It is amazing to think about how much banking has changed in a relatively short period of time. I really started paying attention to banking when I started working at Madison Community Bank in 2002. This was my first experience with online banking. Even though online banking was supposedly created in 1994 (according to Wikipedia), it took a while for the rest of the banking world to adopt what has eventually become a banking necessity. In any case, online banking has really changed the way many people handle their everyday banking. While traditional methods of banking are still prevalent, other products and services have given people more options for managing their finances. Online banking provides instant access to bank accounts, online bill pay enables people to pay all their bills in one place online, E-statements allow constant online access to monthly bank statements, and mobile banking (via cell phone) gives people a way to do their personal banking from just about anywhere. In spite of all this technology, there is no substitute for a periodic review of your bank accounts including balancing your checkbook. While all of the online options mentioned above provide easier access to your information, it may also be easier to lose track of your daily finances since there are so many ways to conduct daily banking. And banks, while very good at what they do, are still fallible and so it is prudent to sit down and make sure your records match. Technology also creates issues with safety and security. Even though fraud and identity theft is a serious issue in the world today, online banking gives me the tools to closely track activity in my accounts because I notice much more quickly if something out of the ordinary is happening. In the past, access was much more limited and fraudulent activity was more difficult to detect. Even so, something as simple as balancing your checkbook gives you one more added measure of security to make sure activity in your account is as it should be. Accessing your bank accounts online on a daily or weekly basis is a great way to make sure your account is secure and is a great first line of defense against fraudulent activity. Banks, including First National Bank, also provide security products that add another layer of protection. Traditional checkbook balancing, while not flashy or new, is another important line of defense and is also essential to good personal banking and money management.
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