.
- Transfer money – If the user has multiple accounts at one bank, they have the option to use online banking to transfer money between these accounts. They are also able to send money to other people who use the same bank through their online banking.
- Mobile banking – With your online banking credentials, most banks offer mobile application users can download and access anywhere at any time.
- Shred physical documents – Thanks to online and mobile banking options, it can be easy to forget that your private information still travels through physical mail. Be sure to shred account statements, bills, and other correspondence that may contain sensitive personal information before throwing it out.
- Monitor your accounts and your credit report – Keeping an eye out for suspicious activity on all of your accounts is the best possible protection. Additionally, be sure to pull your credit report at least once a year to ensure that no fraudulent accounts have been opened in your name.
ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:
- For credit counseling, and student loan counseling call 800-769-3571
- For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
- For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
- Or visit us online at ConsumerCredit.com
About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling and financial education concerning debt solutions. In order to help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loan assistance, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft, senior living and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit https://www.consumercredit.com/debt-resources-tools/