Many individuals opt to access an online bank statement as an alternative to having it mailed to them. It contains the same transaction information as the hard copies most financial institutions provide, but customers can view it over the Internet whenever they want. All transactions, including deposits and debits, are displayed in an easy-to-read format. One of the benefits of retrieving an online bank statement is that it can be accessed quickly and easily from any computer by visiting a secure website and typing in the username and password assigned to the account.
An online bank statement precludes the need for a financial institution to send paper copies. The customer, therefore, does not have to worry about lost mail containing personal account information. This is especially important to individuals for whom privacy is a big concern.
When people receive paper copies in the mail, they usually either shred or file them. An online bank statement can be printed if the customer desires, though it is not necessary. Instead, account records can be saved to a home computer so individuals can refer back to them later. If someone forgets to save it, or accidentally deletes the file, statements from previous months can usually be accessed with a few clicks of a mouse on the bank's website.
In addition to the convenience an online bank statement provides, it is also more environmentally friendly because it produces less waste. It is also more economical as well. The financial institution is able to save money on paper and postage and may pass on the savings to account holders. In fact, some banks charge customers a fee if monthly paper copies are requested.
At the end of each month, financial institutions usually send emails to customers letting them know when their online bank statements are available. This is basically done as a reminder, but it is not always necessary to wait for these notices. At any time of the month, an individual can log into his account and see up-to-date transaction information.
For the most part, an online bank statement is secure, but it is important for account holders to remember to log out of the banking system at the end of each session. This is a crucial step when people use computers that are shared by others. While most financial institutions will automatically close a banking session on the Internet after a period of inactivity, there may still be time for another user to access the account if it is not closed out properly.