EC201 Tutorial 2 – Beam me up Scotty!

Mankind have dreamed to teleport long before all of us were born, although we are still far from its actualisation, we did manage to achieve some sort of advancement. Internet Banking, customers were brought to the bank counter virtually, without physically being there to do their necessary transactions.

Internet Banking is the latest craze that banks are looking at to gain that edge over their others. Lets take a look at the some of the services provided and also the kind of approaches banks are taking to provide a better service to their customers.

Most Banks now a days provide a basic set of services to their customers. Services like checking of their account balances, transfer of funds among accounts and most importantly is the function of paying bills electronically. Personally I have started to pay bills through my bank’s Internet Banking facilities and it was a breeze. Some banks also provide advance services like application of loans, downloading of information about their accounts, trading of stocks or mutual funds, view images of checks and deposits, etc.

There are two approaches to Internet Banking; one way is client-based where customers use money management software provided by their bank to do their transactions on the Internet and and the other way is Internet-based or browser-based.

The advantages of being able to do transactions on the Internet are tremendous. It saves time, its portable, often it is also much cheaper as there is no transportation costs involved. Its 24hrs a day, which means that you don’t need to sacrifice your precious lunch time to wait in a long queue, you can do it anytime, anywhere, wearing absolutely nothing if you prefer.

But of cause all logical people would think that there is no such thing as a “free-lunch”. I would agree that it is not a “free-lunch”, but more like a 24hr buffet at your own home. Sometimes it would come with a small cost, maybe a “per-transaction fee” or maybe even a monthly subscription to the service, but that I think would be negligible, assuming you alreay have a computer and an internet connection.

The sad thing is that all of us humans are resistant to change and are unwilling to breakaway from the conventional way of doing things, hence Internet Banking is still unfamiliar to many. The main reason would be that of security as confidence of the majority of Internet population is still low. Even with banks investing in security, incentives and in some countries, government encouragement, I think it would still take a while for the next door average guy to buy into it. Think of it this way, would banks want to have Internet Banking facilities if it was not safe and would they not be liable if something happened which was none of your doing.

I would like to see the Internet being a functional tool and not just some good designed homepage. Internet Banking has definitely contributed much, although I can’t say “Beam me up Scotty!”, but I definitely can say “log me on banks!”

Some good read and links on Online Banking
Online Banking Center from About.comOnline Banking – Is it for you? from fool.comTop Ten Banks in Cyberspace from

Links to Some Bank’s Online Facilities in Australia
ANZ Internet BankingBankwest Online bankingCommonwealth Bank’s Net BankWestpac’s Internet Banking

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