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Who doesn't use Internet banking?

Coming from northern Europe where Internet banking is absolutely ubiquitous, I was downright shocked to read that only 3-4% of US households today use the Internet to access their bank accounts.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0402/p13s02-wmgn.html

Also to my surprise, I see a lot of people in the US still using paper checks - I mean real actual paper checks, like in an old James Stewart movie. An insecure mode of payment if there ever was one, and one that's become long extinct in other parts of the World.

You would think the US would be much farther ahead technologically speaking. Banking systems and the Web being such an obvious and convenient match.

On the other hand, people seem to have no problem at all trading their stocks online.

So what gives. How come the US Internet banking adoption rate is so slow?
HS Send private email
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
paper checks work. the system works. hence, the inertia doesn't push for change.

because it works.
Ankur
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
I use both online banking and paper checks. 

What is wrong with that?

It just depends on what I need for what I am doing. 

(I am in the US.)
I forgot my posting name.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
Most of the people still writing checks do it for one or more of a couple of reasons as far as I can tell.

- They are used to it and don't want to change. They even get angry when they get their check back right away from places that do electronic checking.

- They "forget" to get a card. (My bank sends me letters and sometimes new debit cards to replace old ones, so I find this one a sorry excuse. They are basically just lazy.)

- They are in constant fear of identity theft online because the media goes on and on about it.

- They are living pretty much paycheck to paycheck and they may not actually have the cash at the time, but assume they will before the check is cashed. (Stupid, but more people do it than you might believe.)

There are more, but these are the main reasons I heard while I worked as a cashier to help make ends meet during college and before I got my current job. Everyone's story is different.
I hate checks
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
As an American student, I use online banking (hsbc) and hardly ever have to write paper checks. I also carry no cash.

I think it's the older generations, they are usually the problem in most cases :)
:(
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
> How come the US Internet banking adoption rate is so slow?

You might also be shocked to know how many different US banks there are.
Christopher Wells Send private email
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
checks long extinct?
How do you send money to someone on their birthday? Call them up and get all their bank info so you can do an online inter-bank transfer? How do you contribute to charity, balance transfer only? Or buy a relatively large item at a garage sale, cash only?
what bait is this?
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
3-4% sounds way too low.

However, why *would* a person need to use the internet to access their account?  I just check transactions as a nervous habit.  When I didn't have internet access, I waited for the paper statement, which was perfectly sufficient and probably more efficient than browsing my account every other day for no good reason.

Internet "banking" doesn't add much value, so it doesn't surprise me that people don't use it.
Robert
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
"why *would* a person need to use the internet to access their account"

To easily transfer money, online bill pay, etc. I do everything online these days.

I don't use checks much these days, but they are pretty useful for paying people that don't take credit cards or offer cash discounts. My lawyer doesn't take credit cards, and my dentists offer a 5% discount if I pay by check instead of credit cards. More convenient than cash, even if checks are old fashioned.
sloop
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
"To easily transfer money, online bill pay, etc. I do everything online these days."

Transfer to where?  Most people have one account and transfer between checking and savings using an ATM, which they have to visit to get cash anyway.  So that's no reason.

And you don't need to access your bank account online to pay bills online.  You can just pay with a credit card.
Robert
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
>However, why *would* a person need to use the internet to access their account?

Because of the Intrest rates?!!!! 

Intrest rates!! that is the only reason i use Internet banks

Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
@HS: I think you're misreading that statistic.  It's saying that only 3-4% of Americans are using "online only" banks like ING, etc.

Many more of us, like myself, have accounts with brick-and-mortar banks like Bank of America, Wachovia, etc., and use the myriad of online services available.  I do the majority of my banking online, but really have no reason to switch to an internet-only virtual bank, since my bank offers all of those same services and also has actual branch offices for those rare occasions where they're necessary.  I *think* that a poll of those who use ANY form of internet banking in the US might show that it is similar to Europe in that sense.
SM Send private email
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
Lots of banks have automated internet check writing utilities.  Win-win.  I'd much rather setup bill pay _from_ my account than the reverse.  This way if there is an issue, I can go to my bank and sort it out.. rather than some utitilty company holding my money until they figure out what the glitch was.  I believe the billpay from my bank also deducts the payment immediately from my account.  This avoids the annoying balance / ledger discrepancy.
none Send private email
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
Depends by what you mean for Internet banking.

