9 safety tips for internet banking
Today internet banking is very easy to access and is one of the most
convenient ways to bank. All you need is access to an internet
connection but be careful: Here are some safety tips.
1. Never use a public terminal such as an internet cafe. Ideally use
your own computer or smart phone, or terminals inside the bank.
2. Becareful of wireless connections. Unless you have a very secure
connection, this is where interventions may occur.
3.Avoid connecting via a link. Always type the full name of the
internet banking site into your browser. This is the safest and best
way to go.
4. Have no other websites open while you are banking. Any intereference
is possible, and besides, banking needs your full attention.
5. Ensure your user ID and password are known only to you and cannot
easily be worked out by friends or colleagues. Change your password
regularly but be sure to keep track of the changes.
6. Always log off and close the page when you are finished.
7. Beware of emails that request your bank details. Don’t give them.
8. Never give your password and user ID over the phone, even to so
called ‘banking officials’ if they call you. If you call to query the
operator may need the information to check your account.
9. Keep a close check on the balance so you can identify any suspicious
transactions. If you notice any debits that are unauthorised, contact
your bank immediately.
How does interest work
After a few months of managing your credit, you will better understand
the concept of interest and how it works. Interest is a two-sided coin
with positive implications on one side and negative implications on the
If you have paid late, or paid less than the required instalment shown
on a particular account, you will be charged interest. This is negative
interest and takes money out of your pocket. This is dangerous and very
expensive interest sometimes as high as 25 percent. If at all possible
you should try to avoid interest charges. Beware of higher purchase
where they offer you between 6 and 48 months to pay. Although the
seller may offer you terms with monthly amounts that sound manageable,
you will end up paying up to more than double the original cost of the
item – fridges, tvs, computers, household furniture. Rather buy
secondhand or more affordable items that you buy at the original ticket
price. The only purchase you should buy over a term is your home. Very
few can afford to buy a house in cash, and this is where a bank or
homeloans institutions help you by offering terms, in some cases, up to
Paying a high price for interest
Nonetheless, the same applies. You will be paying more than double for
your house by the time you have added up all your payments over 30
years – but you will have done a lot of living in that house and it
will have paid off in other ways. On the other hand, a fully paid up
bond, is a great achievement, and reduces financial pressure to a great
extent. It is something worth striving for.
When you save money in a bank savings account, for example, FNB, Absa,
Capitec, Nedbank, you have the chance to earn positive interest. So
instead of the store or the bank charging for lending you money, they
pay you for saving money.
When you decide to put your money in the bank you will have several
account options to choose from. Some accounts offer more interest than
others. Some accounts have higher charges than others and other
accounts must have a minimum balance to offer the full benefits. The
minimum balance may be R1,000, R5,000 or R10, 000 depending on the type
of the account. These are sometimes called investment accounts, but
again it is the starting amount and the length of time the money must
stay in the bank to earn interest.
There are some accounts that are fixed over time – say 12 or 24 months
– they also have minimum balance requirements but they generally pay
higher interest. Some accounts are more flexible and allow more
Savings account options
It’s a good idea to spend some time finding out what the different
banks offer. FNB has been in the spotlight for a number of new and
exciting saving products. But all banks have many pamphlets that you
can read through to see what is on offer. You should go to a consultant
to ask questions and make sure you understand the differences between
one account and the next.
Banking offers a number of services that making the way you handle
money much safer. Money in the bank is guaranteed. Even if the bank is
robbed and loses a lot of money, the bank must pay you what you have
put in, if you want to take it out.
Banking services are not free. Some of the fees are very low and
sometimes can even be avoided. At entry level banking the fees are very
low to encourage new account holders (previously unbanked individuals).
Then there are special cost structures for minimum balances. The bank
wants you to keep your money invested and they are willing to reward
you for doing this by offering reduced charges.
E(bits)da – Every bit saved does accumulate
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