Net-banking Convenience

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JK Bank also provides e-banking facilities and services like access/view of accounts, transfer of funds between self linked accounts maintained within the bank, transfer of funds from their own accounts to external accounts and transfer of funds from
external to own accounts. Through the e-banking mode, the customers can even transfer funds to non J & K Bank account holders through NEFT/RTGS mode and can also make payment of utility bills through internet banking mode. The customers can also avail e-commerce facility.

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Some decade ago, people standing in long queues in bank branches to withdraw cash or carry out any other banking transaction was a common sight and the scene was not less than of a ration depot. Since technology was already in the process of integrating into the banking operations and it was the automated teller machine (ATM) that pulled crowd of out of the branches. Here people took some time to get adjusted to the changing operations particularly the cash withdrawal from their accounts through these machines. Over a period of time, we observed that the ATM locations too remain crowded and long queues that we used to see in bank branches are a common sight at these locations.
After this, it is the e-banking or you may call it net banking which allows a person to operate his account at his own place without moving out to the branch. In other words, today the banking transactions are available at just a click of a button – be it funds transfer, bill or fee payment, shopping, and so on. E-banking is working in the direction of dispensing with the need to physically visit a bank. The pace at which technology is being integrated into the day to day banking, the day is not far off when we will be completely able to carry out all transactions across all banks through this mode – net banking.
In our state, the internet connectivity has grown with stability. Thanks to telecom players who have been comfortable to expand their operations in the state after finding tremendous response of the people to use the technology. But as far as net banking is concerned, there are many who are not yet mentally ready to jump on to this bandwagon. And there are others who, while having started using Net banking, are living in constant fear that something might go wrong.
However, the ease and convenience that Net banking provides is tempered with several risks. These risks owe the origin to the online frauds that have kept pace with advancements in technology. But it is also a fact that risk element exists in every activity. So to mitigate these risks, the best thing is to take some basic precautions that can substantially reduce your vulnerability.
You can bank upon Net banking while observing some basic precautions. Don’t conduct your Net banking transactions from cyber cafés. You should keep tough-to-guess passwords and make a habit of changing them on a regular basis. Don’t ever think of sharing your password with anyone, not even bank employees. IT experts don’t favour that you store critical information on your computer. Never access a bank site through a link given in an email. Type its URL in the address bar.
Since we have innumerable websites, look for a secured website to carry out banking transactions. Here it is to be noted that that the URL starts with https and not http. Obviously, you should have a good antivirus, anti-spyware and firewall installed; update them regularly. Subscribe to the bank’s instant alerts service and check your transactions periodically.
As the data is stored in a digital format with the banks and it travels on the Internet before an intended transaction is executed, it’s imperative that both this electronic storage and its movement are equally secure.
Robust steps have been taken by the Indian banking industry to ensure that there are layers of control working on the Net banking infrastructure, procedural as well as technical, to ensure that money of the customers is safeguarded and are given secure online access.
Meanwhile, J&K Bank provides e-banking facilities to its customers – both retail as well corporate customers. A customer has to simply fill a form at the branch where he maintains his/her account or download it from the bank’s website. The branch will create the user id of the customer instantly. The customers can access their accounts anytime and from any location via the World Wide Web.
The facilities and services offered by the bank through internet mode include access/view of accounts, transfer of funds between self linked accounts maintained within the bank, transfer of funds from their own accounts to external accounts and transfer of funds from external to own accounts. Through the e-banking mode, the customers can even transfer funds to non J & K Bank account holders through NEFT/RTGS mode and can also make payment of utility bills through internet banking mode.
The customers of the bank can also avail e-commerce facility. Through BillDesk – a useful service that provides customers a single point of contact for all payment needs – a customer can pay bills and make other payments online. Instead of writing a cheque each time, customers can use any device connected to the Internet (computer, kiosk, etc) and make payments with the click of a mouse. Precisely, through BillDesk customers can now make all payments at a single location.
They can even make online payment of taxes. A customer availing Net banking facility can also enjoy e-payment facility which facilitates payment of direct taxes online by taxpayers.
The use of internet banking is safe. Net banking, in most cases, is fairly secure technologically. However, the weakest link is the user—it depends on how aware the user is and how easy it is for him to get trapped. A customer’s information is the most valuable asset. Customers should keep sensitive personal information confidential and protect it just as they would protect cash.
As pointed out by the IT experts, in the virtual environment, it is largely the online access points, such as PC and its local network, which are the weakest links. An anti-virus removes bad programmes, malware, adware, trojan and tracking cookies. A firewall will create a zone or gate between your PC and the external world. It will ensure that no unauthorised traffic from the Internet is allowed into your PC. Nobody can hack into your system and use it to collect information.
Experts are also of the opinion that one should desist from using pirated software; original software may be costlier, but is also reliable. Also, genuine software automatically updates itself regularly.
Lastly, customers have to take into account the fact that instances of Net banking frauds are quite low compared to normal banking malpractices. It’s only the customer awareness that can help reduce it further.
Author is working in J&K Bank as a member of Globe Advisory Board

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