Wife and I get our pay checks direct deposited. We check balances on line.

We shop on line and have a number of recurring debits.

Beyond that, what are we supposed to do to be doing "Internet banking"?
frustrated
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
Also, I don't agree with this quote from the article: "A higher interest rate means a higher risk, and somehow we have disconnected this" from current thinking about virtual banks, Mr. Colarik says. 

We are talking about checking accounts here, not speculative accounts.  The interest rates are higher because I assume their overhead is lower.  They aren't playing games with your money if it is an FDIC ensured account.
none Send private email
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
"Internet "banking" doesn't add much value, so it doesn't surprise me that people don't use it. "

I guess it depends on what 'internet banking' is.  If it means bill paying online, checking your account, etc.  it's pretty cool.

To me, it means pure online banking (ie. Everbank and the like)...the huge win here is the interest rate on checking accounts if you shovel a fair amount of money through them.

Honestly, now that most bank branches seem to follow the fast food model of retail (a professional manager, sometimes with multiple branches combined with a bunch of part time kids), I can't see any point in using a physical bank.  Most any transaction of any complexity won't be handled there anyhow.
old.fart
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
"So what gives. How come the US Internet banking adoption rate is so slow? "

When I've brought up the concept to somewhat older people (let's say 55+), they somehow either view it as unreliable or as a sort of scam.  It didn't help that a lot of major banks actually charged for online banking services there for a while.
old.fart
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
>>>"Also, I don't agree with this quote from the article: "A higher interest rate means a higher risk, and somehow we have disconnected this" from current thinking about virtual banks, Mr. Colarik says.
>>>"We are talking about checking accounts here, not speculative accounts.  The interest rates are higher because I assume their overhead is lower.  They aren't playing games with your money if it is an FDIC ensured account."


Some of the higher-interest checking accounts are also non-FDIC insured.
SM Send private email
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
In Japan, checks are hardly ever used. I don't know about now, but before the Internet, to pay your bills, you would pay them at the local convenience store. That doesn't happen much here in the USA.

So my answer to the question of why we still use checks is, there aren't as many alternatives as there are in other parts of the world.
dev1
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
It's not necessarily all old folks who resist. My 85 year old mother-in-law does all her banking and bill paying on-line.
SumoRunner Send private email
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
I use paper checks because stamps are pretty much the only convenient way to dispose of the pennies that I accumulate every month. I don't have enough pennies to make depositing rolls at the bank worthwile or using the automated cash for change machines (that charge a percentage). The US Post Office is pretty much the only place in town now that has a penny based vending machine.

I understand that in Europe and Japan, a lot of "cash" transactions are made with smartcards or cell phone based micropayments, hence people rarely have small denomination coins unless they explictly go out of their way to get them.

I will likely switch to electronic checks once any of the following happens:

1) The US Government abolishes the penny.

2) The state adjusts the sales tax such that you'd never get a bill ending in something other than a 0 or a 5.

3) Smart cards or the like become common enough such that every merchant and vending machine accepts them, and I don't have to pay the privilege for using them.

4) People explicitly pay me to use electronic transfer rather than checks and snail mail.
TheDavid
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
"When I didn't have internet access, I waited for the paper statement"

You still get paper statements?? Old skool dude!
zax
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
"It's saying that only 3-4% of Americans are using "online only" banks like ING, etc."

And the irony is that you have to have a cheque book to open an account with ING - at least last time I checked.

No way I'm getting a cheque book just to open an account with a bank.
zax
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
"Transfer to where?  Most people have one account and transfer between checking and savings using an ATM, which they have to visit to get cash anyway.  So that's no reason."

The reason would be that you don't have to go to the ATM to do any of that stuff, you can do it all online and be more effective. I go to an ATM maybe once a year. If I had to go to an ATM every time I wanted to shuffle money around I'd go nuts. If they used the internet more for banking they'd also have better accounts that paid better interest rates, like my Emigrant Direct account that pays over 5%. If "most people" do it like you say, they're not very efficient.

"And you don't need to access your bank account online to pay bills online.  You can just pay with a credit card."

