Online banking makes your life easier – until it doesn’t

Business banking news review: week ending 26 June 2014

No one wants to spend all day in queue at their local branch in order to conduct their financial matters, but is online banking really all that helpful?

The number of new and exciting ways to manage your personal and business bank accounts has been growing by leaps and bounds since the inception of the 21st century. You’ve been able to check the balance on your savings accounts or current accounts for years now through a mobile banking app or simply from your desktop computer, but now things in the UK are going to get even more futuristic: you’ll soon be able to simply take a snapshot of your latest cheque in order to deposit it to your account.

That’s right, the technology that’s been prevalent in other countries like the US for several years is finally coming here. Now you can deposit cheques using your mobile phone, saving you time and effort and saving the your bank money. Sounds like a perfect arrangement, doesn’t it?

Well something occurs to me with all these technological breakthroughs: the more we exist in a digital world, the more exposed we’ve become to digital robbery. Fraud and theft is growing in the online community, and many criminals are beginning to target banks in particular. In fact, one news report came out this week that revealed how more than £400,000 have been siphoned away from a top European bank through the use of insidiously clever hacking, intercepting data that saw almost 200 bank accounts being plundered!

And you see this is why the ubiquity of the internet and mobile banking might not be such a good idea after all. The more interconnected we all become, the more we’re going to see 21st century bank robberies like this. The new weapons of criminals aren’t firearms and strongly worded notes that are surreptitiously passed to a branch worker any more – they’re computers and tablets, and for what it’s worth it sometimes makes me want to stuff my mattress with pound notes instead of putting my money ‘safely’ in a bank. Sure, there are countless hours spent in researching new and better ways to combat the spectre of online banking fraud, but I wonder if it isn’t a losing battle sometimes!

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