Some things are just natural fits for homebased entrepreneurs: comfy slippers, office supply superstores, sunshine spilling through your window with not an artificial light within miles of your desk, online banking. . .
Yep, you heard me right. I said, online banking.
In case you've been trapped inside your rolltop desk for the past few years, online banking is an Internet-based banking service that can save homebased business owners time and money. Want to transfer money to your checking account? Need to verify an account balance? Wondering if your direct deposit has posted yet? Forget to document who you paid a check to? And the granddaddy question of them all-did that client's check hit your account yet?
Homebased banking packages answer all these questions and more. With most accounts, online banking provides you with a secure connection to your bank, giving you access to all your accounts 24/7 from any PC with an Internet connection, usually with no special software required. Costwise, online bank fees are usually lower, and earned interest rates on CDs and checking accounts higher. That's because online banks don't have to hire an army of tellers and managers to service your account like they do at the brick-and-mortar locations. Reduced paperwork and mail costs add to the savings banks enjoy by going online.
Already well-established in Europe, online banking is rapidly becoming a standard offering in the United States. According to a recent report by Tower Group, 15 million households, or 12 percent of the market, will be using online banking services by 2002, and banks are gearing up for the challenge. With customer retention in mind, the number of banks offering online services by 2003 is expected to increase 13-fold from 1998 figures.