How safe is online business banking?

June 22, 2024
3
minutes to read
by
Alice Surdy
Table of Contents

The convenience of online banking is undeniable, but the nagging question remains: "Is it truly safe?" If you've ever pondered this while staring at your screen, you're not alone. Many Aussie business owners have the same concerns.

Today, we're tackling this head-on. We'll break down the current security landscape of online business banking in Australia and compare it to the old-school ways of banking. We'll delve into the tech wizardry banks use to keep our money locked down and give you some actionable tips to boost your online security. And for those keen on innovation, we'll introduce you to Thriday, a new player in the online banking scene that's all about securing your hard-earned cash.

Is online banking safe? debunking the myths

The safety of online banking isn't a simple yes-or-no answer. It hinges on the platform you choose and the security measures they employ. The good news is that reputable online banks like Thriday prioritise security, investing heavily in safeguards to protect your funds.

Let's address some common misconceptions:

Myth #1: Online banking is inherently riskier than traditional banking.

Fact: Both online and traditional banking come with inherent risks but differ in nature. Traditional banking faces threats like physical theft and check fraud, while online banking is vulnerable to phishing scams and malware. However, online banks like Thriday invest heavily in robust security measures like encryption, firewalls, and fraud monitoring. These digital safeguards often surpass the security measures of traditional banks, making your online banking experience potentially safer.

Myth #2: Hackers can easily access my online bank account.

Fact: Gaining unauthorised access to your online bank account is far from easy, especially with reputable platforms like Thriday. We employ multiple layers of security to protect your data. This includes encryption, which scrambles your information into unreadable code, firewalls that act as barriers against unauthorised access, and continuous fraud monitoring that detects and alerts you to suspicious activity.

Additionally, features like multi-factor authentication (MFA) add an extra layer of security, requiring you to provide multiple pieces of information to verify your identity. This makes it significantly more difficult for hackers to breach your account.

Hot tip: Password length is more important than password complexity i.e. numbers, special characters, letters etc.. The longer your password the harder it is to hack. A minimum of 12 characters is a good starting point.

Myth #3: I'm not tech-savvy enough for online banking.

Fact: Online banking platforms are designed with user-friendliness in mind. Thriday, for example, offers an intuitive interface that is easy to navigate, even if you're not a tech expert. We also provide comprehensive customer support through phone, email, and chat, and we are ready to assist you with any questions or concerns. You don't need to be a tech whiz to manage your finances securely online.

Online banking is generally safe when proper precautions are taken. Australian banks employ robust security measures to protect customer data and transactions. These measures include:

  • Encryption: Online banking platforms use encryption to scramble sensitive data, making it unreadable to unauthorised parties.
  • Firewalls: Firewalls act as barriers between your computer and the internet, preventing unauthorised access to your banking information.
  • Fraud monitoring: Banks continuously monitor for suspicious activity and will alert you if they detect anything unusual.

Comparing online banking security vs. brick-and-mortar bank security

Traditional banks have long relied on physical security measures and the inconvenience factor as a form of protection. Lost your card? Head to the branch. Need to update your details? Fill out the paperwork. Online banking flips this script, empowering you with control and flexibility, without compromising on safety.

Advantages of online banking

While traditional banks offer the familiarity of brick-and-mortar branches and in-person interactions, they often fall short when it comes to the innovative security features and convenience of online banking. Let's take a closer look at the key differences:

Multiple accounts

Online banking: Take Thriday for example: up to 10 free accounts at your disposal, each serving a specific purpose. One for income, one for expenses, another for taxes – you get the idea. All with the ability to automatically allocate money between internal and external accounts. And all accessible form one aign-up process and from one application.

Traditional banks: Typically offer one account per sign-up, which mind you is in a physical branch, a limited number of accounts, often with fees for each. This lack of flexibility can leave your finances vulnerable, like storing all your valuables in a single safe.

With Thriday you get the best of both worlds as you can use over 3,000 Australia Post offices to depost and withdraw cash as you might form the branch of a traditional bank.

Complete card control

Online banking: Through intuitive mobile apps, online banks give you complete control over your cards. You can instantly freeze or unfreeze your card, set spending limits, restrict transactions to specific merchants or locations, and even change your PIN – all from your phone.

Traditional banks: Often require you to call customer service or visit a branch to report a lost or stolen card, leading to potential delays and unauthorised transactions. They typically lack the ability to set real-time spending limits or transaction restrictions through digital channels. If your card goes missing, you're in for a frustrating phone call or a trip to the bank. By the time you get it sorted, the damage might already be done.

Multi-factor authentication (MFA)

Online banking: Many online banks enable MFA by default, requiring a second form of verification, such as a code sent to your phone, in addition to your password. This adds an extra layer of security, making it significantly more difficult for unauthorised individuals to gain access.

