These days, many people prefer the convenience of being able to do their banking electronically.
But how do electronic bank accounts work, and is this type of bank account right for you?
Here’s a quick guide to help you decide.
What is an electronic bank account?
An electronic bank account, also known as an ‘online bank account’, operates much the same way as a regular bank account except you can carry out the majority of banking activities online at your bank’s website.
The vast majority of banks offer electronic bank accounts in addition to branch services, while some smaller financial institutions offer electronic-only bank accounts – which means you can only do your banking online.
Electronic bank accounts eliminate the need to go into a branch to do things like depositing money, transferring money, paying bills and checking your account statement.
Pros and cons of electronic bank accounts
Although there are plenty of advantages associated with electronic bank accounts, there are some disadvantages and risks that come with them too.
- Convenience – The most obvious benefit of having an electronic bank account is being able to do the majority of your banking activities from anywhere, at any time – as long as you have access to the internet.
- Online application – For most electronic bank accounts, you can submit an application online at your chosen financial institution’s website rather than having to go into a branch.
- Automatic debit – You can schedule payments by direct debit or BPAY, so you don’t have to worry about remembering to pay bills each month.
- Paperless banking – With access to account statements and information online, you don’t have to receive anything by mail.
- Centralised banking – Once you’ve logged into your account, you can do all your banking from a single dashboard, including managing other accounts such as your online savings account.
- Deposit limitations – While you can typically have your salary or other payments automatically deposited into your electronic bank account, you may still need to visit a branch to make other types of deposits (such as cheques).
- Security risks – Although financial institutions should have a robust level of online security, electronic banking leaves you exposed to the risk of cybercrime, online fraud and hacking, however small.
- Lack of customer service – If you need assistance with any of your banking activities, getting support online or by phone can be a less straightforward process than talking to someone face-to-face at a branch.
How to find and apply for an electronic bank account
Virtually every bank and financial institution in Australia offers electronic bank accounts, so choosing one that suits your needs simply comes down to doing a bit of research.
Use RateCity’s electronic bank account comparison tool to weigh up your options and find a bank account that offers you the best value in terms of convenience, money-saving potential, rewards and low fees.
Once you’ve decided on an electronic bank account, click on ‘Apply Now’ or ‘Details’ for more information and to apply, or visit your local branch to fill out an application form.
Compare electronic bank accounts
Compare some of the best electronic bank accounts and you may be able to save money by switching to a better deal.
These accounts may suit people who make between 25 and 35 transactions per month and bank frequently through electronic methods such as ATM, phone and internet.
In other words, if you don't require branch access and are happy to do all your banking via electronic means, then the bank accounts in our table are likely to suit your needs.
Start comparing and start saving today!