The history of banking dates back to the ancient times; in fact, the earliest banks were the ancient religious temples. People then stored their golds and other precious belongings in the temples because these places were strongly built, were always guarded, and most of all, were sacred. In ancient Greece, financial transactions were also done in temples and credit notes were already being used to reduce risks in carrying and carting money from one place to another. Since those times, banking evolved in many aspects. Banking regulations were formulated, additional services such as lending became part of banking and things such as adding interest to loans became common bank practices. Now with the emergence of the latest technologies and the Internet, banking has taken a new face. People can now access bank account online and transact business with the bank with greater convenience and security through the Internet. Online Banking Performing bank transactions through the Internet is generally referred to as online banking or Internet banking. This form of banking allows consumers to directly access their bank account online (usually savings account) and obtain any information about their account. This direct-to-consumer system is faster and more convenient for consumers compared to traditional banking systems. Especially if you are to withdraw money after banking hours, this banking system may be your easiest and sole solution. You just have to connect to the Internet trough your personal computer and access your bank account in an instant. Online-only banks Many popular banks offer online banking as one of their services; however there are also some banks that transact businesses solely online, so you have no other choice but to access your bank account online and avail of other bank services through the Internet. The latter are referred to as online-only banks. These banks virtually exist yet they provide services traditional banks offer, only that they are done through the Internet. Benefits Today as more and more time are consumed by people in using the Internet in several activities, including getting access to their bank account online, online-only banks proved to be more convenient and beneficial. Aside from the fast transactions, one may also benefit from the bank's high interest rates and budget-friendly transaction fees considering that online-only banks operate only online. Cost of processing bank transactions are relatively lower so the bank can afford to give consumers high interest rates on savings account. Online Banking Industry Although a lot are using the Internet, online-only banking industry began to grow only sometime in 2000 when a popular online bank devised much simpler and more convenient banking transactions online and paid consumers high interest rates. Earlier banks that tried this form of banking did not succeed because of their expensive transaction fees and lower interest rates. Moreover, procedures in getting access to bank accounts online were more complicated and consumers were afraid of Internet fraud. The industry eventually grew bigger and more stable beginning 2003 as the use of the Internet got more commonplace, prevalent and secure. Dave Poon is an accomplished writer who specializes in the latest in money and finance.