You can now handle the majority of your banking needs without having to visit the banking hall, thanks to Internet banking or online banking. Internet banking brings the bank to you. It is simple to use, convenient, and gives you access to your bank account 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
But is it secure? Internet banking is only as secure as the user makes it. Your login information is a popular target for identity theft schemes. Anyone with your login details, just like with ATM cards, can access your account and, depending on the person’s knowledge, steal your money or cause malicious damage. As a result, understanding security for online banking is critical.
Nigerian internet banking
Most Nigerian banks now provide Internet banking services to their customers. Some are there to make up the numbers, to be sure, but a few are good. GTBank, Zenith Bank, Access Bank, Diamond Bank, Stanbic IBTC, UBA, and FirstBank are among the leading Nigerian banks with Internet banking platforms.
From the early days of offering limited banking services on their Internet banking platforms to today, almost all banking transactions can be completed online, Nigerians have come a long way.
Viewing account balances, viewing account activity/statement, checking exchange rates, transferring funds between accounts within the same bank, and paying bills and taxes are among the most popular banking services offered by Nigerian banks via their internet banking platforms.
You will be able to do third-party transfers to other accounts within and outside your bank as well as exchange foreign currency to Naira on your internet banking platform if you purchase an Internet banking security token from your bank (if they offer one) or use one-time passwords. All of this can be done from the comfort of your own home or office, or even while on the go.
However, some Nigerian banks’ Internet banking platforms continue to exclude some essential services, such as new account applications, currency exchange, cheque book requests, and ATM/Debit/Credit card requests, which still require a visit to the bank. However, Nigerian banks such as GTbank provide these and other services.
In the past, some banks did not provide the necessary security, such as an on-screen keyboard, on their Internet banking platform, but this should no longer be the case.
Despite these minor drawbacks, Internet banking is still recommended because it allows you to conveniently access your bank account and conduct banking transactions from virtually anywhere, almost 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also look into Mobile Banking.
Features of an Internet banking platform
Internet banking provides convenient access to your bank account. Banking platforms require authentication to reduce the possibility of someone else accessing your account. Most platforms provide two-factor authentication, which typically includes:
Technical considerations: What you have (eg. a security token or one-time password)
What you know about yourself is one of the most important factors to consider (eg. your password or PIN)
A third factor (the human factors: who you are) requiring biometrics (iris scan, thumbprint scan) may also be added to your platform to improve security, though this is not common.
Banks will occasionally provide limited Internet banking services with 1-factor authentication, which requires only your PIN or log-in password. You will be unable to transfer funds from your account to other accounts within and outside your bank if you use 1-factor authentication on your Internet banking platform. You can transfer money between accounts within the same bank using 1-factor authentication. This is true of the GTBank platform.
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Your bank may also provide a security token, increasing your security to two-factor authentication. You will then be able to do third-party transfers and exchange foreign currencies with your internet banking platform using your PIN and security token (2-factor authentication). The GTB Internet Banking platform allows you to perform more transactions with your security token.
On their internet banking platform, some banks will use One-Time-Password rather than a security token. If your bank employs One-Time-Password on their banking platform, a password will be sent to your mobile phone via SMS in order to authorize certain transactions. You will then be required to enter the one-time password into the platform in order to authorize that specific transaction.
You can transfer funds from your GTB account to other GTB accounts and other banks’ accounts using a GTB security token. You can sell foreign currency in your DOM account and have it transferred to your Naira accounts with the GTB internet banking token.
The token also allows you to set up standing orders to GTB accounts as well as other bank accounts. In fact, with the GTBank token, the only reason to visit a bank or ATM will be to withdraw or deposit cash.
A security token is a small device that allows you to electronically prove your identity (authenticate). It could be connected to your computer or not. Security tokens connected to your computer (via RFID, USB, NFC, or Bluetooth) send a unique number to your computer that identifies you. This number is frequently changed during an internet banking transaction.
Some security tokens do not automatically transmit to the computer; instead, they display a unique number that you must manually enter into the appropriate field in your internet banking platform. The GTBank security token does not automatically transmit. It simply displays a random number, which you must enter within a short period of time or the transaction will be retried.
An on-screen keyboard is usually available on an Internet banking platform for entering your PIN. An on-screen keyboard provides some security by preventing keyloggers from stealing your PIN. A keylogger is a malware that hackers install on your computer to record keystrokes on your keyboard and send them to their website.
This information can then be used to gain access to your Internet banking account. An Internet banking platform with an on-screen display adds security by avoiding the use of a keyboard to enter your PIN. Some Nigerian banks, however, do not provide on-screen keyboards, making their internet banking platforms less secure. The GTB platform includes an on-screen keyboard.
When you log in to your Internet platform, you will see links or buttons that allow you to do a variety of things, such as:
- viewing account balances
- viewing account activity/statement
- checking exchange rates
- checking Bank Interest rates
- Transferring funds between your accounts within the same bank
- paying bills and taxes
- third party transfer to other accounts within and outside your bank, etc
The Advantages of Internet Banking
Regardless of the security risks, Internet banking is recommended for everyone, especially if you have your own internet connection. It simplifies banking. The convenience of Internet banking is a benefit. Most of your banking needs can be met from the comfort of your own home or office. You can access your bank account at any time (some transactions may not be available at all times). Check interest and currency rates from any location.
If you’ve just written a check to someone but don’t have enough money in your current account, you can use your Internet banking platform to transfer funds from your savings account to your current account from the comfort of your own home or office.
This ensures that the check does not bounce, preserving your reputation. You can also transfer funds from your domiciliary account to your MasterCard or Visa debit card account without having to leave your house. You can even transfer funds to your clients on your platform if you have a security token. Sit at home and check to see if the money you requested was sent or if the cheque cleared. There’s no need to go to the bank until you’re certain.
If you have internet access, you should ask your bank for online banking services today; however, GTB, Stanbic IBTC, Access Bank, and Zenith Bank have very good reputations.
What you need for Internet banking
Internet access is required for internet banking. It is preferable if you have your own internet access, as using a cyber cafe to access your platform can be risky. You’ll also need a fast network because most banking platforms demand it.
If you’re on a GSM network, make sure you’re on EDGE; otherwise, 3G is the best option. If GPRS is available, you can use it, but the user experience will be poor.
You will also require a security token, which may be optional. A security token increases the security of your Internet banking and allows you to conduct more of your banking transactions online.
In Nigeria, you can obtain a security token from your bank for less than 4,500 Naira. The last time we checked, GTB’s security token cost 3,000 Naira. Some banks do not require a security token and instead rely on a one-time password. Inquire with your bank about allowing third-party transactions through your internet banking platform.
Then you’ll need a computer, which could be a desktop, laptop, or even a tablet. Check that you have the most recent anti-virus software and firewall installed. These will increase your online security. You can also purchase software to improve the security of your browser. Some banks also provide mobile banking services.
internet banking is convenient and time-saving; request it from your bank today. You can apply online or in person at the bank’s website. GTBank, Stanbic IBTC, Zenith Bank, Diamond Bank, UBA, and FirstBank are some of the leading Nigerian banks with online banking platforms. Some well-known platforms from major international financial institutions include HSBC Internet banking, Barclay’s online banking, and others. Request Internet banking services from your bank.