I can't pay my mortgage with a credit card. I can't pay my water bill with a credit card. I can't pay my HOA fees with a credit card. And so on. I can, however, pay all of those using online bill pay instead of having to write and send a bunch of checks manually every month.
sloop
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
"I understand that in Europe and Japan, a lot of "cash" transactions are made with smartcards or cell phone based micropayments"

Actually Japan is very much a cash based society.
zax
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
"And the irony is that you have to have a cheque book to open an account with ING - at least last time I checked."

That may just be an easy way to get the bank routing numbers to link the ING account to your checking account. If you have those numbers you shouldn't need a check.
sloop
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
My mortgage just got sold to a new company... they want $10 from me every time I pay my mortgage online.  How nuts is that?? Needless to say, I'm writing and mailing a check every month (for free)
RHH Send private email
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
"That may just be an easy way to get the bank routing numbers to link the ING account to your checking account. If you have those numbers you shouldn't need a check. "

I phoned them up and asked them this but they told me there was no other way to open an a/c. Stupid, but I'm not going to beg them to take my business.
zax
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
" they want $10 from me every time I pay my mortgage online."

Remember when some banks used to *charge* for internet banking. ROFL.

I must pay for the convenience of lowering your costs.
zax
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
>Actually Japan is very much a cash based society.

My understanding is that this is fuelled, in part, by the fact that street crime is much rarer in Japan than in the USA or even the rest of the Western countries, so that people feel safer carrying large amounts of currency to make transactions. And so Japan is moving more or less from a cash based to a credit card based retail economy with no intermediate checking account era.

Can anyone confirm this? I'm always suspicious of what people write about other countries than their own.
frustrated
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
I can't confirm it.

I do vaguely remember reading a magazine article in the Economist about paying bills at the local convenience store in Japan as dev1 mentioned, and they were suggesting that rather than write a check or swipe a credit card, the Japanese were experimenting with their cell phones.

The idea was the cashier would ring up stuff, the total gets sent to your cell phone via bluetooth (or similar), you confirm that you want to pay by pressing a key, and the necessary, dynamically generated transaction information is sent back to the cashier. Right now, the monthly total appears on your phone bill and they were talking about forming partnerships between the bank and the phone company.

Similarly, you can zap your phone at train turnstiles, movie theatres, supermarkets, any place you'd pay cash, and have just one (hopefully itemized) bill at the end of the month. You'd also deal with fraud cases the same way you'd report a stolen phone - call the company, vouch for your identity and they ignore the chip in the lost phone.

Keep in mind that the processor in the phone is powerful enough to generate keys and do encryption, whereas a smartcard is more limited.
TheDavid
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
"...paper checks ... an insecure mode of payment if there ever was one"

Why do you think online banking is more secure?
Jeff Zanooda Send private email
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
"I phoned them up and asked them this but they told me there was no other way to open an a/c."

You actually have to send in a check? I can't recall having to do that when I opened my ING account, but that was years ago. I still think all they need is the routing numbers, which you should be able to get from your bank without having to have a checkbook. In any case, there's no point in going with ING when Emigrant Direct is better.
sloop
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
Emigrant Direct is not for Canadians it seems. And yeah ING savings rates are pretty poor now (3.5%). My local bank gives me 4% on 1 year deposit.
zax
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
I'll check my balance online, but I don't do any electronic transfers other than the direct-deposit paycheck.

Several years ago, I did some contracting at a bank in Charlotte that starts with a "W", and like watching sausage get made, afterwards I had a healthy distrust of their products.  So I prefer a payment method that leaves a paper trail, so that I can go back to them and refute their errors.
xampl Send private email
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
Why hasn't anyone mentioned "paper trail" yet??

Am I the only one placing value in duplicate checks as evidence of payment, and paper statements as evidence of transactions?
youngin
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
Ah, there we go.
youngin
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
"I was downright shocked to read that only 3-4% of US households today use the Internet to access their bank accounts."

Read the link you posted. It's 3-4% who use *virtual* banks, not online banking for real banks. I'd imagine so few use virtual banks because there's a real bank in the U.S. almost on every corner, and they're insured by the government so if they collapse you don't lose your money.
Bill
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
"...Am I the only one placing value in... paper statements as evidence of transactions?"

Much to my surprise, neither my power company nor my credit card company now returns the cancelled check.[1] The only acknowledgement I get is my bank telling me about the deduction on my monthly statement. I'm not that in itself would be sufficient evidence in every foreseable scenario.

