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Internet banking has come of age in India. While multinational and Indian private sector banks were among the first to provide this service...

Written by Sanjay Kr Singh | Published: October 26, 2009 11:03:05 pm

Internet banking has come of age in India. While multinational and Indian private sector banks were among the first to provide this service,now public sector banks have also begun to offer it. Thanks to the plethora of safety features that banks incorporate,Internet banking has also become quite secure now. In addition to being able to check the transactions that have occurred over the past few months in your accounts,these days customers who have enrolled for Internet banking can avail of a number of other value-added services through it.

TDS inquiry

This facility enables you to generate the details of tax deducted from your deposit account during the previous financial year. You can also generate the projected TDS for the current financial year. TDS is deducted if the interest amount due to you exceeds Rs 10,000 per annum. It takes around 30 minutes to generate the TDS details for an account. The TDS projections for the current financial year can help you with your tax planning. Print the TDS details and get the document signed by the authorised branch signatory. This will act as a TDS certificate that can be submitted to the income tax department.

Issue of demand drafts

Getting demand drafts made has also been rendered simple through Internet banking. At the website,choose the account from which the amount for the demand draft has to be debited. Enter the amount and the name of the beneficiary,and the branch at which the draft is payable. Next,select whether the draft has to be couriered or whether you will collect it in person. Finally,generate the counter foil and print it. For drafts whose value is up to Rs 10,000,public sector banks like State Bank of India have waived the commission entirely. For drafts whose value is between Rs 10,001 and Rs 1 lakh,the commission is Rs 50. And when the value ranges between Rs 1,00,001 and Rs five lakh,the commission is Rs 100.

Interbank funds transfer

This service allows Internet banking customers to transfer funds electronically to accounts in other banks within India. Two types of services are available. The first goes by the acronym NEFT,which stands for National Electronic Funds Transfer. Here the Reserve Bank of India acts as the service provider and transfers the credit to the other bank’s account. There is no minimum limit on the amount of money that can be transferred using this service. The maximum limit is Rs five lakh. NEFT transactions can be availed from Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. On Saturdays this service is available between 8 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. The funds are sent to RBI within three hours of the transaction. The actual time taken to credit the beneficiary depends on the time taken by the beneficiary bank to process the payment.

The second service is called RTGS,which stands for Real Time Gross Settlement. The RTGS system facilitates transfer of funds from accounts in one bank to another on a “real time” and on “gross settlement” basis. The RTGS system is the fastest possible inter bank money transfer facility available. You can undertake RTGS transactions from Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and on Saturdays between 9 a.m. and 12 noon. The minimum amount that can be transferred using this facility is Rs one lakh and the maximum is Rs five lakh.

Bill payment

This facility is a great time,energy and paper saver,and it also becomes easier to avoid delays in payment. You don’t have to write out cheques every month,go all the way to the utility’s local office,and stand in a long queue there. Instead,if you are an Internet customer and have applied for the service,then you just have to go to the bank’s web site,click a few times,and the bills are paid. The amount gets deducted from your account,and the bank also sends you an SMS and e-mail alert that so much has been debited from your account. Having paid the bill,just save the transaction number for future reference.

Telephone,electricity,insurance,credit card and other bills can be paid from the comfort of your home or office 24/365. You can also set up auto pay instructions with an upper limit to ensure that your bills are paid automatically whenever they are due. The upper limit ensures that only bills within the specified limit are paid,thereby providing you control over these payments.

Finally,here are a couple of safety tips for safe Internet banking. Avoid using very predictable passwords. Don’t write out the passwords at places where someone can access them. Better still commit them to memory and keep changing your password every three months or so.

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