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In order to make bank transfers and bill payments, a written instruction giving details of the intended recipient had to be sent to the NBS who set the details up on the Homelink system.
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Online banking was first introduced in the early s in New York, United States. Chemical introduced its Pronto services for individuals and small businesses in , which enabled individual and small-business clients to maintain electronic checkbook registers, see account balances, and transfer funds between checking and savings accounts. Pronto failed to attract enough customers to break even and was abandoned in Other banks had a similar experience.
Since its inception in the United States, online banking has been federally governed by the Electronic Funds Transfer Act of Almost simultaneously with the United States, online banking arrived in the United Kingdom. The system used was based on the UK's Prestel viewlink system and used a computer, such as the BBC Micro , or keyboard Tandata Td connected to the telephone system and television set. The system allowed on-line viewing of statements, bank transfers and bill payments.
In order to make bank transfers and bill payments, a written instruction giving details of the intended recipient had to be sent to the NBS who set the details up on the Homelink system. Typical recipients were gas, electricity and telephone companies and accounts with other banks. Details of payments to be made were input into the NBS system by the account holder via Prestel.
A cheque was then sent by NBS to the payee and an advice giving details of the payment was sent to the account holder. BACS was later used to transfer the payment directly. After a test period with 2, users starting in , online banking services were launched in ,  using Minitel terminals that were distributed freely to the population by the government.
Online banking was one of the most popular services. Around , banks saw the rising popularity of the internet as an opportunity to advertise their services. Initially, they used the internet as another brochure, without interaction with the customer.
Early sites featured pictures of the bank's officers or buildings, and provided customers with maps of branches and ATM locations, phone numbers to call for further information and simple listings of products. In , Wells Fargo was the first U. That same year, Presidential became the first U. According to research by Online Banking Report, at the end of less than 0. At the beginning of , some 33 million U.
To access a financial institution's online banking facility, a customer with internet access will need to register with the institution for the service, and set up a password and other credentials for customer verification. The credentials for online banking is normally not the same as for telephone or mobile banking. Financial institutions now routinely allocate customers numbers, whether or not customers have indicated an intention to access their online banking facility.
Customer numbers are normally not the same as account numbers, because a number of customer accounts can be linked to the one customer number. Technically, the customer number can be linked to any account with the financial institution that the customer controls, though the financial institution may limit the range of accounts that may be accessed to, say, cheque, savings, loan, credit card and similar accounts.
The customer visits the financial institution's secure website , and enters the online banking facility using the customer number and credentials previously set up.
Each financial institution can determine the types of financial transactions which a customer may transact through online banking, but usually includes obtaining account balances, a list of recent transactions, electronic bill payments , financing loans and funds transfers between a customer's or another's accounts. Most banks set limits on the amounts that may be transacted, and other restrictions.
Most banks also enable customers to download copies of bank statements, which can be printed at the customer's premises some banks charge a fee for mailing hard copies of bank statements.
Some banks also enable customers to download transactions directly into the customer's accounting software. The facility may also enable the customer to order a cheque book, statements, report loss of credit cards, stop payment on a cheque, advise change of address and other routine actions. Online banking facilities typically have many features and capabilities in common, but also have some that are application specific.
The common features fall broadly into several categories:. Security of a customer's financial information is very important, without which online banking could not operate. Similarly the reputational risks to banks themselves are important. The use of a secure website has been almost universally embraced. Though single password authentication is still in use, it by itself is not considered secure enough for online banking in some countries.
Basically there are two different security methods in use for online banking:. Attacks on online banking used today are based on deceiving the user to steal login data and valid TANs.
Two well known examples for those attacks are phishing and pharming. A method to attack signature based online banking methods is to manipulate the used software in a way, that correct transactions are shown on the screen and faked transactions are signed in the background.
Computer intrusions increased by percent between the first quarter of and the second. In 80 percent of the cases, the source of the intrusion is unknown but it occurred during online banking, the report states. Another kind of attack is the so-called man-in-the-browser attack, a variation of the man-in-the-middle attack where a Trojan horse permits a remote attacker to secretly modify the destination account number and also the amount in the web browser.
As a reaction to advanced security processes allowing the user to cross-check the transaction data on a secure device there are also combined attacks using malware and social engineering to persuade the user himself to transfer money to the fraudsters on the ground of false claims like the claim the bank would require a "test transfer" or the claim a company had falsely transferred money to the user's account and he should "send it back".
There exist several countermeasures which try to avoid attacks.
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