[1] Oddly enough, if I make a payment in person, I get a paper receipt from the person who takes the payment. If I drop the payment in their night box, I do get the cancelled check back. If I mail the payment, I get nothing back. If I use their automated bill payment (not the bank's), I have the option of getting email. Given the wide variety of options, I suspect my credit card company isn't too concerned one way or the other.
TheDavid
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
"Much to my surprise, neither my power company nor my credit card company now returns the cancelled check."

To your surprise? Do you get those elsewhere? I've never, ever received a cancelled check from anyone.
sloop
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
My bank sends me everyone else's cancelled checks. Maybe I'm using the wrong terminology - when they cash in the checks, the bank sends those checks back to me. If I ever run into a problem, I can see how much I originally wrote on the check, (hopefully) spot any attempts to doctor it, and compare it with my statement and the payment requested and payment remitted values from the before/after bills.

The scenario I'm basically afraid of is I'll send in my check, the technician over there will change a zero to an eight and withdraw more money than I intended. With the original, I can see if it was my mistake or theirs.

Having said that, I'm aware of some banks that don't send back the checks, and others that will charge you extra for the checks (like $2 a month).
TheDavid
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
"The reason would be that you don't have to go to the ATM to do any of that stuff, you can do it all online and be more effective."

Gee, you print cash from your computer?  Say hi to the Secret Service for me.
Robert
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
Back in the seventies when I last regularly used a cheque book I used to get all the cheques back in a big envelope.
Stephen Jones Send private email
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
"Emigrant Direct is not for Canadians it seems. And yeah ING savings rates are pretty poor now (3.5%). My local bank gives me 4% on 1 year deposit."

Zax, PC Finanical does it at 4.0% on a cash deposit.  YOu can have you're money anytime.  The only down side is if its not your normal bank you have to email yourself the money using interact ($2.50 each time so make them big) or write a cheque and deposit at the machine.

I use the email cause I'm lazy and usually do atleast $1000 at a time once a month or so.
Sneeker
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
I just spent two hours opening an account and trying to get a Credit card in canada.
The only way they can accept money to guarantee the credit card is a check! Not only do they not accept a debit card from they didn't seem to understand the concept -
Bank: That's for paying in stores
Me: Yes, I'm paying you the deposit
Bank: No that's for paying in stores

Sometimes I think the efficency of international banking has gone downhill since the Phoenicians
Martin Send private email
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
I do not use internet banking because I know enough about web security to know that doing so is foolish.

Credit card purchases I am ok with because if there is fraud, I don't pick up the bill, the card company does.
Meghraj Reddy
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
----"I do not use internet banking because I know enough about web security to know that doing so is foolish."----

So now we can sit back and have this long explanation from you as to why we are all foolish.
Stephen Jones Send private email
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
Here in Australia I use online banking extensively, but paper cheque has its place. Sending money for IPO, investement funds, putting instant depsit after an auction etc. can only be done by cheques.
Also in Australia you can pay most bill at post offices which a lot of people do.
nullptr
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
"Gee, you print cash from your computer?"

What would I need cash for?
sloop Send private email
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
"I do not use internet banking because I know enough about web security to know that doing so is foolish."

You should move to the U.S., and your accounts are insured by the government including against online theft for up to $100,000.

The worrisome online finance is investment and retirement accounts, like through Fidelity. Somebody gets your password, logs on, changes your address and cashes out everything by a wire transfer. Then you contact Fidelity and they say too bad, it's not insured.
John
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
>> You should move to the U.S., and your accounts are insured by the government including against online theft for up to $100,000.

Nope, the only government insurance is from the FDIC and it only pays out if the bank fails.  There is no insurance for online theft.

Also, even though it is 'backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government' it is actually funded by the banks themselves via a fee they pay to the FDIC.
RocketJeff Send private email
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
Payment from FDIC takes YEARS. Oh, and they won't give you any interest during those years either...

Legally, they will pay you as soon as possible. Just like software release dates.

Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
Stephen, Meghraj is not the only one.  Bruce Schneier, founder of Counterpane Internet Security, isn't comfortable banking online either.
"I am very dubious. I love the convenience. (But) I don't do it," said Schneier, who says the banks he uses have issued him online sign-on numbers before. "I write back and say, 'Don't enable my account for this.'" http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2005/06/20/BUG98DAML91.DTL&type=business
Jeff Zanooda Send private email
Thursday, May 31, 2007
 
 
""Gee, you print cash from your computer?"

What would I need cash for?"

We aren't talking about you.  We're talking about the average consumer who, yes, still uses cash.
2112
Friday, June 01, 2007
 
 
Security depends on how the transactions are performed, obviously.  In Germany, Internet banking requires your account number and a password to view your account.  But to actually transfer money you need a unique authorization number taken from a printed list that the bank sends you by registered mail.  That's actually very secure, as long as the customer takes care not to let anyone see that list.
Chris Nahr
Friday, June 01, 2007
 
 
Three things:firstly security of online accounts is not as simple as getting the password; secondly, the bank states you will be reimbursed for fraudulent use - now it can force you to sue to get your money back, but the situation is no different than the situation with credit cards; thirdly you can and should put a limit on the amount of money you can transfer in one day (the bank itself will do this but the default amount is rather high so you may well decide it would be better to lower it).

What it seems to me we are seeing in Meghraj's and the other guys position is a common phenomenum. Being web savvy these people know the dangers of online banking; what they are not expects in, and thus don't see the dangers of, are all the other forms of banking. Most credit card fraud occurs when you give your card in to a shop; a year ago I got a call on my mobile from my credit card provider - he wanted to know if I had just come back from France; as he suspected I had not been in France for years and somebody was using a copy of my credit card, gained I reckon after discussing the matter with somebody else who knew of the same from using it in the most expensive and respectable retail outlet in Colombo. Then there is the swindle of simply randomly generating numbers (works for scratch telephone card refills for example). Those who saw "Catch me if you can" will remember it dealt with cheque fraud. Postmen were notorious in England for cashing nominal giros that were supposed to be in your name (happened to me three times back in the 80s). Telephone banking suffers from all the problems of online banking. Let's not even bother to talk about the fraud with ATM cards, or the security implications of carrying suitcases of cash around with you.

The point is that there is a trade-off between security and convenience. You are pretty secure if you can only ever access money by turning up in person to one nominated  branch and giving in your passport, as well as bio-metric identification, a voice recording, and a sample of your DNA. The wait and inconvenience involved is a pain (interestingly enough governments have put equivalent regulations in place for when you want to open an account with the inevitable result that the black market in currency transfers is booming).
Stephen Jones Send private email
Friday, June 01, 2007
 
 
Isn't part of this to do with the fact that in UK we have central clearing for the banks, and in the US they don't (AFAIK)?  Can't speak about the rest of the world.

So a payment I make at my bank clears in 3 days to a third party bank (and same day to another account with My Bank).

I dunno why it takes 3 days! and clearly 3 days interest on all the money banks move around comes to quite a lot at the end of the year ...

So I can use my Internet banking to schedule payment of bills at the last possibler moment, and to make sure that my cash flow minimises any excess balance in my Current Account (pitiful interest) and prevents me going beyond my overdraft limit (huge swindling charges for that in the UK)

When we get paid by an American client with a cheque drawn on a US bank it takes months to clear.  My bank gives me cleared funds against the cheque, but only on the basis that if it eventually doesn't clear I then incur all the costs, loss of interest, and so on associated with it.

Seems nuts to me.  In this computer-age why can't my bank get cleared funds from a US bank "instantly"?

I haven't had my cancelled cheques returned for at least 20 years (although the bank then offered, and probably still does, a paid-for service to do that).

A Cheque Book lasts me years.  I probably write less than one a month nowadays.

Utility companies here prefer to have Direct Debit (if that term is not universal it means that they can withdraw variable amounts from my bank, whereas a Standing Order is for a fixed amount variable only by me).  The utility companies usually give a discount for payment by Direct Debit, they take their money at the last possible moment - and usually they will have sent me a note of the amount in good time before - so I can question it if necessary etc.

Sometimes they give even better deals for payment by Credit Card.  Not sure why they would prefer that as I assume that the transaction cost of Credit Card is higher, but perhaps its more appealing for the majority of their customers, and thus they can tool-up for it more cost-effectively.

Mostly I shop using a Credit Card, and to a lesser extend with Cash.

