As the world changes around us it can be imperative to not get stuck in a rut with our banking. Yes, it may be more convenient to stick with one bank. But remember that your money is their business. And if they aren’t offering you the best service then it’s time to change bank accounts. Banks must keep up with technology, customer demand and anything driving the market. You might be comfortable today chatting with the Teller or Bank Manager you’ve known for years; but if the bank goes under you won’t be a happy camper with no money. Your hard earned money needs to be secured in bank where it’s insured for any loss.
No matter where you live there will be multiple banks; sometimes all on one block. It’s a definite benefit to us that there is so much competition. Every bank is trying to solicit our business. All we have to do is do a little research and make a smart choice. If you’ve been feeling that nudge or slight hint that it might be time to switch bank accounts for better benefits then here are a few key points to take home.
1) Technology – If they don’t offer online banking then they shouldn’t even be considered. Worried about whether it’s secure or not? If their website has a https and/or lock symbol (depending on your browser) then it’s secure. If your bank doesn’t offer online banking then it’s time to change bank acounts. Some banks go above and beyond offering other perks. Can you deposit checks from home? Do you get credit the same day or have to wait a couple business days for it? Is their online banking user friendly? Do they offer an option to receive statements online only? Ask yourself, is your bank utilizing technology or are they still playing catch up?
2) Extra Convenience – Do they make everyday banking simple? Most of us bank with more than one bank. I personally use two because each has their unique benefits. Money Transfers between them are easy; I do it all online. The hours are important to look at. I use my second for the convenience of walk-ins. Not everything can be done online or over the phone, so it’s important that their hours are flexible. Business day late hours and weekend hours are a must. Another pet peeve of mine is parking. There should be enough spaces for customer demand.
3) No Fees– Another reason to switch bank accounts is the fees they charge or don’t charge. Do they offer free checking and saving accounts? I’ve heard some waive their fees if you setup automatic transfers between checking to savings. Some banks charge a fee for going below a ‘minimum balance’. Look into all the additional fees if you’re going to change bank accounts.
4) Friendliness and Professionalism – This applies to in person, email and over the phone. When I walk in I expect to be treated with respect and attended to as soon as possible. When I call I don’t want to talk with a machine or listen to music for more than 3 minutes. If I send an email I expect a reply within 24 hours. This is the minimum standard and any deviance should be addressed either by the bank or you should change bank accounts.
A few years ago I moved to a new bank because they were ahead of the curve on points 1 and 4. Due to my job and hectic life I needed to be able to bank on the fly and talk with a bank representative asap. When our bank accounts feel “safe” then we don’t worry, but as soon as the smallest thing goes wrong we want and need our banks attention immediately. I was having trouble setting up automatic transfers (I know…easy right) with my old bank and when I called they couldn’t resolve it that day. A friend told me about his bank and how fast they respond and resolve issues. After multiple frustrations it was time to change bank accounts. As simple as that and my business belonged to another bank. You thinking it’s time to change bank accounts? Ask yourself, “Is your current everyday banking simple or a hassle”?