Online banking offers a wealth of advantages to consumers seeking convenient and trustworthy banking services. Indeed, online banking has become one of the most popular ways to save money, pay creditors, and manage your investments.
But if you’re new to the world of an exclusively online bank and considering the switch from a traditional brick-and-mortar branch, you’ll want to explore what online banking has to offer. Here’s a review of the top things you should look for in an online bank:
Enjoying a Variety of Products and Services
Online banks should offer you more products than just a checking and savings account. Research the online bank’s product portfolio before making your decision. You should have additional banking products to choose from, such as mortgages, auto loans, home improvement loans, or investments.
Consider these key features when you’re shopping for an online bank:
- Ease of opening the account: It should only take a few minutes to fill out the online application.
- Customer service availability: Although all online banks are not alike, you should have easy phone access and quality customer care. Extended service hours with live chat or call-in help should also be available.
- Zero fees: Banking fees are everywhere in traditional banks, but online banks have won a competitive advantage by eliminating them. However, be aware some online banks may eliminate fees and still impose monthly service charges and minimum account balance requirements. On the flip side, some banks may reimburse ATM fees for using machines outside their network.
- Ease of making deposits: It should only take minutes to snap a picture of a check’s front and back with your smartphone and then deposit it in your online account. You’ll also want nearby ATMs for making cash deposits.
- Lower interest on loans and credit-related products: You may find online banks are more competitive than traditional banks, but you’ll want to shop rates before settling on a lender.
- Security/peace of mind: Make sure you research the bank’s efforts to thwart security breaches and provide you with a safe online banking experience.
Consider Online Banking Apps
Although not all banks offer online banking apps, you might not want to overlook this option for managing your finances. You’ll enjoy various banking features when you take advantage of online financial tools, such as banking apps. Popular apps such as the Monorail app can help you easily track your expenditures and savings. Not only is the app a handy tool for keeping up with your money flow, but it also helps you save money by creating a personalized wish list. Now that’s a tool everyone can use!
Safety Features in Online Banks
Keeping your financial information safe ranks No. 1 in your online bank’s customer service. And while all online banks have banking security measures in place, you’ll want to know exactly what features they offer before setting up your account. Here’s a breakdown of what to look for in an online bank:
- Anti-virus and anti-malware protection
- Secure socket layer (SSL) encryption
- Multi-factor authentication measures
- Credential confidentiality
- Automatic logout
- Biometric authentication
- Limited liability
Making the Move to Online Banking
Whether switching to online banking from a brick-and-mortar branch or just shopping for a new online banker, you’ll enjoy many amenities such as convenience, competitive rates, and fewer fees. Compare multiple banks first, then gather the information needed to complete your online application. Expect to deposit a minimum of $50 upon initial set-up — some banks may require more — and take advantage of extra resources, such as online banking apps. Then, start enjoying the extra perks of online banking today!
Featured Image by Tumisu, from Pixabay