Keeping up with your finances without having to actually visit your bank is easier than ever. Thanks to advances in technology and online data security, you can now open a bank account online, giving you much more freedom to bank how you please.
Many people love the idea of avoiding the lines and hefty paperwork that come with traditional account opening, but it’s important to do your research before opening a bank account online. Although online banking can be as easy as a click of a button, our banking experts at Cornerstone Bank make sure all of our clients are as informed as possible before making any major decisions about their finances.
Read on to learn everything you should know before you open a bank account online.
Benefits of online banking
The benefits of online banking go beyond finances. It can be totally life changing! Especially for busy parents, business owners, and other community members, online banking is a must in 2020.
If your current bank doesn’t offer any of the following benefits for online banking, it might be time to start shopping for one that does.
Banking on the go
As Kansas City continues to grow, it seems our lives become increasingly spread across the metro area. (Did you know it can take over an hour to drive from Overland Park to Lee’s Summit—on a good day?) Some days we simply don’t have the time to visit our local bank; therefore it’s beneficial to have banking options wherever we go. Online banking allows you to get through your financial errands without having the constraints of driving to yet another place.
Fast, simple, and easy
Online banking has made your banking needs less complex and more efficient. You no longer have to maneuver through confusing paperwork and long processes to deposit a check or to transfer funds from one account to another. All you need is internet access and you’re good to go!
Transfer money in a click
Once you open a bank account online, you’ll have the opportunity to access all of your accounts held at that bank. You can easily transfer money from your personal savings account to your checking account, and vice versa. Often times, the money is available right away, which can really help if you end up in a bind at a checkout line (haven’t we all been there?).
Partners with your mobile app
Most banks also have a mobile app that makes online banking even easier. With the help of mobile banking, you can stay up to date with your finances 24/7. According to Statistica, 62% of people in the U.S. say mobile banking keeps them aware of their financial situation. Therefore, mobile banking using an app is the perfect partner to keep you banking smart, even on the move.
Pay bills online
The great thing about online banking is that you can often pay your bills online. Not only is this a way to eliminate excess paper, you can also easily manage when bills are paid. This allows for better organization, which can take away a lot of stress. Keep in mind that different banks allow for different payment options, so be sure to ask your bank questions for more information.
How to open a bank account online
One of the best parts about online banking is that it can be super easy to open a bank account online. All you need is internet access and a computer. Simple, right?
Most banks make sure that process is fairly simple, and there’s usually an icon to create an account. If you’re reading this blog on our website, then you’ll simply need to look for the “open account” button at the top of the page to get started. Our online instructions are easy to follow, but if you ever need help, our team will be happy to guide you through the process.
Step 1: Decide what kind of account you want to open
Before you do anything, be sure to know what kind of bank account you need. You can choose between a savings account, checking account, or sometimes even a credit card account (there may be more or less options depending on the bank).
Step 2: Understand the requirements
Each type of account may have different requirements when it comes time to open a bank account online. Some banks require a minimum deposit for savings or checking accounts. (When you open a checking account with Cornerstone Bank, you won’t have to worry about maintaining a minimum balance.)
Step 3: Figure out if there are fees involved
Make sure you read the fine print before opening a bank account online. Some banks require fees when you open an account, and that includes checking accounts. Fortunately for those wanting to open a bank account online in Kansas City, Cornerstone Bank allows you to start a checking account without any open-account fees.
Step 4: Prepare to open your bank account online
Once you’ve done your research and have decided on the bank account you want to open, you should have all of the necessary items prepared. Although this varies from bank to bank, there will be some personal information you’ll need to share in order to get started.
This includes but is not limited to:
- Full legal name
- Date of birth
- Social security number
- Driver’s license information (or another form of a government-issued ID)
Tips to stay secure when you’re online banking
As with any activity you do online, you want to make sure that you’re protecting yourself against cyberattacks. All too often, we see people not taking the proper precautions, leading to fraud and theft. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to happen to you. Below we’ve listed a few tips to keep in mind when you first open a bank account online and beyond.
Create a strong password
Never use the same password for all your online accounts, and that doesn’t just include banking. The last thing you want is for a cyber thief to only need one password to take over your life.
