Internet Banking

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By Rilwan Abdullahi

Internet Banking

You may now handle most of your financial needs without having to go to the bank thanks to Internet banking or online banking. The bank comes to you with Internet banking services. It’s simple to use, convenient, and gives you access to your bank account at any time.

Is it, however, secure? Banking on the internet is just as safe as you make it. Identity theft tactics frequently target your login information. Anyone with your login data, just as with ATM cards, can access your account and, depending on the person’s knowledge, take your money or at the very least create harmful damage. As a result, understanding online banking security is critical.

Internet banking in Nigeria

In Nigeria, the majority of banks currently provide Internet banking services to their consumers. Granted, some are only there to fill in the gaps, but there are a few gems among them. GTBank, Zenith Bank, Access Bank, Diamond Bank, Stanbic IBTC, UBA, and FirstBank are some of the main Nigerian banks providing Internet banking services.

From the early days of delivering limited financial services on their Internet banking platforms to today, when practically all banking activities can be completed online, Nigerian internet banking has come a long way.

Viewing account balances, viewing account activity/statement, monitoring exchange rates, transferring funds between accounts within the same bank, and paying bills and taxes are among the most common financial services given by Nigerian banks through their internet banking systems.

You can perform third-party transfers to other accounts within and outside your bank, as well as swap foreign currency to Naira, by purchasing an Online banking security token from your bank (if they offer one) or utilizing one-time passwords on your internet banking platform. You may do all of this from the comfort of your own home or office, or even while traveling.

However, certain Nigerian banks’ Internet banking platforms still lack several critical services, such as new account applications, currency exchange, cheque book requests, and ATM/Debit/Credit card requests, which still necessitate a trip to the bank. Nigerian banks, such as GTbank, provide these and other services.

Some banks did not offer the necessary security features, such as an on-screen keyboard, on their Internet banking platforms in the past, but this has hopefully improved.

Despite these minor shortcomings, Internet banking is still recommended because it allows you to access your bank account and conduct banking transactions from practically anywhere, almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Check out Mobile Banking as well.

Features of an Internet banking platform

Internet banking allows you to access your bank account quickly and easily. The banking platforms require authentication to decrease the possibility of someone else accessing your account. Most platforms support two-factor authentication, which often includes:

  • What you have in terms of technical factors (eg. a security token or one time password)
  • Personal characteristics: What you are aware of (eg. your password or PIN)

A third component (human factors: who you are) requiring biometrics (iris scan, thumb print scan) may be added to your platform to strengthen security, albeit this is uncommon.

Limited Internet banking services with 1-factor authentication are sometimes available from banks, needing simply your PIN or log-in password. You won’t be able to perform third-party transfers of funds from your account to other accounts within and outside your bank if you use 1-factor authentication on your Internet banking platform. You can transfer money between your accounts within the same bank using 1-factor authentication. The GTBank platform is one example of this.

Your bank may also provide a security token, allowing you to use two-factor authentication. You can then use your internet banking platform to make third-party transfers and swap foreign currencies using your PIN and security token (2-factor authentication). The GTB Internet Banking platform allows you to perform more transactions with your security token.

On their internet banking platform, certain banks will utilize One-Time-Password instead of a security token. If your bank’s banking platform employs One-Time-Password, a password will be delivered to your phone through SMS to authorize specific transactions. To authorize that particular transaction, you will need to input the one-time password into the platform.

You can transfer money from your GTB account to other GTB accounts and accounts from other banks using a GTB security token. Using the GTB internet banking token, you can sell foreign currency in your DOM account and have it transferred to your Naira-denominated accounts.

You may also use the token to set up standing orders to GTB and other bank accounts. The sole reason to visit a bank or ATM with the GTBank token will be to make a personal cash withdrawal or deposit.

A security token is a little gadget that allows you to electronically prove your identity (authenticate). It could be connected to your computer or not. Security tokens that are connected to your computer (by RFID, USB, NFC, or Bluetooth) provide a unique number to your computer that identifies you. During an internet banking transaction, this number is frequently modified.

Some security tokens do not send data to the computer automatically; instead, they display a unique number that you must manually type into the proper box on your internet banking platform. The GTBank security token does not automatically transmit. It just displays a random number that you must enter within a short period of time or the transaction will be retried.

For entering your PIN, most Internet banking platforms provide an on-screen keypad. An on-screen keyboard adds a layer of protection by preventing keyloggers from stealing your PIN. A keylogger is software that hackers install on your computer to record keystrokes on your keyboard and send them to their website.

They can then access your Internet banking account using this information. An Internet banking platform with on-screen display gives additional protection by avoiding the usage of a keyboard for entering your PIN. On-screen keyboards are not available in several Nigerian banks, making their internet banking services less safe. On-screen keyboard is available on the GTB platform.

When you log in to your Internet platform, you’ll notice links or buttons that allow you to do things like:

  • viewing account balances
  • viewing account activity/statement
  • checking exchange rates
  • checking Bank Interest rates
  • Transferring funds between your accounts within the same bank
  • paying bills and taxes
  • third party transfer to other accounts within and outside your bank, etc

Benefits of Internet banking

Despite the security hazards, everyone should use Internet banking, especially if they have their own internet connection. It simplifies banking. The convenience of Internet banking is a huge plus. Most of your banking needs can be met from the convenience of your own home or workplace. Your bank account is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week (certain transactions are not available 24 hours a day). Interest and exchange rates can be viewed from any location.

If you’ve just written a check to someone but don’t have enough money in your checking account, you can utilize your Internet banking platform to transfer funds from your savings account to your checking account from the convenience of your own home or workplace.

This protects your reputation by ensuring that the check does not bounce. Without leaving your home, you can transfer funds from your domiciliary account to your MasterCard or Visa debit card account. You can even send payments to your clients on your platform if you have a security token. Sit at home and check if the money you asked was sent or if the check cleared; there’s no need to go to the bank until you’re sure.

If you have internet access, you should ask your bank for online banking services today; however, GTB, Stanbic IBTC, Access Bank, and Zenith Bank have excellent reputations.

What you need for Internet banking

Internet banking necessitates the use of the internet. It is best if you have your own internet access, as using a cyber cafe to access your platform can be unsafe. Most banking platforms require speed, therefore you’ll also need a fast network.

If you’re on a GSM network, make sure you’re on EDGE, although 3G is the best option. If GPRS is available, you can utilize it, but the user experience will be terrible.

You’ll also need a security token, though this isn’t required. A security token increases the security of your Internet banking and allows you to do more banking operations online.

A security token can be obtained from your bank in Nigeria for less than 4,500 Naira. The last time we checked, GTB was selling their security token for 3,000 Naira. Some banks do not require the usage of a security token and instead rely on a one-time password. Find out how to enable third-party transactions on your internet banking platform by contacting your bank.

You’ll also need a computer, which could be a desktop, laptop, or even a tablet. Make sure you have the most up-to-date anti-virus and firewall software installed. These will increase your online safety. You can also purchase software that improves the security of your browser. Some banks also provide mobile banking services.

Internet banking is handy and time-saving; inquire about it with your bank today. You can apply either online or in person at the bank. GTBank, Stanbic IBTC, Zenith Bank, Diamond Bank, UBA, and FirstBank are some of the leading Nigerian banks providing internet banking services. HSBC Internet banking, Barclay’s online banking, and other large international financial institutions’ platforms are among the most popular. To use Internet banking, go to your bank’s website and fill out an application.

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