Support Jobs with Internet Banks
If there are any departments in a bank that require a lot of support, it’s the Internet banking departments.
More customers are turning to electronic sources to accomplish their banking, and rely on these services to keep track of balances, pay bills, transfer funds, and other important transactions. And because so many people depend on Internet banking, there are many departments and staff members working to ensure that these services are there and running smoothly 24/7. In addition to designers, production staff, managers, and customer service personnel, there are other employees working behind the scenes whose function is to support the other teams through a myriad of duties.
These can include administrative assistants, data entry employees, assistants to project managers, and others. There is a great deal of data gathering, tracking, and reporting involved in online banking. Some support staff execute and manage this side of the business. At other banks, Internet support staff members are technical experts who write and execute online programs and scripts to solve problems or enhance existing products and services. While there are two types of support personnel for this department, technical and non-technical, even the non-technical positions will require a basic knowledge of the Internet and the bank’s Internet products and service.
Non-technical positions may be responsible for much of the data tracking, gathering, and reporting. In addition, support staff may be the frontline responders for internal customers, answering their questions or referring them to the correct technical department or employee. Technical support staff will be working to resolve technical concerns, upgrade hardware and software, and engineer new processes and solutions. Technical support staff members may also need to create, generate and analyze reports that enable IT to see how the various programs are working, and if adjustments need to be made.
Non-technical support staff members may provide much needed administrative services to managers and others in the department. They may be required to make travel arrangements and answer phones. They may also need to do word processing and will provide data entry input on spreadsheets.
The goal of non-technical support staff members is to assist the department’s employees, so they can focus on their primary tasks rather than be bogged down by the paperwork and details related to their day to day activities. Support staff may be required to serve as liaison between their departments and other departments and outside contractors and vendors, such as cleaners, movers, etc.
Whether technical or non-technical in nature, Internet banking support can be a fast-paced challenging environment, due to the real-time, constantly changing nature of the technology. There can be a lot of pressure placed on staff members to complete a heavy workload on a daily basis. The type of work that is performed can also change from one day to the next.
If you are a detail-oriented person who enjoys the challenges of a job that can be quite different from day to day, you have some technical experience or understanding, and enjoy learning about new technology, this may be a sound career choice for you.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of support positions in general (not specifically at banks) is expected to grow as fast as the average of all jobs over the next several years. However, that is for all administrative support staff members, rather than Internet banking positions. Due to the growth of Internet banking, an increase in the number of support jobs can also be expected to occur.
Non-technical support staff members will need to have a high school diploma or GED for entry level positions. More advanced skills and education may be required for administrative assistants and support staff members working for managers or in departments which require more advanced knowledge. Some employers may look for candidates that have a combination of previous experience in the banking industry along with an associate’s degree in business or a bachelor’s degree in business or related field. Certifications are not required, but can give candidates a competitive edge. Certifications can be obtained through the International Association of Administrative Professionals, National Association of Legal Secretaries (NALS), Inc., Legal Secretaries International, Inc, and International Virtual Assistants Association (IVAA).
Technical support staff members may be required to have a bachelor’s degree in an IT-related field or equivalent on the job experience, training, and appropriate technical certifications, for example the MCTS Web Applications Certification.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
One of the most important skills both technical and non-technical support personnel need to possess is excellent communication skills. Even though technical staff members are focused on computer applications, they work as part of a larger team of staff members and must be able to communicate well to the rest of the team, as well as their supervisors and managers. A lack of communication can have a negative impact on a particular project.
Non-technical support staff members may interact with a wide range of internal customers and business units in the bank. Since more departments have an Internet presence, non-technical support members may be fielding calls from any one of them, including high level managers, directors, and executives within the bank. Non-technical Internet banking support staff members need to be able to communicate well with all of the people he or she encounters.
Technical support staff members will need to have strong technical knowledge and skills. They will also need to be able to use those skills to develop their own solutions to current problems. Analytical and problem-solving skills are essential for these technical employees. As mentioned, even non-technical support team members will need to have basic knowledge of Internet products and services offered by their financial institution, and how they work.
Non-technical support personnel will also need to have very good written communication skills, a very good command of the English language, and have working knowledge of office computer programs, excellent keyboard skills, and very good organizational and time management skills. They will also need to be able to work independently with little supervision. Both technical and non-technical support personnel should be able to demonstrate good judgment and the ability to take initiative to handle issues, problems, or questions as they arise.
The salaries for Internet banking support team members can be very different, depending on the bank, the bank’s location, and whether the position is technical or non-technical. The average annual wage of administrative personnel (non-technical) is $29,050. Keep in mind, however, this was for all administrative personnel regardless of where they were working. The middle 50 percent earned between $23,160 and $36,020. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $18,440, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $43,240. Technical support team members can earn a higher salary, in the range of approximately $33,000 to $48,000 per year.
Potential Career Paths
Most administrative assistants or support personnel advance their careers by obtaining positions with more responsibilities and higher pay. In Internet banking departments, technical support staff members can earn promotions and become technical leads, supervisors, and managers. Or with additional training and certifications, they can become project managers, technical engineers, and programmers. Non-technical support staff members could become office supervisors or managers, supervising other support personnel, if the bank is large and offers those positions. Another career path for support staff members is to transfer to other departments where there is an increased chance for advancement.