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Online accounts

Online accounts - online banking - digital banking

By analyzing different aspects of online accounts we can go back to the past and start the story with electronic banking, which is also called virtual banking. Approximately in 1983, traditional banking took the first steps so that its clients could access their online accounts through the Internet . Sure, back then, online banking was vastly different from how we are used to seeing it today. Access to online accounts in the 80s in Spain was done by telephone and was more of an option to check the balance and a few other options. Subsequently, the growth of electronic banking continued in 1995, but it was still a system for consulting "online accounts". However, they gave it the name of virtual banking, online banking or also electronic banking.

It is important to know that these names, despite their imaginary similarity, present differences, being electronic banking a way of carrying out operations through electronic means (telephone, fax), also computers. Rather, virtual banking speaks of a banking institution without a physical presence, a bank without an office, like most online banks today. And Internet banking or online banking (online) is what offers customers services to work with their accounts and banking products through the Internet.

Online accounts - closer and closer

Little by little, with technological advances, the aforementioned concepts were merging and currently practically all traditional banks offer their clients the possibility of accessing their current accounts through the Internet . Not only access to your online accounts, but also the possibility of consulting balances, operations, movements, making transfers, consulting and printing statements, paying for different services, opening accounts online without leaving home, requesting debit and credit cards, ordering mortgage loans, investing money, opening deposits, gambling on the stock market and much more.

However, with the same technological advance, traditional banking was also separating from online banking. Now in the market you can see traditional banks where the physical presence of customers is still required, for example banks that work with customers who have a lot of money to deposit or invest (practically a closed club). Other banks that work in a mixed way, offering their clients the possibility of opening current accounts in person and also opening accounts online . But in these banks, to become a customer, a person first has to physically visit the entity with its corresponding identity documentation.

Depending on the bank's policy to open a checking account, it will be enough to be of legal age (18 years if we are talking about Spain) and to have a national identity document. This would be the case of opening a checking account with the minimum requirements. Other banks, apart from identification, may ask you for a payroll, they may not accept clients with Credit Checker or included in other records of non-payments, they may request other types of documentation and the terms may be longer than you expect, depending on the banking policy of the institution in particular.

Foreigners can also open current accounts in traditional banks with their NIE or passport, having to present in certain cases and according to the rules established in the bank where they want to open the accounts, a simple translation or certified by a sworn translator or legalized by an institution official of the country, such as a consulate or embassy.

On certain occasions, opening a checking account at a traditional bank can become quite a difficult feat, especially for young people and people included in delinquency files. And these are some of the cases, for which online accounts are increasingly popular, since opening an online account in most cases is much easier than a current account in person at a traditional bank.

Online accounts

Online accounts break into the world of traditional banking

Modern online banking with its online debit card accounts , the full range of operations that traditional banking offers, plus the exclusive options of an online bank, is literally taking the market by storm.

First of all, to open an online account you don't have to go anywhere, you don't have to queue, you don't have to endure heavy conversations , or give explanations of your financial or social situation.

Secondly, opening an online account is much faster and easier, since the human factor is practically excluded and you can do it directly from your computer or mobile phone.

Third, in many Internet banks you can open an online checking account without proof of address, just with your identity document .

But the great advantage is not only the aforementioned. You can open a free online account with no fees . That is, a checking account for which you will not have to pay maintenance fees, or commissions for notes, without surprises at the end of the month, with a free debit card, with real-time balance consultation and these are just a few advantages of online checking accounts.

Online accounts

Opening a checking account: are online banking accounts or traditional banking accounts better? offers you a small analysis of which checking account is better to open. And to begin with, we will say that despite the fact that traditional banking has been in the market for many years, online banking is gaining ground at a great pace. In Spain the number of online accounts has tripled in recent years. In large part it is because of the ease and convenience offered by online products. Currently, digital entities have evolved a lot and have all the technological potential of the new generation. So what is the best choice?

Let's see, during the last decade online banking has grown without stopping . In the early 2000s only a small percentage of hundreds of users were online banking customers. But already for the years 2010 - 2013 there has been a triple increase in customers who have become users of digital banking. In European countries, the average rate rose above 50%, exceeding 60-70% of users who chose to open an online account in a digital bank in some countries of the European Economic Area by 2019.

