Questions about online banking


As the COVID-19 pandemic causes banking customers to turn to online technology to manage their money, those who are trying online banking for the first time may find themselves with questions about how to handle things previously. carried out in person or with paper documents.

If you don’t know how to handle some of the practicalities of online banking, here are the answers to common questions.

Do I have to save the monthly statements?

Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus, recommends keeping bank statements for tax purposes to confirm your deductible income or expenses. If you end up using your returns for your taxes, you may want to keep your returns for up to seven years in case the IRS decides to audit you. Even if your bank keeps digital records of your statements, you may want to print or download your statements just in case.

When should I shred the paper check for a mobile deposit?

Big banks recommend that after making a mobile deposit, you write “mobile deposit” and the date of deposit on the front of the check. Keep the check until you’ve made sure the deposit has been made – which can take several days – and the bank doesn’t need the original check for any reason. Once the check is cashed on your account, it is best to shred it.


How do I send money or pay bills through my mobile banking app?

If you want to send money to your friends or family, your bank may offer you Zelle money transfer service. Zelle, which is integrated with many major banks and also available as a separate app, allows registered users to receive and send money from their bank accounts.

You can also sign up for money transfer apps like Venmo or Cash App and link them to your bank account to send and receive money, as long as your sender or recipient has the same app.

To pay your bills online, your bank may have the option to set up recurring payments for services such as your cell phone provider or utility company, which allows you to automate your monthly bills. Some banks can also send a check on your behalf if needed. Wells Fargo, for example, offers online bill payment services, but you can also schedule paper checks to be sent to you if your service provider does not accept electronic payments. Look up your bank’s FAQs or contact their customer service for more details on their bill payment features.

What should I do if my mobile banking app isn’t working?

It is a universal truth that technology comes with occasional frustrations. Sometimes banks experience app crashes, and sometimes there are issues on the user side. There are several things you can do to diagnose the problem:

Make sure your login credentials are correct: Entering an incorrect username or password is a common stumbling block and will prevent access to your account. Some banks may block you after too many failed login attempts, so contact your bank’s technical support team.

Check your email and your bank’s social media accounts: Your bank may have posted to their Facebook or Twitter accounts or sent an email notification about any known issues with the app. Today, many consumers also use their banks’ platforms to report issues themselves. In the event of a failure, your bank may publish information on how long and how you can access your account in the meantime. Bookmark or follow your bank’s social media accounts for quick access.

Update your app and / or your phone software: Your version of the app may be out of date or your phone software may need to be updated to use a newer version of the app. Go to your phone’s app market (for example, Apple App Store or Google Play Store), find your bank’s app, and see if there is an update option.

Benefit from the technical support of your bank: Contact your bank’s customer service representatives by phone, email, or chat.

Use your office ID or visit a branch or ATM: If your app isn’t working, you might still be able to sign in on a desktop computer. If your bank has physical branches, get in-person service, although COVID-19 precautions may mean limited hours or required appointments. If you’re trying to deposit a check or check your balance, you can use an ATM, as long as your bank offers use of a network.

cbessette@nerdwallet.com


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