A stolen Cheque book strikes me as being very easy to forge.

We have crass stupidity over Chip & Pin here - the fraud saving is slow to come.  The Hype was huge, yet they have had that system in France for at least 10 years.

Doesn't Big Brother say that if we have only electronic transaction it wipes out the Black market? :)
Krispy Send private email
Friday, June 01, 2007
 
 
The standard way of sending a random payment in Japan is bank to bank.  Historically the payer would go to a teller at their bank to pay the money and a fee, their bank would send mail to the recipient's bank, and the recipient's account would be credited.  The same procedure is still possible today but most transmissions are done electronically instead of by mail.  The only transmissions that I'm aware of that are still done by mail to the recipient's bank are from the government, for example tax refunds.

More common now is for the payer to use an ATM.  The fees are lower.  Transmission is always electronic.

Recurring payments for utilities such as water, gas, electricity, and wired phone lines, are usually contracted between the payer and the payer's bank.  Other kinds of recurring payments can be contracted between the payer and the payee, and the payee has to make arrangements with the payer's bank.  In all (I think) of these cases, fees are paid by the payee instead of payer, and they're a lot lower.

Payment at a convenience store is possible as someone else mentioned.  Historically this wasn't possible.  Now it can be done both for utilities and for some other kinds of purchases, if the vendor has a contract with the convenience store company.  I sure don't think this is common though.

In modern times payers can use the internet to access their bank accounts and send random payments, instead of going to an ATM for the purpose.  The way it looks to me is very convenient and very insecure.

Credit cards can be used at some kinds of merchants (e.g. large department stores, some hotels, some restaurants) and some on-line merchants (e.g. Amazon).  But still, cash is more common for purchases even at large department stores, and bank transfers are still more common for on-line purchases.  For a bank transfer, as mentioned above, it can be done by going to an ATM or teller or convenience store or (insecurely) on-line.

By the way I've read that paper cheques exist.  In principle they're payable 30 days after being written, they're not reliable, and they tend to be associated with crimes.  I also once heard a rumour of a paper cheque that didn't have these kinds of issues with it, but I don't know how it was produced or used, or what kind of bank account it was associated with.  Traveller's cheques are available for obvious purposes but only a few kinds of merchants that can handle them, even fewer than for credit cards.
Norman Diamond
Friday, June 01, 2007
 
 
an awful lot of places in the UK no longer accept cheques, it is also fairly rare to find somewhere that doesn't accept debit cards and allow you to get 'cash back' (they increase the charge to your card then give you cash from the till). if you dont need to go to the bank to cash cheques and you dont need to go to an atm to get cash, internet banking makes pretty good sense.
jk
Friday, June 01, 2007
 
 
"Gee, you print cash from your computer?"

Here in Denmark (Europe) you can get cash at any store where you pay with your credit card. Say, if I buy milk for 20 Danish kroners I can ask the store clerk to draw 120 kroners on the terminal and I will get 100 back in cash. Stores are happy to this to keep their amount of cash down.

So, rarely any need to use an ATM ...
TheGrympyFamilyGuy
Friday, June 01, 2007
 
 
Krispy,

>Not sure why they would prefer that (Credit card to direct debit)

because direct debits can be easily cancelled just by you instructing your bank to cancel it, it's not so easy to cancel a credit card continuous payment authorisation, you have to ask the company being paid to stop taking the money and hope they do. The credit card company will not stop paying it merely at your request, even going to the extent of re-opening a credit card account after you've closed it to make a payment they have been asked for.

Friday, June 01, 2007
 
 
>>Bruce Schneier, founder of Counterpane Internet Security, isn't comfortable banking online either.
"I am very dubious. I love the convenience. (But) I don't do it,"

Bruce's usage of the word 'dubious' there is, well...dubious.
SM Send private email
Friday, June 01, 2007
 
 
">>Bruce Schneier, founder of Counterpane Internet Security, isn't comfortable banking online either.
"I am very dubious. I love the convenience. (But) I don't do it,"

Bruce's usage of the word 'dubious' there is, well...dubious."

that's because dubious is the cyphertext.
jk
Friday, June 01, 2007
 
 
Why in the world would I want to sit in front of a computer to pay bills?  Every Sunday, I sit down in front of the TV, write 2 - 3 checks, stick them in an envelope, and I'm done.  Other times, I may sit on the back deck while my son plays in the back yard with friends.  Why would I want to be tied to a computer?
Wayne M.
Friday, June 01, 2007
 
 
I'm not a big check user, but I don't see the advantage of ditching checks and getting a middleman involved (Visa, AMEX, Mastercard, Cirrus, etc) and skimming a bigger slice of the economy.

