Most bank customers view online banking as something that’s just part of the modern day internet experience. However, there’s more to online banking than merely checking your current account balance and credit card activity every now and then. Today, online banking portals offer a much more expansive and rich array of services for customers, designed not just to make your banking experience smooth and hassle-free, but also to help you manage your finances better.

Here, we demystify some of the latest, as well as lesser known features of online banking that make this facility well worth your time.

Pay for utilities, government services and much more 

Through online banking, you can have an absolutely stress-free experience when it comes to paying your bills, be it your DEWA bills, telecom bills or even credit card bills from other banks. You can even top up your SALIK and NOL accounts online. Many of the leading banks’ online banking portals would enable you to pay utility bills for a majority of government as well as private services. This further saves you time and makes life much easier.

Activate your card, reset your PIN, apply for cheque books 

Most banks’ online banking portals allow for activation of newly issued credit cards and debit cards as well as resetting the PIN for new and existing cards. Apart from this, if you’ve lost your card, a few clicks on your bank’s online portal can help block the card and safeguard your account. Many banks in the UAE go further and enable customers to request for new cards through their online banking portals. This removes the need to visit the bank physically or spend precious time speaking to a call center representative to apply for a replacement. Another handy feature of online banking – You can order a new cheque book and have it sent to your registered mailing address.

[Related: Would you bank with a ‘Digital Bank’?]

Stay updated on the go with mobile banking

Most banks in the UAE now offer user-friendly mobile apps that give customers the added advantage of accessing their bank details through their smartphone or tablet. This makes online banking even more convenient, especially when you’re on the go. Mobile banking apps offer most of the features that desktop online banking does, and the mobile-friendly display gives it that millennial appeal as well.

Transfer money at the click of a button

Internet banking enables you to transfer money in a variety of ways – Between accounts at the same bank and between accounts at different banks. You can also make instant international remittances to select countries like India, Pakistan and the Philippines through online banking. It also helps determine the amount of money that’s available for the transaction to be successfully executed. This feature lets you save many trips to the bank.

You are also given the option of setting up regular money transfers between different banks and different accounts. You’ll have to follow a few steps to set up an automatic funds transfer, but it is still so much more convenient than going to the bank physically to fill out a form and have it approved. Depending on what type of account you hold, you may have a maximum cap on the volume and value of transactions you can make.

Keep track of your transactions

With online banking you get access to your entire bank account or credit card history, with the ability to keep track of every transaction you’ve ever made. If you’re ever in doubt about whether a transaction has been fulfilled, you can simply log on to your online banking portal and verify the details. This feature also enables you to spot and isolate unauthorized transactions quickly, thereby making sure that you don’t fall prey to hackers. If you identify a transaction you haven’t authorized, you can immediately contact your bank to make sure the charges are reversed. There are some banks here in the UAE that take this feature one step further, giving you an insight into your pending and upcoming transactions.

[Related: Banking 101: How does your bank make money?]