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Internet banking is an electronic payment system that enables customers of a bank to conduct a range of financial transactions through the bank’s website. It is also known as Netbanking, online banking, e-banking or virtual banking.
It was originally introduced in the UK, in the year 1983, followed by the U.S in 1984. It was first introduced in India by ICICI Bank in the year 1998. In the early 1990s, banks wanted to utilize the rising popularity of the internet as an opportunity to advertise their services. They developed bank websites that were nothing more than online brochures, without any interaction with the customer. These preliminary websites featured pictures of the bank's officers or buildings and provided customers with maps of branches and ATM locations, phone numbers to call for further information and simple listings of products. It was also because the internet was not accessible by all households. But, by the year 2005, Netbanking had reached more than billions of households across the world. As per a 2015 survey, 700 million customers use Netbanking regularly in Asia alone.
At the time of opening an account, the customer is allocated a customer number or User ID and a password to access their Netbanking account. Netbanking provides various banking services such as viewing account balances, obtaining statements, checking recent transactions, transferring money between accounts, and making payments. The Netbanking system is typically connected to the Core Banking System of the Bank and is very different from the traditional Branch Banking. It aims at making banking much easier and accessible to everyone.
Advantages of Netbanking
The primary advantage of Netbanking is the liberty of not having to visit the bank branch to carry out various transactions. As they call it, Netbanking is ‘Banking at your fingertips’. You can carry out various transactions from the comfort of your home.
In order to use Netbanking, you must have a bank account. These days all bank accounts come with a Netbanking account by default. (There might be a few types of accounts that may not have a Netbanking facility. You need to check with the bank on that.)
If your account has a Netbanking facility, you will be given an Internet Banking Kit. This Kit will contain your Netbanking Username and Password. If you did not receive the Kit while opening the account, you can submit a request at the bank branch to get one.
You can use this Username and Password on the Bank’s official Netbanking portal to access your account. While accessing your account for the first time, you will be required to verify a few confidential details like your date of birth, mobile number or similar details to register your account. Once you have done this, you will be allowed to reset your password to your preferred one.
Internet Banking usually has a password policy. They require the password to be of a certain length, to contain special characters, upper case letters or numbers, and so on. You should choose a password that is strong and cannot be guessed easily to prevent hacking.
Once you have reset your password, you can log in to your account. The account page will have various tabs for different transactions. Some of the primary tabs available in most Netbanking portals are:
Account Summary – Access your account details, balance enquiry, account statements, profile details, etc.
Funds Transfer – Transfer money to self-accounts or other accounts using NEFT, RTGS, IMPS, etc.
Bill Payments – Allows bill payments for utility services, insurance providers, mutual fund operators, etc.
Credit Cards – Shows details of the credit cards linked to your name
Loans – Access information on various loan products linked to this account
Investments – Allows you to invest in various investment products offered by the bank, like mutual funds, stocks & shares, bonds, government schemes, FDs & RDs, etc.
Insurance – Access various insurance products offered by the bank and invest in them
E-Services – This section contains non-financial transactions like address updation, cheque book request, cheque stop request, Form 15H submissions, Income Tax statement requests, any account-related service requests, etc.
Customer Support – As the name suggests, this tab has options to contact the customer support for any queries or grievances relating to your account. This tab may have options to send an email or chat with a customer support executive, directly from your Netbanking portal. They may also list the phone numbers for customer support for you to call them.
National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT)
National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) is a nation-wide payment system facilitating one-to-one funds transfer. This is the most widely used Fund Transfer method. NEFT allows account holders to transfer money from their bank account to another bank account of an individual, firm, or corporate having an account with any other bank branch in the country participating in the Scheme.
The important feature of this scheme is that even individuals who do not have a bank account can walk into any of the NEFT-enabled branches with instructions to transfer funds to another account using NEFT. However, such cash remittances will be restricted to a maximum of Rs. 50,000/- per transaction. NEFT, thus, facilitates individuals to initiate funds transfer transactions even without having a bank account. Presently, NEFT operates in hourly batches - there are twelve settlements from 8 am to 7 pm on weekdays (Monday through Friday) and six settlements from 8 am to 1 pm on Saturdays. There is no minimum or maximum limit for NEFT transfers in a day. However, the maximum per transaction is Rs. 10 lakhs.
Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS)
RTGS is defined as the continuous real-time settlement of funds transferred individually on an order by order basis. In RTGS, the fund transfer is processed at the time they are received rather than at some later time; 'Gross Settlement' means the settlement of funds transfer instructions occurs individually on an instruction by instruction basis. You have to remember that the fund transfer takes place in the books of the Reserve Bank of India, which makes the transfers final and irrevocable. The RTGS system primarily deals with large value transactions. The minimum amount to be remitted through RTGS is Rs. 2 lakhs with no upper ceiling for the amount that can be transferred. The RTGS service is operational from 9.00 AM to 16.30 PM on weekdays and from 9.00 AM to 14:00 PM on Saturdays for settlement at the RBI end. However, customers should check the RTGS timings of the bank branches before making the transaction.
Immediate Payment Service (IMPS)
IMPS has been increasing in popularity and usage these days. The benefit of IMPS is that it offers instant, 24X7, interbank electronic fund transfer service through mobile phones. IMPS is a dynamic tool to transfer money instantly within bank accounts across India through mobile, internet, and ATM, which is not only safe but also economical both in financial and non-financial perspectives.
