Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Internet Banking

Being my first blog i wasnt very sure what i should talk about, but after looking at Richards post about 'trademe' ive decided that internet banking is an issue that very much concerns me.
Having recently fallen into trademe's clutches, i have watched my account balance slowly dwindle downwards, and for the first time it hit me just how much more convenient and easy it really is to shop from home online. Being a novice internet banker, and someone that usually thinks twice before handing over my money, i was surprised to find the ease at which i typed in the $$ amount on the screen, simply clicked the 'ok' button, and watched the little black numbers decrease by the entered amount.
Credit cards, eftpos cards, and now internet banking, have all been created to make transactions flow more efficiently and smoothly, yet through this gain i feel that the physical sense of owning cash has been lost a little. Actually handing over say, a $50 bill, for me is possibly more difficult than handing over my card when purchasing something for $80. My mentality is, if i cant see it, then it doesnt matter so much. But then maybe thats just me.
Technology has increased convenience through providing these different means of transactions, although it has also become much easier for money to be accessed illegally... There is of course all the perks, such as getting all the grocery shopping done from home, paying the bills online, and if (unlike me) your an adamant saver, watching your balance climb. (Alternatively, you can transfer all your savings into your 'fun and games' account at the click of a mouse).
As mentioned in the Virtual Conference on Electronic Banking for the Poor, technology "offers the potential to dramatically decrease operational costs, improve the quality of financial information and make banking for the poor more profitable and less risky for mainstream financial institutions". Technology such as online banking is constantly being developed to help improve our lifestyles, yet I wonder if i'd be more financially healthy without it...


At 10:57 AM, Blogger hungryonfridaymorning said...

Very nice observation there. I think we can all relate to what you're saying about technology removing the physical feeling that your actually spending your own money. Plastic does this do a degree, but there's still a physical representation there, whereas with the internet there's not. In this way internet banking and transactions have taken this just one step further, providing yet another hazard for those of us attempting to save.


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