Banking has implemented electronic technology for quite some time now. Although they weighed over 30 pounds, the first all-electronic calculators found homes on many bankers’ desks. The SWIFT payment network, which enables secure electronic transmission of information between financial institutions across the world, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2023. The ATM is even older, as it made its debut in Rockville Centre, NY in 1969.


Today, the phrase “electronic banking” almost sounds redundant. Electronics have become an inseparable component of every part of the banking process, thus making “electronic banking” a blanket term that covers virtually every service you would expect from a modern financial institution, including ATMs, direct deposits and debit card transactions.


Online banking and mobile banking are both relatively new introductions to an industry that has existed for over 500 years. These forms of digital banking will exist for as long as the internet will remain in use, which is to say that neither will ever go away. What are the differences between online and mobile banking? There aren’t many, and we expect the two services to merge completely over the coming years.


What Is Online Banking?


Online banking requires only three things: a bank account, an internet-enabled device, and an internet connection. It allows an account holder to log into their bank’s website and manage their money exactly as they would if they were interacting with a teller in person. Online banking offers total convenience – so much so that most people now use it at least once a week.


With online banking, you may:


  • Make payments to any party you wish
  • Schedule automatic, repeating payments that occur at any frequency
  • Schedule one-time payments at any point in the future
  • View a complete record of your payment history
  • Receive and pay bills electronically
  • Transfer funds between any two accounts instantly
  • Access banking services 24/7


What Is Mobile Banking?


Mobile banking offers many of the same services as online banking. The key difference is that it requires the user to install their financial institution’s app on their mobile phone or tablet.


Banking apps have become extremely popular for many reasons. They make it possible to deposit checks with your phone. They also allow you to pay bills, request money, contact customer service, locate ATMs, receive warnings of suspicious activity, and cancel or lock your debit card from anywhere in the world. Many banking apps are compatible with helpful third-party budgeting apps as well.


Is Digital Banking Safe?


As you might expect, the rising popularity of digital banking has attracted the attention of criminals. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to protect your account from would-be thieves.


  • Avoid fake banking apps. Fraudsters are publishing apps which closely resemble those of real financial institutions on different platforms’ app stores. Make certain only to download an app after clicking the link on your bank’s own website – not by searching for it in your phone’s app store.

  • Beware of sideload apps. Some seemingly innocuous free apps are designed to trick the user into unwittingly sending their login information to a scammer. Consider installing a reputable anti-malware app, and only download apps from companies you recognize and trust.

  • Use two- or multi-factor authentication. These settings require you to present a combination of multiple credentials before logging in to a website or app. Even if a scammer learns your username and password, multi-factor authentication can still block their access to your account.


  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi for digital banking. Public Wi-Fi may not be encrypted, which makes it significantly easier for a hacker to steal information or install malware on your device. Likewise, do not log into your bank account on public computers.

  • Enable push notifications. Your bank’s algorithm can detect when suspected fraudulent activity has occurred. Signing up for push notifications means you will receive a text message or email when anything suspicious has happened, which allows you to take immediate action when it is warranted.

  • Use strong passwords. A strong password has at least eight characters that include letters, numbers and symbols. Do not use the same password twice for any two accounts! If an unrelated and less secure website’s data is breached, the hackers responsible should not receive your login information to your bank’s more secure website.


If you live or do business in Central Minnesota, then Sherburne State Bank is standing by to make digital banking easy for you. We welcome you to come visit one of our branches in Becker, Monticello or Princeton in person, contact us today, or learn more online!


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