Gone are the days when you had to travel distances to a bank to do transactions. Today, the internet has simplified life with the introduction of online banking. Here, financial transactions are conducted over the internet through a Bank’s secure website.
Online banking is almost similar to traditional banking but it is delivered via the internet using a device that can access the internet. These may be smartphones, laptops, tablets among others. Online banking may also be referred to as e-banking, virtual banking, web banking among others.
An advantage of online banking that it is fast, reliable and convenient as it offers a 24/7 service. Some banks have mobile applications to enhance the internet banking experience.
Services you can access through internet banking
- Allows for 2-factor authentication to Login & Transact. This is to ensure privacy and security of your account.
- Transfer funds in between own accounts and to other bank accounts.
- Account Remittances, Beneficiaries and Service requests
- Pay Bill service like power bills, pay TV and pay tax among others.
- View recent account transactions
- Verify status of your cheques. Make requests for cheque books and standing orders.
- View, download and print previous statements
- Manage standing orders and Direct Debits
- Schedule and make payments online
- Request for cheque books
- View interest rates and foreign exchange rates daily
- Make bulk payments for salaries, wages and suppliers.
Banks that support Internet banking in Uganda
Note that different banks have different privacy policies and procedures and also vary in the terms and conditions. I will therefore link each bank to its internet banking portal so that you can find out the terms of service for each.
Also note that in order to use internet banking at a particular bank, you should make sure you have an active account at that bank.
Security Measures For Internet Banking
Choose an account with two factor authentication. In your quest to get an online banking provider, get a bank account that offers some form of two factor authentication for online banking. A code which is only valid for a very short period of time is St to your phone number and is required in addition to your login credentials in order to gain access to your online account.
Create a strong password. This is no rocket science. Some banks have programs that create strong passwords for you. However, if your bank requires a user-generated password in order to access online accounts make sure you choose one that is strong.
Secure your computer and keep it up-to-date. As a minimum, make sure you have a firewall turned on and are running antivirus software. This will ensure you are protected from Trojans, key loggers and other forms of malware that could be used to gain access to your financial data.
Avoid clicking through emails. No credible financial institution will send you an email asking you to provide any of your login details. If you receive an email that appears to be from your bank that asks for such details then treat it with suspicion as it may well be a phishing attempt to trick you into handing your credentials over.
Access your accounts from a secure internet connection. Avoid things like free Wi-Fi. But if you need to access your bank online from remote locations then you should set up a VPN (Virtual Private Network) so that you can establish an encrypted connection to your home or work network and access your bank from there.
On your browser, look for a small padlock icon somewhere on the address bar. The URL of the site you are on should begin with ‘https’. Both act as confirmation that you are accessing your account over an encrypted connection.
Always log out when you are done. This will lessen the chances of falling prey to session hijacking and cross-site scripting exploits.
Set up account notifications. Some banks offer a service for customers to set up text or email notifications to alert them to certain activities on their account. Such alerts could give quick notice of suspicious activity on your account.
Monitor your accounts regularly. With online banking you have access 24/7. Take advantage of that and check your account on a regular basis. Look at every transaction since you last logged in and, if you spot any anomalies, contact your bank immediately.
If I have omitted any bank that offers internet banking in Uganda, please let me know in the comments section below. If you have done internet banking at any of the banks stated, please share with us your experiences in the comments too.