Internet banking, also known as online banking, e-banking or virtual banking, is an electronic payment system that enables customers of a bank or other financial institution to conduct a range of financial transactions through the financial institution's website.
Some of the services offered are as follows.
Broadly, the electronic banking transactions can be divided into two categories:
National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT)
National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) is a nation-wide payment system facilitating one-to-one funds transfer. Under this Scheme, individuals, firms and corporates can electronically transfer funds from any bank branch to any individual, firm or corporate having an account with any other bank branch in the country participating in the Scheme. Individuals, firms or corporates maintaining accounts with a bank branch can transfer funds using NEFT. Even such individuals who do not have a bank account (walk-in customers) can also deposit cash at the NEFT-enabled branches with instructions to transfer funds using NEFT. NEFT, thus, facilitates originators or remitters to initiate funds transfer transactions even without having a bank account. NEFT operates 24 x 7. There are 48 half-hourly batches every day. The settlement of first batch commences after 00:30 hours and the last batch will end at 00:00 hours. The system will be available on all days of the year, including holidays.
Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS)
RTGS is defined as the continuous (real-time) settlement of funds transfers individually on an order by order basis (without netting). 'Real Time' means the processing of instructions at the time they are received rather than at some later time; 'Gross Settlement' means the settlement of funds transfer instructions occurs individually (on an instruction by instruction basis). Considering that the funds settlement takes place in the books of the Reserve Bank of India, the payments are final and irrevocable. The RTGS system is primarily meant for large value transactions. The minimum amount to be remitted through RTGS is 2 lakh. There is no upper ceiling for RTGS transactions. The RTGS service for customer's transactions is available 24 x 7 on all days.
Electronic Clearing System (ECS)
ECS is an alternative method for effecting payment transactions in respect of the utility-bill-payments such as telephone bills, electricity bills, insurance premia, card payments and loan repayments, etc., which would obviate the need for issuing and handling paper instruments and thereby facilitate improved customer service by banks / companies / corporations / government departments, etc., collecting / receiving the payments.
Immediate Payment Service (IMPS)
IMPS offers an instant, 24X7, interbank electronic fund transfer service through mobile phones. IMPS is an emphatic tool to transfer money instantly within banks across India through mobile, internet and ATM which is not only safe but also economical both in financial and non-financial perspectives.
Objectives of IMPS:
There are numerous benefits to online banking such as convenience, transparency, anytime, anywhere access, one stop management of bills and payments and cost efficiency.
However there are associated risks which the consumers need to be aware and take necessary preventive measures. One of the important security related risk include unauthorized access to user accounts.
Some of the safety tips include