Whether you work with a bank that has a brick and mortar presence or choose one that’s purely in the cloud, you can’t get away from online banking these days. Banking online offers several advantages over heading to your local financial institution in person. For one thing, you’ll never have to wait in line again or give up a Saturday afternoon at the bank. Get the most from your experience with these online banking tips.
One of the most important online banking tips you’ll get is to choose your bank carefully. While it’s common for an online bank to offer better interest rates than banks with physical locations, you don’t want to end up paying a high monthly fee just to get a rate that’s .5% better than at another bank. Look at the account minimums required by the bank and what fees it charges if your account dips below that amount. If it will be a challenge for you to maintain the minimum, signing up with that bank doesn’t make sense. Also, check to make sure your deposits into the bank are FDIC insured, meaning you won’t lose your money if the bank runs into problems or goes under.
Look at the features offered by the bank, too. For example, if you get an ATM card, find out what fees you’ll need to pay, if there is a large network of fee-free ATMs or if the bank reimburses your fees. Find out how the bank deals with customer service. If it has brick and mortar locations and you use the online banking features, can you go in and speak to someone in person? Are customer service representatives available over the phone or online?
Set Up Payments and Deposits
A highlight of online banking for many people is being able to automate almost everything. Get the most from your banking experience by scheduling your bill payments each month, by setting up direct deposit with your employer, and by setting up automatic transfers. For example, if you want to save a certain amount of money, schedule a transfer from checking to savings to automatically occur after you get paid each period.
Another way to maximize your online banking experience is to set up alerts, which will send you an email or text message should something happen to your account. You can set an alert to notify you if your balance falls below a certain amount, if a large amount is withdrawn from your account, or if a bill is coming due soon.
Most online banking services also have a mobile app these days, so you can check in on your accounts or quickly transfer money when you are out and about. Some mobile apps allow you to deposit checks, too, so you don’t have to visit an ATM or mail your check in. To use the deposit check feature, you take a photo of the front and back and put in the amount of the check. It can take a few days for the bank to process the check, after which point you can void it and discard it.
Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit service provider of comprehensive personal financial education and solutions for all life stages and for all of life’s milestones. Our goal is enhanced economic security for everyone we serve.
CESI is NOT A LOAN COMPANY