Online Banking | Saving You Time and Money
We often strive to have time to do the things we love. But in this fast paced world we live in, that “time” seems to slip away with every bill, errand, or inconvenience etc. One of the ways you could redeem some of that time is to switch to an online bank, instead of making several grueling trips to the bank or mail box.
A cornucopia of information is available via internet. Just a few clicks, and you’ve payed your bills and balanced your checking account. Not only that, but the rates and services online are better (Why? Because online banks don’t have to deal with as much office expense, rent, maintenance, fees etc.).
Finding the Best Online Bank
But like everything in life, there is the good and the bad. Not all online banks are as good as they seem. So when you’re searching for your new online bank, whether it be local or nationwide, here are a few tips to help you on your banking quest (these can be applied to your “brick and mortar” bank as well).
First is to make sure the bank has been in business for a while, has a strong banking history, and is insured by FDIC. It’s probably not a good idea to invest in a bank that has no reputation or insurance.
Second, see if they are listed on the stock exchange. Seeing your bank on the stock exchange is a good start to researching how financially successful they are currently. In the recent economy, many banks have suffered from the real estate market, be sure to investigate if how your bank has fared.
Third, is their customer service good? Some businesses and individuals live and die by a bank and you need to know if you can reach them in the critical moments. Newer banks have learned that chat is a great way to be able to answer quick questions. Before signing up for a bank, give them a call and see how long you stay on the automated system. If you email them a question, does the bank respond? How long does it take them? These are some factors of the customer service that need to be addressed.
Fourth, is their website usable? Or easy to navigate? You don’t want to be stuck dealing with a website that is just plain useless… that defeats the purpose of online banking. How is their web security? Some of the stronger web technologies that banks are using are image codes, where you choose an image and have to click on it to get into your account. Even, if the bank has a safe website and login, don’t compromise it by using common words or names for your login and password.
Fifth, what are the banking services they offer and will meet your needs? Some banks focus on one or two specific areas to be sure that they maintain a competitive edge. For example, one online bank might offer better savings accounts with higher savings rates than any other bank. Another online bank might offer great a rewards checking account but a measly money market account rate. Some banks will try to tell you that they offer the best rates in cds, savings, checking, and money market accounts. However, we have found that this is not the case. This is why it is important to find the bank with the type of online account you need. Many businesses and individuals will use one bank for their checking account, another bank for a CD account and yet another bank for a liquid savings account. In the past, having multiple accounts with multiple banks might of been a hassle, but with online banking today, you can easily set up automatic deposits and transfers, enabling you to get the top savings rates from the best online banks.
Sixth, What is their reputation and what are bank reviews saying about them? It is one thing to go to the source and get their spiel on what makes them an amazing bank, and it is another thing to read customers raving about the good and bad of the bank. Now, be wary that some of the comments you read on a bank review aren’t the truth. They are either spammed or just someone who is trying to get some attention. Our bank reviews are written from an unbiased standpoint and cover the history, services, and the overall review of the bank.
And lastly, of course, make sure your bank has competitive APY (Annual Percentage Yield) rates, and that they compound interest daily. Compounding interest daily means a world of difference in the amount of money that you can make in a savings, money market, and cd account. While there has been a trend towards compounding daily, never assume that your bank is doing this automatically.
Switch to a New Bank with Better Rates
Now that you know what to look for in an online bank, start surfin’ the web and keep reading our bank reviews and posts, to find the online bank that’s right for you. When you find the right, take the sometimes difficult step of trying a new bank. You will be rewarded for doing so, especially since online banks which focus on a specific account can offer sometimes more than five times the average rate. Be aware that once you switch, another bank may join the banking arena with a much more competitive rate. When this happens, don’t be afraid to switch to that new bank if it has better rates. Life is long and every percent counts!