A key advantage of online banking is that it allows you to see how much money you have in your checking account without having to visit or call the bank. To use this feature, you must establish an online banking account with your bank and create a username and password. After enrolling, you can view your account balance from your desktop computer or eligible mobile device.
Desktop Computer Access
Visit your bank's website and log into your online banking account from your desktop computer. Dashboard setup varies by bank. Typically, after logging in, you can click on your account information tab, if your balance does not automatically show up.
PC- or traditional browser-based banking provides access to the full range of online banking features. This may include the ability to set up account alerts to your email account or mobile phone, view checks and account statements, make address changes, order checks, transfer funds and verify withdrawals and deposits.
Mobile Banking Access
View your account from your eligible mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, if you are on the go and need to check your balance. Your bank can tell you which operating systems and capabilities are needed for mobile banking.
This option usually offers fewer features than PC-based online banking. For example, you might be able to view account activity and your balance, but limitations may apply to bill payment processing.
When you first visit your bank's website from your smartphone, the site may see that you are using a mobile browser and automatically bring up your username and password. Otherwise, to perform mobile banking, you may need to download an app provided by your bank.
Your bank may provide text banking, which allows you to request and receive account information via a cell phone with text messaging capabilities. After signing up with your bank, you may request your available balance by typing in the required short-codes. The bank will then immediately send you the information. Though your bank might not charge you a fee for this service, your mobile carrier might.
Reading Your Balance
Your account balance comes in two forms: current and available.
Current balance is the amount of money in your account at the start of the day, after all transactions including pending transactions for the prior day have been posted to your account. It does include purchases made the day before.
Available balance is the amount of money that you can use instantly for purchases or withdrawals. It is your current balance minus pending withdrawals and deposits that have not yet posted to your account.
Always go by your available balance when determining how much money you have left to spend in your checking account. Be sure to take into account any checks you have written that may not have cleared; those will not be deducted from your current or available balance figure.