Chances are your bank is a virtual place. Since the invention of the Internet you can see your balances anywhere, at any time. Most banks think globally and have acted this way by creating secure portals to manage their account holder’s information stored in their databases. This information stored usually shows account balances, previous transactions, current balances, interest paid and electronic scans of their checks. Anywhere you can get to a computer, your bank account is right in your hands, usually in real-time.
Some banks even provide a service where you can pay your bills online vis-à-vis a checking account or saving account. You can setup creditors accounts, addresses and account numbers to be printed out on each check shipped. There are even some banks that will electronically send the check directly to their account for a nominal fee. Most electronic banking can be free depending on the minimum account requirements are met. Otherwise, electronic banking can cost up to $10 per month for the convenience to send money and manage your account via the web.
In our move towards a paperless society, banks have begun to stop shipping back cleared checks to their account holders. These cleared checks can be found on the Internet and printed out should they need access to these records. Some banks also will not ship their monthly statements as they too can be printed out on the web as well.
Interest bearing accounts
Some checking accounts, savings accounts and IRA’s can also be managed via the Internet. Account holders can move money between accounts and add money to their savings accounts electronically without ever visiting a teller or the local branch.
One of the greatest conveniences is being able to reconcile your accounts with the popular personal finance software such as MS Money and Quicken. Banks have ways to create files that can be imported into these software products so that balancing the account is done for them with little intervention. The web makes it very handy should you forget to record items into your register and will do it all for you with a couple clicks of the mouse.