New-age banking basics

New-age banking basics

Having a bank account is not enough these days. You need to have the personal identification number (PIN) and passwords for phone banking and Internet-banking handy to take advantage of all that modern banking technology has to offer. These alphanumeric codes usually come with your bank account-opening documents and can be lifesavers .

Although you can take a stroll down to the nearest automated teller machine (ATM) any time, imagine the worst-case scenario when you lose your cheque book on the due day of paying your credit card bill, or the ATM breaks down or runs out of cash in your hour of need. In such situations, where you need emergency cash or have to make immediate payments, passwords and PIN come are lifelines. And once you get into the habit of using these codes, you would never make a trip to the bank branch again.

But if you lose these codes or misplace them, don’t panic or lose heart— replacing them is easy but should be done promptly.

Here are four ways to help make your banking activities simpler and smarter:

Net banking password: Once you get a separate Internet password for your debit and credit cards, you can conduct online transactions, including paying your credit cards bills from the comfort of your home.

Incidentally, banks charge for almost all transactions but online transactions are free because they involve little or no overhead charges. In addition, some websites also ask for your Internet password when you shop online.

T-Pin: Almost all banks these days offer phone banking. But to access phone banking services, you need to have a separate telephone identification number for your debit and credit cards. Using this PIN, you can avail of a variety of services, including information about your bank balance, or the last two to three transactions on your account over the phone.

Phone banking also makes you aware of special offers that are available for you as a customer from time to time. So these toll-free phone calls to the bank could be useful for information on promotional offers.

ATM PIN: The ATM PIN of your credit card can be very helpful because with the help of the code you can pay your bills in cash at any of your bank ATMs.

The process to pay your credit card bills in cash is simple. You only need to feed the ATM PIN, follow the written instructions and deposit cash in the ATM.

After the whole transaction goes through, you can collect the receipt for the money collected from the ATM machine. Your payment is made.

SMS alert: Always activate the short message service (SMS) alert for your bank account because in addition to helping you keep track of your daily balance, it helps you in keeping track of your bank’s hidden charges.

Most banks don’t charge you anything for these services and this information on your fingertips always keeps you updated on your account balance, transactions and activities.