Tactics for Simpler, More Secure Online Banking

Explore five ways you might not know about to help simplify your financial life.

Businesswoman doing online banking while on the go

If you use online banking only to check balances and transfer money between your accounts, you may be missing out on ways your banking could be simpler and more secure. 

Here, Rod J. Sayegh, SVP–Digital Manager, Wealth Digital, Desktop, and Innovation at Wells Fargo Wealth Management, and Neil Zellick, Wealth Advisor at Wells Fargo Private Bank, outline five online banking features and tools to consider using. 

Secure document transfer. One of the biggest hassles in modern finance is the exchange of documents. "If your advisor needs copies of your tax returns, for example, sending the document might mean email—which isn't always secure—or maybe even a trip to the post office, which isn't exactly convenient," says Zellick. "Make sure your bank offers a way to upload and transmit documents securely directly to your relationship team, as Wells Fargo Bank does."

Digital best practices. Be sure to educate yourself on the ways you and your bank can work together on digital security. "It is important to be proactive in working with your financial provider to help protect the safety of accounts and information," says Zellick. "Wells Fargo Bank offers tips on how to protect yourself online and how to recognize common scams so you can spot the warning signs."

Other precautions, such as two-factor authentication, can be implemented to make it harder for someone else to access your account—even if they know your password. 

As you consider expanding your use of online banking, be sure to talk to your advisors about the services available to you.

Investment insights. Clients often want the ability to get a bird's-eye view of all their investments and then take a deep dive if, for example, they want to examine the performance of a particular account.

"One way we at The Private Bank can help do that is to combine what they see from us in our in-person meetings with what they see online," says Zellick. That keeps clients and advisors on the same page, provides more insights to guide conversations between clients and their wealth team, and makes it easy for clients to check their investments whenever they choose.

Foreign exchange purchases. International travelers often like to have some pocket money in the local currency when they arrive in another country. 

"Wells Fargo Private Bank clients travel an average of 20 times per year," says Zellick. "It's important for our clients to have access to online banking tools that can make the process of ordering currency quicker and easier," Zellick says.

Money transfers. Finally, online banking gives clients more options to securely transfer money to others.

"The ability to wire money through online banking—I've seen that adopted by many clients," Zellick says. "It's very simple, and I've gotten very positive feedback from those who have used it."

In addition to online wires, many financial institutions like Wells Fargo Bank offer options for sending smaller amounts and personal transactions. "Whether you need to send money to a child in college, pay the babysitter, or split the cost of a meal, you can use online banking to set up one-to-one payment quickly and easily using an email address or mobile number," notes Sayegh.

As you consider expanding your use of online banking, be sure to talk to your advisors about the services available to you. You may uncover new opportunities to make your financial life easier and more secure.

Mark Tosczak has spent 25 years wrangling words for newspapers, magazines, businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations. He focuses on health care, science, and business.

Image by iStock

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