Internet banking beats the branch for two thirds of Brits
Brits are banking online more often than ever before, with web users making 110 visits per year according to research from PayYOURway.org.uk, the education campaign for payments.
The ease and convenience of making payments and managing our finances online means that a quarter of internet users now log on to internet banking every day, while a further two in five (39%) use internet banking at least weekly. And it seems that once you've tried internet banking, the convenience is hard to beat - only 13% of online Brits make a weekly trip to their local bank branch to manage their money.
Almost four in five web users (79%) say they are confident in making online banking transactions, rising to 90% of 25-34 year olds who are online. However, with internet use lower amongst older people, only a quarter of over 55s in the UK have ever used online banking to manage their money.
To help those still finding their feet with internet banking, PayYOURway.org.uk has produced an easy to understand online ‘how to' guide. The campaign is also marking Get Safe Online Week (7-12 November), with some top security tips for everyone who banks online:
When you login to your online bank account ensure that there is a locked padlock or unbroken key symbol in the browser window - indicating that the site is secure. Also make sure that the web address changes from ‘http' to ‘https'.
Make sure your computer's firewall is switched on and that you have up-to-date anti-virus software installed. (Many banks provide their customers with complimentary fraud protection software - check their website.)
Download the latest security updates, known as patches, for your browser and your operating system (e.g. Windows).
Keep passwords, passcodes and PINs safe; always be wary of any unsolicited emails or calls asking you to disclose any personal details or card numbers. Your bank, building society or the police will never contact you to ask you to disclose your PIN.
Ensure your computer is set up to receive automatic operating system updates which are usually free. These fix bugs or problems with the system that hackers could exploit. (The safety options are not always activated when you install your computer.)
Know who you are dealing with - always access your online bank's website by typing the name in yourself. Never go to a website from a link in an email and then enter personal details - the email could be sent by a fraudster who is trying to get you to login to a fake bank website.
Don't give away potentially sensitive information on social networking sites - for example your mother's maiden name or your date of birth.
Check your statements regularly (this is much easier with internet banking) and keep an eye out for transactions you don't recognise. If you spot something suspicious report it to your bank immediately.
Sandra Quinn, from the PayYOURway.org.uk campaign, comments: "Internet banking is fast, convenient and available 24 hours a day - so it's no surprise it's now the nation's favourite way to manage money. Whether you're an old hand at internet banking or thinking about trying it for the first time, it's important to stay safe online - check out PayYOURway.org.uk for some simple internet banking tips."
A plain English glossary of payment terms is also available on PayYOURway.org.uk, as well as easy to understand guides on paying bills, mobile banking and charitable giving. The website's educational content is regularly updated and printed leaflets are also available.