« Archive for the ‘Online Banking’ Category

Protect Yourself When Shopping Online

steal-cc.jpg Shopping online is the greatest thing to come along since canned beer but there are some risks involved. We’ve all heard the horror stories about people’s credit card information being stolen and orders never fulfilled. Fortunately, these are isolated problems for the most part and we can take steps to ensure satisfaction when we do our shopping over the internet. Here are five tips to keep in mind the next time you’re ready to pull the trigger on an online purchase:

1. Make sure the internet connection is safe and secure.
If the web site where you are entering your credit card information begins with “http” or “https” then you’re going to be in good shape. These sites automatically use Secure Sockets Layer which is a service that encrypts credit card information. If you’re using a site that doesn’t begin with either of those sets of letters than you should wait to see a pop-up indicating that the site uses SSL. If you don’t get either of these indicators then take your business elsewhere.

2. Know the seller.
If you’re considering buying something but you have never heard of the seller then you should consult the Better Business Bureau to check their reputation. A surefire way to know that you’re dealing with a shady company is if they sent you an unsolicited email. These are companies with a bad reputation for scamming customers.

3. Be sure you’re getting the latest update on your purchase order.
Many companies will be slow to update their online catalogues. Use your refresh button or even call the company if you believe there is an updated price on the item you’re looking to buy that’s cheaper than the one advertised.

4. Investigate before you purchase.
Make sure that you know exactly what you’re buying. If you go ahead and purchase something and you receive something totally different than what you were looking for you will be sad when you find out there’s very little you can do.
5. Print out your receipt. This is a crucial step for the online shopper. Many of us will skip that last step on the screen where it tells us to print out our receipts. Even if you don’t print it out you should at least email it to yourself. In the digital world of shopping this may be your only way to lay claim to a product or service that wasn’t delivered and you want your money back.

Indymac Bank Shut Down

indymac.jpgFederal regulation committee, OTS, has deemed Indymac to be an unsafe and unsound financial institution. Consequently, operations have been handed over the FDIC officials, who will work on liquidating the assets and returning money to account holders who are FDIC insured.

More details can be found at Indymac Federal Bank.

Future of Online Banking Security

Finally, the government steps in to protect the customers of online banks from crooks. This article explains very comprehensively about the implementation of two-factor authentication:

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council is giving banks until the end of next year to implement two-factor authentication for online transactions.

Two factor authentication aims at better security. This means that customers of banks using this method will have to identify themselves dual-way. One would be the simple identification � username and password and the other is the verification of a code.

The code would appear on a personal device such as the SecurID Token used by the American Bank Online. It is a small device on which numbers would change every minute. So while logging in to your account, you will have to write the number shown on the screen of your device. This method insures tight security and near impossible access of your accounts for the crooks.

According to this article, banks implementing this system will have to incur huge expenses. This would result in an increase in their running costs and eventually a cut down in the interest rates. This is just hypothetical, but obviously increasing expenses of the banks would mean some cut in the high returns on the CD’s or cash deposits.

Apart from that, this system might prove ineffective when the perpetrator is using Trojan Horses to track down the passwords. The article advocates this fact by citing Security expert Bruce Schneier, CTO of Counterpane Internet Security comments. Moreover, in case of phising attacks this system would again be of no help. Because phishing involves users who are deceived into giving away their identification � be it a password or now, the verification code. Furthermore, the intervention of the government is seen as something suspicious by many customers who do not want to see government intervention in their accounts.

On the other hand, optimistic customers not only see this change as increased security but also safer online banking. Moreover, some commentators argue that banks using this system might disperse the crooks to other banks where security is less tight. It also brings the news of destruction to the crooks in the password market. Previously, crooks could obtain passwords and sell them to other crooks for cash. But with this system, it would reduce online crimes sharply as simple password would be of no use to the crooks!

If one analyzes its advantages and disadvantages, then its benefits clearly outweighs it cons. Firstly, it provides better security and more safety for one’s money. As a commentator mentioned:

“It is true that it will not stop fraud but neither do armed guards in bank lobbies stop armed robberies. The point is to make it more difficult to commit the crime. This always means taking the convenience out of a process”

Secondly, any one would prefer security over a little cost. So, hats off for the introduction of two-factor authentication!

Today’s Online Banking Risks

First of all, there is nothing scary about all this articles. Don�t get scared about online banking systems. There are very rare fraud cases but the bank gives you guarantee that if anything happens then the bank will pay you after finishing all the investigations. But, it�s very important that you have to take some basic precautions to make your online bank account safer to use. I know everybody concerns about online banking security and according to the annual survey, the growth of online banking system is affected. The survey said that in one year till the end of August 2005, the American personal banking online activities remain unchanged at the rate of 39%.

Suspicions about Online Banks

I have conversed with a lot of friends and they all regret to join online banks. Only a few of them are using online banking systems but they still have fear in their minds due to hackers. Almost all of them afraid of joining online banks like ING Direct, etc.

There is one thread on ClarkHoward which we can consider as a good example of admitting fear of online banks. This person who created this thread is very interested in having high interest saving rates but is not much comfortable with online banks. I personally suggested him to go in the bank and talk with bank manager but I don�t think so that he did that because I have not got any response from his side but still I am waiting to know what he finally did.

