Many commercial banks operate online banking platforms through which account holders can monitor their account activity and conduct certain kinds of transactions. Online commercial banking services are available to both consumers and business owners. In many instances, basic online services are available free of charge but some banks offer premium services requiring a monthly or annual fee.
Account holders can view recent transactions and see their current account balances on online commercial banking websites. Banks provide each customer with a login name and password. Account holders can normally view their deposit accounts online and in many instances, they are able to transfer funds between these accounts through the online system. Additionally, many banks offer online bill pay services through which customers can set up either one-off or recurring payments to creditors or other service providers. Some banks assess a monthly fee for online bill pay services.
In many instances, bank statements can be accessed through online commercial banking websites. Many banks assess monthly service fees for customers who request paper copies of bank statements, whereas online statements can normally be viewed free of charge. Business owners often need copies of past bank statements in order to prepare their taxes or to complete their annual financial reports. Records of several years worth of statements are often available through banking websites which means those needing copies of statements can potentially save a significant amount of money by accessing statements online.
Aside from deposit accounts, online commercial banking websites often include portals through which information about credit card accounts, equity lines, loans and mortgages can be accessed. Account holders can make payments online, print out statements and view information about interest payments that may enable them to claim tax deductions. In some instances, information about both deposit accounts and credit products can be accessed by logging into a single website. This enables customers to check their deposit account balances before making payments on loans or credit products.
Wire transfers are transactions that involve funds being transferred between bank accounts that belong to different individuals or entities. Typically, account holders must initiate wire transfers by making in-person visits to local bank locations. Some banks allow the initiation of wire transfers online although banks typically add a surcharge for this service. Online electronic transfers normally post to the recipient's account on the day that the sender initiates the transfer whereas physical deposits involving checks can take several days to clear. Therefore, many business owners willingly pay the wire transfer surcharge to expedite funds transfers.