If I pay my mortgage, water bill, etc with an electronic payment, that's padding a 1-4% fee on every transaction, which ultimately translates to higher costs for me.

I don't see ACH transactions as much easier than signing a check, and I don't like giving banks or merchants the right to unilaterally correct mistakes. (Most consumer-to-business electronic transactions grant that right)
Duff Send private email
Friday, June 01, 2007
 
 
"We're talking about the average consumer who, yes, still uses cash."

That's the point, the average consumer isn't doing things very efficiently. I put everything on my credit card, get cash back, free use of someone else's money for a month, and don't have to carry a pocket full of ass pennies (http://www.glumbert.com/media/asspennies)

If I do need cash (a couple of times a year) I just get it from the store for free using my debit card. No need for an ATM.
sloop
Friday, June 01, 2007
 
 
"If I pay my mortgage, water bill, etc with an electronic payment, that's padding a 1-4% fee on every transaction, which ultimately translates to higher costs for me."

You have to pay for electronic payments? I don't have to pay any extra fees. In fact it's more expensive for me to buy a stamp to send a check than to pay electronically.
sloop
Friday, June 01, 2007
 
 
"Why in the world would I want to sit in front of a computer to pay bills?"

It takes me less than a minute to pay each bill online and to record that I have paid it in my Excel budget file. If you hate being in front of the computer for even a minute I don't understand what you're doing wasting time posting to a software forum.
sloop
Friday, June 01, 2007
 
 
>I put everything on my credit card, get cash back, free use of someone else's money for a month, and don't have to carry a pocket full of...

I used to live in southern Florida. When hurricanes approach, ATMs empty out very very quickly. When phone lines go down, or get overloaded, online transactions can't be made, so places stop taking credit cards. Up north, ice storms can do the same damage to the infrastructure. One learns to keep some cash in the house. Not in $100s, but in smaller bills for emergencies.

As for online banking, my brick&mortar bank charges extra per month, and I need to purchase Quicken to use it (MS Money doesn't work with their system). Since Quicken sunsets the online portion, it means you're repurchasing the product every other year, making the online banking run in the $10-15/month ballpark. ING looks interesting, but I *do* want to open a non-dollar denominated account, which looks to be hard to do from the US.
Peter Send private email
Friday, June 01, 2007
 
 
"You have to pay for electronic payments? I don't have to pay any extra fees."

The merchant pays it and passes the cost on to you.  You are paying the fees, they just aren't labeled as such.
Robert
Friday, June 01, 2007
 
 
"The merchant pays it and passes the cost on to you.  You are paying the fees, they just aren't labeled as such."

Everyone is paying those fees regardless of how they pay. Just like I'm paying extra for merchants/companies to hire bodies to open envelopes, go to the bank, deal with bounced checks, armored cars for cash, etc. when all that stuff is not needed when I pay electronically.
sloop
Friday, June 01, 2007
 
 
"I do not use internet banking because I know enough about web security to know that doing so is foolish."

Depends on your bank. One of my banks allows me to set flags on any process, such as a transfer over x, or giving notice on an a/c. If I want to do such a thing, it sends me a pin code via SMS to my cellphone. I have to use the pin to complete the transaction.

It also sends me an SMS on every transaction on my a/c (if I want it).

This makes it quite hard for anyone to get money out of my a/c.
zax
Friday, June 01, 2007
 
 
"It takes me less than a minute to pay each bill online and to record that I have paid it in my Excel budget file. If you hate being in front of the computer for even a minute I don't understand what you're doing wasting time posting to a software forum."

After a bunch of time in front of a computer, I like to remind myself that the rest of the world exists.  Human contact is important.

It is Friday, my banking day.  I will enjoy my walk and stop for a sandwich, too.

When I shop for groceries, I look for a short line, but I also look for a clerk with a friendly smile.

Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko
Gene Wirchenko Send private email
Friday, June 01, 2007
 
 

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