When online banking began in the mid-90s, there were numerous issues and problems. Since then, however, online banking sites and procedures have improved dramatically. From the Bank of America website, for example, you can do almost everything you could do by going to the bank in person, including setting up accounts, making payments and transferring money between accounts or from other financial sites to one of your Bank of America accounts. In most cases, the online procedure is faster and easier.
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Before you can log in to Bank of America online, you'll need to enroll in online banking at the bank's website. Sign-ins and enrollments begin in the upper left-hand corner of the home page. If you already have a checking account, put your checking account number, ATM/debit card number or a Bank of America credit card number in the box, using numbers only without spaces. You'll be asked to provide your Social Security number, an online account name and a password. You'll also be asked to select a photo from a group the bank provides and to give the selected photo a title. If you don't already have an account, click onto the question "Don't have an account?" and follow the instructions provided, noting that the account set-up includes several options.
Identifying the Site
Once you've enrolled, the log-in process is simple. Begin by typing the bank URL in the address bar. The URL is https://www.bankofamerica.com/, but many browsers will recognize it without the preliminary "https://www." Unless you go frequently to other sites that begin with "bank," you'll probably only have to type the first letter or two of the word "bank" in the address bar for the browser to take you to the Bank of America site.
Unless you've recently cleared your Internet history from the browser, the Bank of America site will come up with a personalized greeting, such as "Welcome back, Patrick." Below that greeting, the first four letters of the online banking name you've selected will appear in the sign-in box, followed by a number of asterisks that substitute for the remaining sign-in letters. If you've cleared your history, simply enter your full online banking name. You might also be asked to indicate which state you bank in. Next, click on the blue "Sign In" button immediately to the right. The next screen asks you to enter your passcode. Before doing so, be sure the security photo and the title you've selected appear above the passcode box. If they don't, immediately reboot your computer without attempting to do anything further on the Bank of America site and notify the bank that your account has been compromised. Otherwise, enter your passcode and click on the blue "Sign In" button below the passcode box.
The Accounts Page
Once you've signed in, the Bank of America "Accounts Page" comes up. There you can select which of your accounts you want to work with. These might include your checking account, savings account, credit card accounts and investment account. From the accounts page you can also pay bills, set up automatic online bill payments through the Automatic Clearing House (ACH), transfer money between accounts and make wire transfers. You can make an appointment to meet in person with a bank associate to discuss specific financial needs or issues. From each of the credit card pages you can make payments, ask for credit limit increases or question a charge or fee.