One of the great things about technology is that it gives us a world of choices. From finding quick dinner recipes to comparison shopping, the internet is an inexhaustible source of information.
This is also true of banking.
Thanks to technology and the internet, you’re no longer limited to the banking institutions in your geographic area. If you want to change banks, you can.
Digital Money Means More Flexibility
Even though we’ve reached the point where we have the ultimate fiat currency — information stored on computers, chips, and magnetic strips to represent our wealth — we’ve also reached the point where we have more flexibility.
You don’t have to carry around bulky coins, or even pieces of paper. All you need is a single piece of plastic. You can send money to someone almost instantly using your cell phone. It’s possible to automate your finances so that you don’t have to think about when bills are due — just have the money automatically deducted from your checking account.
With all of this flexibility in the way you handle your individual transactions, it makes sense that you have more flexibility in terms of where you do your banking. Because of the digital nature of our money, as long as you can access an account online, you have the ability to bank wherever you want. And you can do it from your desktop or a mobile device.
Choosing the Right Bank for You
Since you have more choices, it’s easier than ever to find the right bank for you. Consider your needs and preferences, and then start comparing online banks, as well as the traditional brick and mortars. After just a little bit of research, you should find the right fit for you.
Some of the factors to consider include:
- Fees: With all of the choices available to you, there’s no reason to pay a monthly account maintenance fee. There are plenty of online banks (and even brick and mortar accounts) that don’t charge account fees. You can also find banks with relatively low overdraft and miscellaneous fees.
- Yield: If you’re trying to keep your money in a place that can boost your earnings, look for a bank with a competitive yield. From CDs to savings accounts to checking accounts, there are plenty of institutions that offer decent yields on your deposit accounts.
- Accessibility: Will you have access to your money? One of the advantages of a brick and mortar bank in your area is that it’s easy to get to your money. However, many online banks are part of ATM networks (and let you access others for free). And it’s almost always possible to transfer your money electronically from account to account, even if it might take a few days.
- Customer service: Make sure that you choose a bank known for customer service. If you plan to go online for your banking needs, check to find out what kind of service you’ll get. Access to online chat and 24/7 phone customer service is important when you can’t go into the branch.
Once you determine your needs, you can make a good choice about which bank would be right for you. And, if you need to, you can move your money.
Have you switched to an online bank? Why or why not?