The New World Of The Internet – Everything But Finance

internet use

The Consumer Bank, later part of Norisbank, was one of the pioneers who gradually deflowered the myth of money even before the development of the Internet. As early as the 1970s, it was already working with self-service terminals that allowed customers to withdraw money and transfer amounts without the bank’s employees. This was an absolute novelty that made the waves beat faster. It also required customer cards with PIN/tan facilities, which were also completely unknown until then.

With the development of the Internet in 1990, a new era irrevocably dawned. After the first technical attempts, Europe was also gripped by Internet fever. Everyone had hundreds of new virtual friends, opportunities galore and was very close to the centre of the digital world. But there was one thing that people continued to guard outside the net like a treasure: their money.


Traditionally, people learned early on that money is not something you talk about. They would certainly not put their most personal data on the Internet. No, online banking was left out despite the general trend.

Times have changed and now even new cryptocurrencies like Monero are used for daily transactions, gambling (more info here), trading and many things more.

Online Banking – Triumphant Progress at Walking Pace

Despite some electronic developments, including BTX, small progress was made. It was to take until 2005 before online banking became socially acceptable in many countries. In the meantime, 30% of bank customers worldwide were already connected online with their bank and conducted some of their banking business from home. This drove the opening of pure online banks, which did not require branches or personal advice.

In this country, too, the number of users rose slowly but steadily. Today, 42 million people with 70.2 million accounts conduct their banking business partly or completely online. This development shows how the market has gradually opened up to banking on PCs, tablets or smartphones:

While 42.2 million checking accounts were already opened online in 2009, another 10 million will be added by 2013.

But the real triumphal march clearly began in recent years, with a remarkable 70.2 million current accounts opened online by the end of 2018.

This means that by 2018 an average of 59% of people were already using online banking, with the number of users by federal state varying from 47% in the UK to 69% in the US.

The increased confidence in security measures appears to have outstripped the concerns of many people. But no comparison can be made with the European leaders Norway and the Netherlands with 96%, followed by Finland with 93% online users.

Digital Business Account: How secure can Online Banking be?

Around 24% of people answer this question for themselves by not carrying out any banking transactions online. Their security concerns are too great. They seem to confirm that phishing caused damage of around 8.7 million euros. Hardly surprising, if you look at the technical development of some banks. While users have long since arrived at online banking, this is not yet the case at some banks. Many banks are living up to the law of inertia of the masses.

A speed of development that cyber criminals can easily top on the negative side of online banking. Password theft with manipulated e-mails or bank pages, malware and tapping public WLANs are just a few possibilities. One thing is certain, there is no such thing as 100% protection. But you can make life very difficult for hackers and phishing experts. At the end of the article, we give you practical tips on how to protect your data easily and effectively.

What you should know about a Digital Business Account

“We need banking, but we don’t need banks anymore”, Bill Gates already said in the 1990s, aptly describing the situation in which many companies and freelancers find themselves. Business account with or without a physical bank? Before answering this question, you should ask yourself whether you need a business account at all. Because this is only obligatory for corporations such as GmbH, UG, AG etc.

All other self-employed persons, i.e. sole traders and freelancers including small businesses, can do without a separate company account and do not need to separate private and business bookings. However, it is recommendable for everyone, because separate accounts improve clarity. The tax office, too, only gets to see what really belongs to the business during a tax audit.

Whether it should be an account at the next branch bank or a digital business account is sufficient depends on the company. If only bank transfers are used, the account at a direct bank or a Fintech company is sufficient. If the company works a lot with cash, it needs at least one way to deposit this cash. Since this is not yet possible via deposit machines at third-party banks, you will need a branch bank in this case.

Comparison of Services and Prices

A free business account would certainly be desirable. A few banks advertise this price advantage. But compare the fees and costs carefully. A glance at the general terms and conditions and the associated price list reveals where even a supposedly free account can become expensive. Depending on the offer, bookings, account statements and returned direct debits are charged separately.

In addition, a classic bank often charges different fees for online services or advice and services in branches. If, for example, you have a large number of bookings, you should check the fee structure for hidden additional fees. The same applies to withdrawals at ATMs and counters. Certain banking services also require a banking licence, which many Fintechs do not have.

Take a step-by-step approach to finding a financial institution for a free digital business account.

Define your most important criteria for a bank account:

  • How many bookings do you make approximately per month?
  • What other services do you expect from your account-holding institution?
  • What payment systems should your bank use?
  • Would you like a link to an accounting program or other tools?
  • How many ATMs does the institute have in the country and abroad? Can ATMs of other banks and savings banks be used?
  • Is the current account credit of a bank used to balance liquidity fluctuations? How high should this ideally be and what costs may be involved? Are there any possibilities of rescheduling debts with a bank?
  • How many accounts would you like to open? To save costs, you can use main accounts with sub-accounts as a package solution with some providers.

When comparing products, do not filter by free offers, but rather by low-cost packages that cover your most important criteria. Complete offers can be cheaper in the end result than superficially cheap accounts.

Pay Attention to these 7 Service Groups:

1. Account management fees: They accrue monthly and, depending on the provider, can make account management much more expensive. They vary between 0 and 100 EUR per month for a company account.

2. EC and credit cards: Depending on the provider, EC and credit cards are already included in the offer and do not incur any further costs. However, in some cases fees of up to 30 EUR per month are charged.

3. Booking costs: What used to be included in the account management fees as a matter of course is now becoming a considerable cost factor. A distinction is made between voucherless and paper-based bookings. In the case of direct banks or other providers, voucher-based bookings are often not possible at all. In principle, however, they are cost-intensive and range between 0 and 10 EUR per booking. Paperless postings can cost up to 40 cents per transaction.

4. Further services: Standing orders, returned direct debits or cash deposits, for example, are expensive with most providers and can make a supposedly free account very expensive. The only thing that helps here is a detailed comparison.

5. Interest: You should include in your comparison not only the interest on possible credit balances, but also penalty interest and interest on the use of a current account credit provided.

6. Subsidies: Can the bank support the application for subsidies? It is necessary that the bank is recognised for the application of state or municipal development loans. Most online banks and fintechs do not yet meet this requirement.

7. Accounting and Invoicing: additional tools may be included in the package price or incur additional costs, depending on the offer. Check in advance which tools you need

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