The concept of online banking as we know it today dates back to the early 1980s, when it was first envisioned and experimented with. However, it was only in 1995 (on October 6, to be exact) that Presidential Savings Bank first announced the facility for regular client use. The idea was quickly snapped up by other banks like Wells Fargo, Chase Manhattan and Security First Network Bank. Today, quite a few banks operate solely via the Internet and have no ‘four-walls’ entity at all.
In the beginning, its inventors had predicted that it would be only a matter of time before online banking completely replaced the conventional kind. Facts now prove that this was an overoptimistic assessment – many customers still harbor an inherent distrust in the process. Others have opted not to use many of the offered facilities because of bitter experience with online frauds, and inability to use online banking services.
Be that as it may, it is estimated that a total of 55 million families in America will be active users of online banking by the year 2010. Despite the fact that many American banks still do not offer this facility to customers, this may turn out to be an accurate prediction. The number of online banking customers has been increasing at an exponential rate.
Initially, the main attraction is the elimination of tiresome bureaucratic red tape in registering for an account, and the endless paperwork involved in regular banking. The speed with which this process happens online, as well as the other services possible by these means, has translated into a literal boom in the banking industry over the last five years. Nor are there any signs of the boom letting up – in historical terms, online banking has just begun.