Internet banking has come a long way in the last 20 years.
It started as a simple concept — let people access and interact with their bank statement online, or over the Internet. Originally, online banking referred to “distance banking” or “remote banking” provided via services such as France’s (very cool) Minitel system in the 1980s. Using a very simple menu driven or command line system, the Minitel allowed people to perform rudimentary tasks over a closed network.
The systems evolved as security, networks, and computing power increased.
Now, online banking is performed from handheld devices (including apps such as those offered by USAA on the iPhone), and allows a huge range of functions.
One of the hot new areas of online banking is the ability to scan, upload and deposit checks from a handheld device (including the iPhone!). Other hot areas include Virtual Checkbooks for prepaid cards (which can be accessed over the Internet), loading funds onto debit cards using the Internet, Branchless Banking, etc.
Advances in computing are making brick and mortar banks less and less relevant. What’s next? (hopefully flying cars, I’ve been waiting for those!).