IMPS was established with the aim of enabling bank customers to use their mobile phones as a tool for accessing their bank accounts and remit funds. It makes fund transfers simpler by utilizing the mobile number of the beneficiary. It helps in realizing the goal of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in the digitalization of retail payments. The ultimate goal is to make mobile payments the primary way of funds transfers to enable better transparency and security for both the remitter and the beneficiary.
Electronic Clearing System (ECS)
ECS is primarily a bill payment tool. It serves as an alternative method for effecting payment transactions in respect of utility bill payments such as telephone bills, electricity bills, insurance premia, card payments, and loan repayments, etc., ECS was established with the objective of removing the need for physical bill payment transactions and the horde of paperwork that follows. It has helped in focusing the time saved on improved customer service by banks/companies / Corporations/government departments, etc., that are into collecting/receiving the payments.
Half hourly batches
Minimum Transfer Limit
Maximum Transfer Limit
(However, maximum amount per transaction is limited to Rs.50,000/- for cash-based remittances within India and to Nepal under the Indo-Nepal Remittance Facility Scheme.)
8:00 AM – 7:00 PM all working days except 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month
Unavailable on Sunday and Bank Holidays
Operates in 23 half-hourly settlement batches
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM all working days
Available 365 days and 24/7
No charges for inward transactions at destination bank branches for credit to beneficiary accounts
No charges for inward transactions.
Charges applicable for outward transactions. For Rs.2 lakh – Rs.5 lakh - not exceeding Rs.25
Above Rs.5 lakhs: not exceeding Rs.50
(GST is also applicable)
Charges for remittance through IMPS are decided by the individual member banks and PPIs. The taxes are included.
Online and Offline
As is the case with any technology-driven digital product, Netbanking also has its own pitfalls.
Technology has revolutionized the whole banking system. Banking is now a 24/7 business, catering to a wide segment of customers. Recent years have seen a rise in cyber-crimes targeting the banking system. There have been breaches in the Indian Banking system where millions of account user information were exposed. This has forced the banks to increase their website security with tougher encryptions to safeguard customer interests.
Hackers and miscreants basically use the following tools to disrupt the online banking system:
Trojans: Trojans are internet viruses that get installed on your system without your knowledge while you are browsing a potentially harmful website. These Trojans then steal sensitive information from your computer through keystrokes or screenshots enabling robbers to access your Netbanking account and steal your money.
Phishing Emails: These are very common these days. As the name suggests, these are fraudulent emails posing as having come from authentic sources. They usually contain a link and instruct you to click on this link to perform some action related to your bank account. If you click on these links unknowingly, your computer is compromised giving complete access to the hackers.
Email Scams: The numbers of this kind of scam has reduced but not completely obliterated. These email scams target specific customers based on their internet activity. They usually ask you to deposit a small amount of money to their account in order to receive a huge bounty of unimaginable amounts. Some are ignorant and weak-minded and fall prey to these scams ultimately losing huge amounts of money.
Customers should also take some necessary precautions to Netbanking. Ultimately it will be them losing the money. Here are some basic security tips you can follow for a safe Netbanking experience:
1. What are the banking services I can access through Netbanking?
Netbanking allows various banking transactions to be carried out from the comfort of your home. Some of the functions you can perform via Netbanking are - viewing account balances, obtaining statements, checking recent transactions, transferring money between accounts and making payments to another account.
2. What are the basic things needed to set up my Netbanking account?
The basic 3 things you need for Netbanking are – A Bank Account, Login ID/Username & Password.
3. Can I carry out non-financial banking services through Netbanking?
Yes, of course. You can carry out various non-financial transactions like – downloading Account Statement for a specific period, updating profile information like address & phone number, requesting new cheque book, request for cheque stop, setting up standing instructions, adding a new fund transfer beneficiary, subscribing for email/SMS alerts for all kinds of transactions, contacting the customer support to register a query or grievance and many more such services.
4. Who issues the Netbanking credentials for my account?
Your banker is the issuing authority for your Netbanking account credentials. These days all bank accounts come with a Netbanking account by default. If your account has a Netbanking facility, you will be given an Internet Banking Kit while you open your account. This Kit will contain your Netbanking Username and Password. If you did not receive the Kit while opening the account, you can submit a request at the bank branch to get one.
5. Can I pay my electricity bill through Netbanking?
Yes, you can. Netbanking has a bill payment feature that allows for utility bill payments of a number of service providers. You should first register your biller under your Netbanking account. Then you can start making payments.
Positive Pay System for all Cheques above Rs. 50,0009 Jan 2021
The RBI has instructed all banks to implement the Positive Pay system for cheque payments over Rs. 50,000. This is an automated facility that will help in preventing cheque frauds. As per this system, the cheque issuer will have to re-validate the da...
The RBI has instructed all banks to implement the Positive Pay system for cheque payments over Rs. 50,000. This is an automated facility that will help in preventing cheque frauds. As per this system, the cheque issuer will have to re-validate the date of the cheque, the beneficiary name, amount and recipient electronically. This information will be cross-checked before disbursing the payment. If the details do not match, then the branch will not issue the payment and the cheque issuer will be notified.
very usefull,informative and simple.
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