Traditional Banks: MFA adoption is hit-or-miss. Some banks don't offer it at all, while others treat it like an optional extra. This leaves your account vulnerable to anyone who manages to snag your password.

Role-based access

Online banking: Many online banks allow you to create multiple users with customisable permissions, enabling secure collaboration with your team. Each team member gets access only to the specific accounts and features they need, eliminating the risk of shared login credentials.

Traditional banks: Collaboration often means compromising on security. Shared logins or physical keys to the vault are the norm, which is far from ideal in today's digital age.

24/7 fraud monitoring

Online banking: Ever had a nagging feeling that something wasn't right with your account? Online banks have your back with round-the-clock fraud monitoring. Sophisticated algorithms constantly scan for suspicious activity, alerting you to potential threats before they become a problem.

Traditional banks: Typically have limited fraud monitoring capabilities, often confined to business hours. This leaves your account vulnerable outside of those hours.

Biometric authentication

Online banking: Some online banks offer biometric authentication (fingerprint or Face ID) through their mobile apps, adding an extra layer of security that is virtually impossible to replicate.

Traditional banks: Biometric authentication is still a rarity for traditional banks, who often rely on less secure methods like passwords and PINs.

Thriday offers up to 10 free business bank accounts at your disposal along with other amazing features.

In addition to these security advantages, Thriday also offers a seamless and intuitive user experience, making it easy for you to manage your business finances on the go. And with features like automated expense tracking and AI-powered insights, Thriday goes beyond just security, providing you with the tools you need to make smarter financial decisions and grow your business.

The role of financial claims scheme and liability protection

In the unlikely event of a bank failure, the Australian Government's Financial Claims Scheme steps in to protect your deposits. This means that even if your bank were to collapse, you would be entitled to compensation of up to $250,000 per account holder, per institution. This safety net provides an added layer of security and peace of mind, especially for businesses with larger balances.

Additionally, most Australian banks also offer liability protection on their business cards. This means that you won't be held responsible for unauthorised transactions made with your card, as long as you report them promptly. This protection is particularly important for businesses that frequently make online purchases or conduct transactions through their mobile banking app.

Thriday partners with Regional Australia Bank to provide you integrated banking serveices in addition to autoamted accounting and tax. They are a fully registered deposit taking institute backed by this scheme.

Your security checklist

While Thriday takes extensive measures to protect your funds, it's crucial to do your part as well. Here are some essential tips:

  • Strong passwords: Use unique, long, complex passwords for your Thriday account and other online platforms. A minimum of 12 characters with a combination of letters, numbers, special characters, upper and lower case letters is the gold standard.
  • Beware of phishing: Never click on suspicious links or share your login credentials with anyone.
  • Update your devices: Keep your computer, phone, and other devices updated with the latest security patches. And keep your apps up to date.
  • Monitor your accounts: Regularly review your transactions for any unauthorised activity.
Want to learn more about staying safe from scams? This helpful article dives deeper into the tricks scammers use and how to avoid them: How to Protect Your Small Business Against Scams.

The future of secure banking starts today

The evolution of online banking security is a constant race against evolving threats. Australian banks, especially innovative players like Thriday, are leading the charge with cutting-edge security measures that often outpace traditional banking safeguards.

Remember, the power is in your hands. By choosing a platform committed to security, practicing safe online habits, and staying informed, you can confidently embrace the convenience and efficiency of online banking for your business.

Curious to see how Thriday can help your business? Sign up and get a free trial today.

Frequently asked questions

Is my money safe with Thriday? Yes, Thriday is committed to the security of your funds. We utilise advanced security measures, including encryption, firewalls, fraud monitoring, and multi-factor authentication. Your deposits are also protected under the Australian Government's Financial Claims Scheme (FCS).

What happens if my card is lost or stolen? You can instantly freeze your Thriday card through the app or website, preventing any unauthorised transactions. We also offer zero liability protection for unauthorized transactions reported promptly.

Can I give my employees access to my Thriday account? Not yet but this feature is on our roadmap.

How does Thriday protect my data? We use bank-grade encryption to protect your data both in transit and at rest. We also regularly conduct security assessments and vulnerability scans to identify and address any potential risks.

What should I do if I suspect fraudulent activity on my account? Contact Thriday customer support immediately at wecare@thriday.com.au or on 1800 THRIDAY

DISCLAIMER: Team Thrive Pty Ltd ABN 15 637 676 496 (Thriday) is an authorised representative (No.1297601) of Regional Australia Bank ABN 21 087 650 360 AFSL 241167 (Regional Australia Bank). Regional Australia Bank is the issuer of the transaction account and debit card available through Thriday. Any information provided by Thriday is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether Thriday is appropriate for you. Team Thrive No 2 Pty Ltd ABN 26 677 263 606 (Thriday Accounting) is a Registered Tax Agent (No.26262416).

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