Most of these users are young people who regularly use Internet services. For example, more than 45% of internet users in Spain use online banking services and this percentage continues to rise every year.

It is also true that there are people who trust more in traditional banking institutions and people who do not have a smartphone or use the computer very little. They are mostly older people, with a more conservative way of thinking.

However, if it is a question of large amounts of money, to avoid possible risks, it is better to go to a traditional bank in person. And this does not mean that opening an online account at a digital bank is not safe. The best online banks in Spain and other European countries do their best to guarantee maximum security and customer accounts are insured. However, there is the possibility of having a virus on your computer or mobile phone, for example.

If we look at it from the consumer's point of view, online banking offers the following advantages:

Online banking is very comfortable and works 24/7 . You can operate without leaving home. It gives you global access to your accounts and other banking products you have. You save a lot of time, even by not having to go anywhere. You save money, because many options are free and many online accounts without commissions allow you to see your balance in real time, in a transparent way and without surprises. All operations are available through your computer or through your mobile phone. You have comfortable chats at your disposal, you can contact by email, you do not have to phone to contact customer service (a great saving if it is numbers that start with 902). The customer decides which online banking is better to choose . You have at your disposal a wide range of personalized products and services, adapted to your wishes and needs.

In turn, traditional banking also has certain advantages compared to digital banking and online accounts.

To use online banking safely, the customer must ensure that their device is up-to-date and free of viruses, and other malicious programs that can steal their data, money or otherwise have a negative influence. Also, some may feel more secure knowing that they can go to a physical branch. On the other hand, on certain occasions it has more limited services. For example, in rural areas, or in some countries with an underdeveloped Internet service, it is difficult to open an account online and operate with that account.

Online accounts

Online accounts with mobile phone and PC

Online accounts can be operated both through a computer and through a mobile phone . On the computer, through the web interface and on the mobile phone through the web interface or through a digital banking application. There are also current accounts that allow them to be operated through the web interface and through an app installed on the mobile.

If we operate through a laptop or a desktop computer, the advantage will be to work with a large screen , to be able to download different extracts directly to the computer in PDF, CSV, etc. formats, as well as to have the convenience of being distracted as little as possible from the work done . Users who prefer computers can surely name its advantages in this regard.

In the case of mobile users who prefer to access the Internet through their mobile phone, read news on their mobile, use social networks on their mobile phone, etc., it will be very useful to be able to operate their account through their mobile phone. Online banking offers such a possibility both through the browser installed on the phone, and through a bank application that can be downloaded and installed .

Normally on the mobile phone it is more comfortable to work with an application specially developed for this purpose. Online checking account applications allow you to access the account through the Internet and operate with a full range of possibilities . Digital banking allows you to request money, recharge the account, make shipments and transfers in different currencies. Make payments and transfers using the phone number instead of the bank account number. Some digital banks allow the user's email to be used for this purpose, they are integrated with the contacts recorded on the mobile phone.

Also, for example, you can use an online checking account on your mobile to collect your salary at work . Modern online accounts have IBAN, BIC, all the necessary bank details to receive money. And of course, you can have a debit card linked to the account. Imagine, no maintenance fees!

Online accounts

Free debit card with an online account

If you need a free debit card, you can open an account online and request it. It is very fast, your name will be printed on the card, you can use it in millions of establishments around the world to pay for products and services. You can withdraw money at ATMs around the world and in many cases - without commissions and payments for currency conversion . You can recharge your mobile phone, you can receive money. From your mobile application you can change the PIN, block and unblock the card whenever you want.

Digital banking also offers you the option of having full control over your money. You can set spending and withdrawal limits . Daily, monthly limits, etc. You will see in real time how much money you have and all your operations represented in text or graphical and cataloged form.

If the debit card associated with your online account is premium or business, most digital banks will provide you with additional advantages, travel insurance, medical insurance , legal aid and appointment consultations, if there is a problem abroad, compensation for delays, for loss and delay of luggage, cashback services . Also discounts and special offers with big brands, affiliate programs, special services at airports, customer service 24 hours.

The financial portal puts at your disposal a catalog of digital banks where you can compare accounts online and open a current account online without leaving home.

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