Online banking services have been available for years, but it is only recently that customers could transfer money from one bank to another, a facility that has been available through ATMs for a long time.
Previously, money transfers via the Internet were only possible between accounts held at the same bank. If you wanted to transfer money electronically to someone whose account was at a different bank, you had to do it via an ATM.
But now online banking makes money transfers easier, saving both time and money. With an online service, you don't even have to go out. You can do it through your own computer.
However, the online service is still limited to certain banks. Customers with accounts at only five banks can instantly transfer money to other bank accounts.
The five banks which provide real time online transfers are: Bangkok Bank (BBL), Krung Thai Bank (KTB), Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), Kasikornbank (KBank) and TMB Bank. Customers with accounts at one of these banks can make a real-time transfers to one of the other four banks and also to United Overseas Bank (Thai), Bank of Ayudhya and Siam City Bank. But customers of these three banks do not have the transfer facility as yet.
This service allows you to transfer a maximum of Bt100,000 per day and Bt50,000 per transaction from 6am to 9pm daily.
Some banks, including Bangkok Bank and TMB Bank, charge Bt25 for money transferred via ATM on less than Bt20,000 and Bt35 for Bt20,000 to Bt30,000. The maximum money transfer per day via ATM is between Bt50,000 to Bt500,000 depending on bank policy. Customers carrying the Visa Electron card are allowed to transfer more than Bt100,000 per day.
Large transfers must be done in tranches and you will be charged a fee for each one, thus, if you want to transfer more than Bt30,000, it would be cheaper via the Internet.
Online transfers are more convenient, although the fees are not so attractive when compared to the same transaction via an ATM. If you use an ATM to transfer money, you would be charged Bt35 per transaction.
To be able to use the online service, first you must apply to use online banking services by sending an application to the banks' branch. Only Siam Commercial Bank and Krung Thai Bank allow you to apply via the Internet by just filling out an ATM card number or bank account number and your four-digit pin code.
Log in name and password must be kept secret and changed regularly to reduce hacking risk. One crucial recommendation is that you do not respond to any e-mail asking for personal financial information or click any suspicious links.
However, for security, when you want to transfer money, you must register or add the bank account you want to transfer money to into your database. And you can only use accounts that have been registered already. Every time you need to update the account or edit your profile, a one-time password (OTP) will be sent to you via SMS or e-mail to fill out for verification that it is really you who is making the transaction.
Each bank's security system is different from another's. For example, SCB only allows sending an OTP via SMS and it expires in 72 hours. Kasikornbank's OTP expires in 6 minutes.
Sending an OTP by e-mail is relatively insecure compared to mobile phones. So, in general, banks will give priority to SMS. But in some cases if an SMS cannot be sent to you, the OTP will be sent via e-mail.
This method makes it more difficult for hackers to use your online banking account to siphon off money. Perhaps, you should be more alert about people who are close to you such as husband, wife, kids or colleagues.
There are also many services related to the money transfer, which you can do on the Internet such as bill payments for mobile phones, credit card payments, public utilities etc, and the trading of open-ended fund units.
Online banking services, if used properly, make it seem as if you have your own personal bank.