What Is Wachovia Online Banking?
It’s becoming common for people to do most of their banking and financial transactions online. Online banking was conceived in the early 80s, but it took the Internet boom of the early 90s to get the ball rolling. The first widespread online banking functions were offered in late 1995 by Presidential Savings Bank. Big banks followed, including Wells Fargo and Chase Manhattan, two of the first nationwide banks to offer online banking to all customers. (See also: Barclays Online Banking for more information.)
Wachovia Online Banking
The Wachovia online banking service is similar to other online banks. Security features are standard — such as the login image, a small picture that appears when you’re signed in to a legitimate Wachovia online banking site. The content at Wachovia’s online bank program is also similar to other online banks, and includes:
- account activity and balances
- mobile phone account management through Wachovia Mobile
- online bank statements
- images of paid checks
- funds transfers between accounts
- online bill pay
- investment account balances, holdings, and activity
- online investment trading
- real-time stock quotes, news, commentary, etc.
- online retirement fund access
- manage your 401k retirement plan online
Wachovia is now owned by Wells Fargo. That should mean even more Internet banking capabilities for Wachovia customers. Wells Fargo is famous for their advances in online banking technology, and though there were some reports of issues with Wachovia’s online banking system right after the takeover by Wells Fargo, these issues have been corrected.
What Is Online Banking?
Online banking is the practice of making bank transactions or paying bills via the Internet. Thanks to technology, and the Internet in particular, we no longer have to leave the house. We can shop online, communicate online, and now, we can even do our banking online. Online banking allows us to make deposits, withdrawals and pay bills all with the click of a mouse. It doesn’t get much more convenient than that.
Benefits of Wachovia Online Banking
The benefits of using Wachovia’s online banking system are many.
Obviously, the biggest “pro” is the convenience factor. Most of your day-to-day banking activity can be accomplished online. Your bank statements are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can make checking your account balances a part of your daily routine without much effort.
The fact that you can keep such a close eye on your accounts means you have a better chance of catching a mistake or an instance of identity theft much easier. Any place you have Internet access becomes a portal to your online banking needs.
Online bill pay is a big part of the upside of banking online with Wachovia. You don’t have to write any more checks, put stamps on return envelopes, and possibly forget to mail checks to pay your bills — set it all up online for free. Wachovia’s online banking system makes it easy to set up your bill payment schedule. The funds will be automatically deducted from your account.
Don’t forget that online banking at Wachovia is cost-effective. It doesn’t cost you a penny to use online banking, and it makes sense for Wachovia to offer this service for free. They save money when you use online banking instead of driving to the bank and talking to the teller, and you save time in the process. I’d say that’s a fair trade.
A final check in the “pro” column for online banking is that it is an easy way to ‘go green’. Since online banking is paperless, you and the bank will be using less paper and creating less waste.
Downsides of Wachovia Online Banking
The biggest concern many people have when they begin using online banking is security — it is difficult for some people to believe that transactions on the Internet are secure. All information on the Wachovia online banking site is encrypted, and the chance of your account being accessed through the online banking system is slim. Wachovia’s spent a ton of money on high-tech firewalls and other online security systems, and don’t forget that your bank account at Wachovia is FDIC insured in case of such a problem. Though security can be an issue, know that your online bank account is probably a hundred times more secure than your home computer.
Another downside for some customers is the lack of face to face interaction. Believe it or not, some people enjoy going to the bank and seeing the employees, chatting with them, and getting a free lollipop for making a bank transaction.
Don’t forget that some bank functions still can’t be performed outside of the bank. Depositing cash or checks will require you to spend some time at a Wachovia ATM or in a Wachovia branch. Only direct deposits will go to your Wachovia bank account without your intervention.
All told, the benefits of online banking (convenience, low cost, etc) outweigh the potential downsides. If you are careful with your bank information and use online banking to supplement your other good financial habits, online banking is a great idea.
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