As you open a bank account online, make sure you’re using a combination of numbers, letters, and special characters. It’s also best if your password is on the longer side (but not too long that you can’t remember it). Avoid using common words or phrases, and don’t use identifying factors in your password like your birthday or initials.
Download a security software
You’ll always want to make sure you have some kind of security software or antivirus on your computer to prevent cyberattacks and malware. If you’re unprotected, these attacks can find your personal information and easily log into your bank accounts. There are tons of options out there, so be sure to do your research on what kind of software will work best for you and your budget.
Watch out for spam emails
Cyber attackers have become a lot smarter these days. Now, they’ll pose as businesses you work with and send emails asking for your login information. A respectable bank would never send you an email like that.
Do not fall for the trap. Instead, always give your bank a call to verify if the email is from them or if it is spam.
One big thing to keep in mind: never click on strange links, especially if you’re not sure if the email came from your bank.
Access your account from a safe network
Public Wi-Fi can be great at times, but not when it comes to accessing personal information. Never open a bank account online or even check your account on an unsecure network. This also includes public Wi-Fi networks that have a password. Truth is, that password isn’t much of a secret, and anyone can still access it.
If you have to bank online from remote locations, we recommend either using your mobile banking app or purchasing a VPN (virtual private network). A VPN allows you to have your own private and safe network that you can access anywhere you go.
Don’t login on a public computer
As tempting as it may sound to check your account using the library’s computer, do not do it unless absolutely necessary. Public computers are dangerous for personal information because they’re, well, public. You don’t know who is going to use the computer after you or what the computer might be saving without your permission. It’s best to just wait until you have access to your personal computer or use the app.
If you do need to check your bank account at a public computer, be sure never to save your password. Additionally, make sure to check your surroundings to ensure no one around you can visibly see the content on your screen.
Set up notifications
Bank notifications are a great way to ensure that you’re always in-the-know about your bank accounts. If something strange happens, you’ll find out right away, giving you a better chance to stop cyberthreats from getting any further. Enrolling in text or email notifications the moment you open a bank account online is one of your best bets for staying safe.
Always log out when you’re finished
No matter what, always log out of your online bank account when you’re done. Most banks end up doing it for you once you have been idle for a certain period of time, but it’s still good to get into the habit of doing it yourself.
You will also want to clear your browsing history when you’re done, just in case it tries to save any cached information like your username or even the websites you visited in the first place.
Why you should open a bank account online with Cornerstone Bank
One of the best things about Cornerstone Bank is that we’re a local bank in Kansas City, meaning you get one-of-a-kind personalized treatment. When you open a bank account online, you’ll know that you still have the best banking team ready to help whenever you need it. Here are some of the great benefits that come when you work with Cornerstone Bank.
We have superb customer service
Banking is an experience, from the moment you walk into the office until the moment you leave. At Cornerstone Bank, this starts with a personalized greeting (yes, we know everyone by name). Why? Because we’re not just a bank; we’re a family. We care about what’s going on in your life, and we want to make sure that you feel at home when you visit.
We help you even when we’re closed
We understand that sometimes problems arise without warning. We never leave you stuck, not even on the weekends. You can always access your account online, but as a bonus, our bankers at Cornerstone Bank give all of our customers their cell phone numbers for extended support. You can call a banker any time, and we’ll be there to help.
We have a customer-first mentality
Simply speaking, you come first at Cornerstone Bank. Because of this, we offer a variety of banking options to fit our unique customers. Everyone is valued no matter who they are, how many accounts they have, or how big their accounts are.
We offer the latest banking technologies
At Cornerstone Bank, we keep in touch with what’s new in the banking world to give you the latest and greatest banking has to offer. Because of that, we make opening an account online straightforward and simple.
For mobile banking, our touch-ID feature makes login fast and easy, and you can check your balances in an instant. What’s more? We’ll keep evolving as technology changes, so you won’t ever have to worry about falling behind.
Get started with Cornerstone Bank today
Since 2001, Cornerstone Bank has put our customers first, and that means giving them the best that online banking has to offer. Whether you choose to open your bank account online, in-person, or over the phone with an associate, we are here to help.
You can visit our website and quickly open a bank account online, but if you need a break from the internet, visit us in person or give us a call at (913) 239-8100 to let us know how we can help.