Planning to activate netbanking? Here’s what you should know

A cheat sheet that equips you with information to securely manage netbanking

Planning to activate netbanking? Here’s what you should know

Today, digitisation touches our lives and influences our daily routine by giving us the advantage of speed and convenience. Banking transactions used to be time-consuming but have lately become extremely easy, eliminating the need to visit a branch and wait in line. If you are new to netbanking and wish to register and activate your account, here are some easy-to-follow instructions that will get you started. 

But before that, here’s a little background. Only those banks that have a physical presence in India are permitted to offer Internet banking to account holders. This effectively means that account holders of virtual banks without branches in India will not have the option of netbanking.

Getting started with netbanking

To register/activate netbanking, you can choose one of two options. The first is to place a formal request with the bank branch by filling and submitting a printed form. Or you can use the online registration option offered by most banks. The formalities for both are similar and user-friendly. The details sought in printed forms and online registration forms are also alike. To avoid confusion, we shall look at the online option of registering and activating netbanking. This is similar across most banks; any minor changes are easy to understand and follow.

Before you attempt to register/activate netbanking, ensure that you are in possession/have access to the mobile number and email ID given at the time of opening your bank account. This mobile number and email ID are called the "registered" mobile number/email ID and will be the only numbers associated with the account. All the OTP's and other notification are generally sent to your registered mobile number only. In the event that you change your mobile number/email ID, the same has to be updated in your account information.

Logging in to your bank’s website

Here is where you need to exercise some caution and make it a practice. Every time you log into your bank’s website, you need to do so by typing out the URL in the address bar of your browser. Never search for a bank’s site in Google (or any search engine) and click on the links displayed – you may end up on a fake site that can make you part with your credentials. Additionally, look for the https protocol with the green padlock symbol at the beginning of the web address. 

Related: How Unified Payment Interface (UPI) can change the way you bank

Registering with your details

  • Enter details: You will be required to input details such as your account number, branch code, country and city of residence, registered mobile number, and customer information file (CIF) number.
    • Do bear in mind that your CIF is different from your account number and is a unique number printed on the passbook or first page of your cheque book. It can also be traced using netbanking.
  • Verify your OTP: After you have entered all details, click on ‘Submit’. You will receive an OTP to confirm your identity and validate the request. Enter the OTP in the input box.
    • After you have successfully submitted the details and the OTP, the page will display your temporary user name, and you will be required to enter your chosen password twice. 
  • Change the username: On successfully completing this process, you need to log in again and change the username to something of your choice. This will be the username you will use for all future transactions.
    • The process of changing the username or password is simple; look for on-screen instructions to guide you.

Related: NBFCs and banks: How are they different?

Types of transactions you can make

Account holders of savings accounts can use netbanking to transfer funds to other accounts (or account holders) and pay bills. Transfers are facilitated through NEFT (National Electronic Fund Transfer), RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement) and IMPS (Immediate Payment Service). You can make bill payments through netbanking – such as credit card payments or utility bills.

How to transfer your funds?

  • To transfer funds to another, navigate to the appropriate menu and add the details of the beneficiary.
  • After this, you will receive an OTP requiring you to confirm the request.
  • Your request will be approved within 30 minutes, following which you can transfer the desired amount.
  • When you actually transfer an amount to a beneficiary, you will again have to enter an OTP after furnishing the details of the amount to be transferred.
  • Most banks also allow you to make a quick transfer to someone without adding them as a beneficiary. This process takes a few minutes.
  • Most banks also allow to set up standing instructions for recurring payments.
  • Some banks also permit scheduling of payments for future dates.

Related: 42% of Indian consumers prefer digital payments: Survey

How to make bill payments?

  • You will have to add the necessary billers in the menu. 
  • Once you have done this, you can make payments of any amount that you desire on any date of your choice.
  • The amount will be deducted from your savings bank account balance.
  • Alternatively, to make payments to a service provider or e-commerce platform, there’s no need to add them as a biller.
  • For instance, if you wish to make a payment to Amazon, after you have added the product to the cart, click on ‘Checkout’ and in the options provided, select netbanking as the option.
  • Choose your bank from the list, and you will be taken to the netbanking home page of your bank.
  • Enter your username and password and the amount to be paid, followed by the OTP received on your mobile.
  • The specified amount will be deducted from your account and credited in Amazon against your purchase. 

Some points to remember

  • If you have logged in to netbanking from your browser, remember to log out after the transaction is complete.
  • Avoid logging in from a public Wi-Fi network because you won’t know if security is compromised.
  • Also avoid the practice of keeping other windows open when you transact online.

Have a look at the countries that have moved to digital payment.

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