Is Online Banking Safe?

United States
February 13, 2007 10:14pm CST
I have been doing online banking now for about five years. I have enjoyed the efficiency of the services offered from the bank. No more check writing, no more running to the post office, all I need to do is go online and a few clicks of the old mouse - instant payment! But what do you really know about online bill payment? The bank does not send your money electronically, but in fact, they issue a bank or cashier's check and mail it for you. A bank or cashier's check is a guarantee - it is better than you personal check - it is considered as good as cash. All well and good, but what happens when the bank teller makes a mistake and sends out the wrong amount? I'll tell you, the bank already took your money from your account - as far as they are concerned - they are done with it. It is your responsibility to collect the money back to whom it was issued. I had this problem today when I looked online at my bank account, they had written a check for $2139 to a company that I owed $10.60. I went to the bank today and they told me that I "typed it in wrong". Hmmm, I am still trying to understand how I would somehow type in the numbers $2139 as oppossed to $10.60. The bank sent out the check, even though they knew my account did not have that much money! So, they bounced all my other checks and charged me $35 per check for non-sufficient funds. The company they sent the bank check to has not received it yet. I have to keep calling to check on the status and try to retrieve my money. In the meantime, I have other bills to pay, but no funds in which to pay them. What do you think of online bill pay now?
1 person likes this
11 responses
• Canada
17 Feb 07
WTF... this is the first time I have ever heard anything so scary about the banks. I really cannot believe that your bank would allow themselves to get you into this position. First, how did you internet banking allow you to enter an amount of this much. ( I know you didn't, but my bank wouldn't let me do one for that much. I don't have that much in there. It would immediately say there isn't enough in there. ) I would check this out.. it just shouldn't have happened... I also have a hard time believing that the bank sends out checks for online payments. I'd change banks for this reason alone. If they are so backwards they can't send the bill payment electronically.. jeez... I'm speechless over this one! (Two minutes later....) My bank when I was in New Zealand did this all online 10 years ago... Time to change banks... Thanks for opening my eyes... (I'm still not much above speechless..)
1 person likes this
• Canada
17 Feb 07
I've just emailed my bank to see how they do online payments...
1 person likes this
• Canada
26 Feb 07
I just realized that I haven't heard from my bank on this yet... Odd... Anyways.. have you got any news from your bank on this yet?
• United States
26 Feb 07
The bank finally decided to reverse the 90 USD in NSF (non-sufficient fund charges). I happen to be friends with one of the VP's at that band and I called him about this. All of the sudden, everyone at that bank is bending over backwards! If only this person or that person would have known! They would have helped to get the check back. On another note - the insurance company that was mailed the check - cashed it (even though I called every day and said, please return the check, please return the check). So, now they tell me they will mail me a refund in about 15 days.... hmmm, how do you like that one? Call your bank! I think more people don't realize how online banking operates. Let me know what you find out, I'm curious.
@phon4u (2217)
• Laos
17 Feb 07
It sounds much faster service to me. There is no online banking service in my country. I had a story. There was a lady who was from Nigeria, wanted to send me an online cheque which was the amount of ordering bigger than I thought and the address from some one else, I checked all of the bank, they said only by mail post, so they don't accept any online check. The bank only has ATM system. So people have to deposit their money in the local bank. They have to walk to that place in front of the bank.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Feb 07
You are better off they don't have online services in your country. Don't make any negotiations with Nigeria - this was most likely a scam - they try to get money from your accounts. It is dangerous indeed and well known as a scam in this country. This is usually money laundering and you will be cheated. Look at the article "Nigeria - the 419 Coalition". http://home.rica.net/alphae/419coal/
@smkwan2007 (1038)
• Hong Kong
16 Feb 07
Men made mistakes always happen, whether it be caused by ignorance or laziness. If you go to bank to manage you payment instead of doing it online, you may check on all related documents on spot and everything is in black and white. Once you discover any thing wrong, you may complain at once. People working in the bank cannot just deny the mistakes they had done. But if all transactions are done online, you may have difficulty to prove their making mistakes which causes your loss to happen. Moreover there are always hackers waiting for chances to loot money from anyone's account, once they find loopholes in the online banking system, they may grab all your cash in your account without saying thank you.