It�s really hard to explain that whether to use online banking or not because we don�t know that these online banks physically exists or not. All legal banks like ING Direct and EmigrantDirect has their offices somewhere in the US. These online banks may not have local branches but they must have affiliation with large banking companies.

Reviewing an Internet Bank

Steps that ensure that online banks are FDIC insured:

1.) Open FDIC.gov website and go to Bank Find page. On this page type the name of the bank for example for EmigrantDirect, type Emigrant Savings and a page with some results will appear. Emigrant Savings is also changing its name to New York Private Bank and Trust soon. You can also read about the history and present state of EmigrantDirect Bank on FDIC page. But on this page website of online unit is not available and after reaching emigrant.com, you�ll see a link to Emigrant-Direct.com. All of these things provide a proof that EmigrantDirect Bank is legally exists and is FDIC ensured.

2.) Finally the important thing is that whether the bank is financially stable or not. Go to Bankrate.com�s website and find a form that bank is using. For example, I selected EmigratDirect bank which is located in New York then further I selected Emigrant Saving Bank from the sidebar menu where you can see a lot of New York banks. Rating for Emigrant Savings is 4 out of 5 stars, its having second highest rating in the New York. So, all above wordings shows that the bank is high financially sound.

There is one benefit that I noticed is, if you have very little amount of money with you and you want to open an account in EmigrantDirect or ING Direct Bank, there is no problem. The whole process and basic requirements for opening an account are very simple. The only thing the consumer should worry about is the money market rates of banks you are doing business with. The money transferring process is also very easy to use. When you�ll enter the bank there are a lot of bank staff member which will guide you how to operate your bank account in few easy steps. If you still have some questions then you are also ask them without any hesitation and they will guide you throughout.

What are Credit Unions?

I was searching for a credit union so that I can join it and get a lot of benefits. So, I made a lot of web searches by using almost all the search engines and finally found a very useful website which helps to find local credit unions. Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is running this finder tool and the working of this tool is very simple, reliable and saves a lot of time. This tool contains very large amount of local branches in its database as compared with the database of www.ncua.gov. Moreover, CUNA�s finder tool updates more frequently than Bankrate.com

There is also a network of credit unions in all the local areas and is called a credit union network. I have noticed that credit union network is grouped with lots of credit unions from all the local areas to increase its network and CU Service Corporation is one of them. CU Service Corporation provides great interests to earn good money for your family by running some businesses with your family members or friends. Let us discuss briefly about CU Service Corporation.

In different countries, many shared Service Center have been located in different areas by joining all the Credit Unions together. By joining them together, the strength of this shared network increased a lot in the last few years and it is still increasing as, day by day, large number of people are joining local credit unions. The rate of joining is increasing every year. Further, if any credit union member who likes to participate in any personal activity like starting a new business, he has to take the permission from Shared Centers to conduct his/her own private business and assuming that this business is related to his/her own credit union branch. Members of credit union can also access their accounts in many other locations with help of sharing facilities provided by shared credit union.

There are a lot of benefits to join a credit union. You can also conduct any business with your family members if he/she is already a member of credit union and can get huge profits by working together as a team. For example, you are the member of credit union in your state and your family member is in some other state, so you both can conduct a business by joining the same credit union. But main thing is that you also have to take help of other local credit unions who has networking abilities.

I always like to tell everybody about this great service and many of my friends and family members have already joined and we also have started few businesses together with help of local credit unions. I just want to say that this is very good opportunity for us to work together as a team. So, don’t think much just come and join. The credit union has very co-operative staff which helps to make your joining very simple and you can also ask any queries related to credit union.

Risks of Online Banking

Banks faces trouble while trying to switch people from paper to email. Due to the growing fraud on online banks, investors keep a distance from online bank. Although most banks aim to switch users to online banking as this has lower costs for them � no cost of postage or paper.

Some banks such as Credit Union charge people some amount of money if they want their bank statement by post. But bank of America is promoting online banking by giving away 5 dollars to those who stop their delivery of paper statement. Even on their website there is this link that allows users to test these services so that they become accustomed with the system.

I think is a good way to spread this new culture. Online banking is profitable both for the bank and the investor. Hence, by cultivating this online- banking culture, banks ensure more profit not only for themselves but in the long term they can offer better interest rates (as their expenses are reduced)

In order to ensure their customers, they are also giving Norton Protection at 50 % off. To add to this high-tech culture Bank Of America has also introduced Mobile Banking too. Besides to make online banking more user friendly their link

provides guidance to the users who are new to online banking. Such guidance ascertains a person about the registration steps and make one feel more secure.

Their online facilities include downloading a personal financial management software

Download your accounts,
Track investments
Pay bills directly through Financial Management software.
Viewing balances and transactions for Bank of America checking, savings, money market and credit card accounts.
Pay your bills online
Transfer funds online.
Track taxable entries and tax deductible items.

Plus their online banking user guide gives members directions about online banking. Hence, their promotion campaign is quite elaborate which harbingers a great success and profit for the company.

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