Online Banking: Managing and Monitoring Your Account

Once you get started with online banking, there are a few basic things to know to ensure you can always access your account properly. The following series of videos was produced by Ready, Set, Bank (sponsored by Capital One). This course follows a series of videos related to different steps in the online banking process. In this particular set of videos, we are going to discuss signing in, what to do if you forget your username and password, what you’ll see when you first log in, how to review your activity, how to dispute a transaction, how to track your pending transaction, and how to add alerts to your account.

This first video goes over how to sign in to your account. While your bank may have its own unique platform, the basic principles of logging on to an account will be fairly similar across the board. You will need a username and password, and will need to access a “sign in” or “log in” link on your bank’s website. If using a mobile app, it should be on the front page of the app.

If you practice good password management, you probably have multiple unique passwords for your various accounts (especially important ones like your bank!). Unfortunately, this can make it difficult to easily remember your log in information quickly. The following video discusses what options are available to you if you forget your username or password for your online banking account.

Now that you’ve gotten logged in, it’s important to take a moment to familiarize yourself with what you see when you first log in to the app. Browse around the home page and see where links bring you on the app or website. Becoming familiar with these buttons and options now will make it easy to navigate to specific pages in the future when you need to find information.

One of the biggest benefits of online banking is the ease in which you can monitor your bank activity. Instead of waiting on a monthly statement, you can see your balance and recent purchases at a glance. Most online banking services also give you the ability to take a look at older statements with a simple download instead of digging through your paper files. The following video details where your recent activity will most likely be located on your online banking portal, and why it is important to keep on top of these numbers.

If you have been diligent in reviewing your activity, you can quickly see when unauthorized purchases have been made with your account information. If you see a transaction that you didn’t approve on your online banking activity page, you should call your bank to find out more information. If you discover that it was a fraudulent charge, you should start the process of disputing the transaction with your bank. More information on disputing transactions can be found in the video below.

On some online banking platforms, your available balance will be different than your current balance. This discrepancy is often caused by pending transactions. Pending transactions are transactions that are currently in progress, but have not completely gone through your account. Examples are checks that haven’t completely cleared, debit or credit card payments that are in-process, or recurring payments that were started on a non-business day. If you’d like more information on pending transactions, please check out the following videos.

If you’d prefer not to consistently log in and check your account, or you want to be especially cautious about unexpected activity, you may want to consider setting up alerts on your online banking account. You can set up alerts for a balance that falls below a certain amount, transactions that exceed a certain amount, when a new statement is available, etc. Check out the following video for more information or contact your bank to see what alert services they offer!

If you’re interested in improving your financial literacy, we would also encourage you to take a look at the Business and Finance databases offered to you for free through the St. Tammany Parish Library. To find these databases, simply go to our website, click on ‘Online Library’, and select ‘Business & Finance’. Databases we offer include MorningStar, opens a new window (covering securities), Value Line, opens a new window (investment research), and Weiss Financial Ratings, opens a new window (strength ratings for insurance companies and other financial information).