• United States
17 Feb 07
I plan to go back to the old way of banking - write a check and hand deliver or mail it. Online banking is convenient, but when it causes this much stress, it isn't worth it.
• Malaysia
14 Feb 07
There is a nighmare for online banking user sadgirl :) online banking supposedly zero error. That is why today, it is relevant to doing so. I have been using online banking about 2 years. All my bills, money transaction and whatsoever, i will do it online. Online banking usually guaranteed by the bakn itself, i never heard such problem like you said before which is the bank are not being responsible. I think it's an error occur during transaction run time.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Feb 07
I have been doing online banking for about 5 years now. I always felt the bank was secure and would help in a problem. I am very disappointed - I expected a lot more from them.
@anne_143god (5390)
• Philippines
14 Feb 07
Online banking is the most convenient way now adays but you really have to be more careful like what you have said that you mis type the amount. You also have to be careful to the hackers and dont just give your account and password to anyone who ask through email.
• United States
14 Feb 07
I agree - I assure you that I didn't mistype the amount. That would be a big stretch to type $2139 instead of $10.60. If they wrote the check for $1060, I could see how the error could have happened, this error, I cannot. I think someone is afraid to admit guilt for fear of losing his/her job. Never give account/password information to anyone for any reason whatsoever. Also, be careful of being "redirected" on a website - as this is usually hackers.
• United States
14 Feb 07
It's OK to go with an online-accessable account, but the bank should have a brick-and-mortar location somewhere in case you run into real trouble. These purely online banks I think are frauds and have accounts and headquarters in places like Aruba and the Cayman Islands. In the strange example you give, they can trace where they sent that $2,139 to and usually get it back. If the bank does not offer fraud coverage, find a bank that does.
• United States
14 Feb 07
I was surprised at the banks response. It is a national bank and has a strong reputation in my city. I will be switching banks as I believe their response to the problem was below par. They refuse to attempt to get the check back and see this as my problem. I was told that this was the same as if I wrote a bad check - it is my fault and my problem.
• United States
26 Feb 07
no online banking isn't safe. there are so many hackers out there and they pose as the bank and ask you passwords and other information. of course you don't know it because you think it's your bank. sure no more check writing, going to the post office or buying envelopes or stamps. however the risks are too great. i would've been so made if someone made a mistake and sent the wrong amount. the teller should get fired for doing such a thing. that really screws with your bank account. You mean 2 thousand one hundred and 39 dollars? omg. that is outragious. how can someone mistake that for $10.60. I don't think so. They should make the teller pay for the $35 per check non sufficient funds. it wasn't your fault and they should repay you immediately. makes me think even worse of online banking. no one should ever have to go through this at the hands of the bank. now they leave you with no money. that is wrong. i hope you get your money back and fast.
• United States
27 Feb 07
The bank finally agreed to reverse the charges. I am still waiting for the company that got the check to return it. Of course, they cashed it - even though I called them daily and told them not too - when you call a big insurance company and speak to a different person every time, they usually don't help you very well - if at all!
@nairjula (453)
• India
26 Feb 07
After the advent of internet, almost all new generation banks use online banking system effectively. They could avoid using papers in tons and also could remove the flab from the staff. By all means you can believe that online banking is safe. They have so many protction system to safeguard your interests
• United States
27 Feb 07
Actually, check with your bank - you would be surprised that most of these banks still issue a check - it isn't some electronic issue at all! The check is generally a cashier's check and hence it is as good as cash if lost or stolen! I don't believe it is safe at all anymore.
@ruknaa (408)
• India
26 Feb 07
i have been using citibank for 3 years now.... its very convinient and easy to use.
• United States
27 Feb 07
Well, I hope you don't run into the same problem I have. I have used online banking for about 7 years - this is the first time I had a problem. Check with your bank on their policies regarding sending out a check in error.
@MrGhost (550)
16 Apr 13
I have heard that it is quite safe but I never used it for myself.
@phon4u (2217)
• Laos
22 Sep 07
Online banking is fast. But we have to think about the caution of using it. Be sure that you log out after using it. In the public, Keyboard can recognize your password every time you type. scam mail... We have to awake to use it.