Choosing your online bank: 6 criteria to take into account

More and more traditional banks are going online. This can mean better rates and lower fees, but not all banks offering online products are on point; Here’s what to look for when choosing your online bank .

The personal encounters that previous generations took for granted have disappeared altogether or are on the way to disappearing. Where did the milkman go? The telephone operator? The librarian? And, more and more often, the bank counter…

Online banking has become a reality in large part because it is so convenient. Ridiculous fees are also easy to avoid. It’s not uncommon for large traditional banks to charge $20 or more per month, even if you’re a loyal customer, even if they’re already making money from holding onto your money.

If that’s pissing you off, it might be time to find an online bank. But how to choose your online bank?

If you’re not using an online bank yet, you probably will soon. So here are 6 things to consider when choosing your online bank ?

Choose your online bank by comparing fees

One of the main reasons for leaving the big banking world is the presence of fees of all kinds: service fees, monthly fees, ATM fees, overdraft fees, etc.

It’s nearly impossible to escape, so it makes sense that online banks want to compete by keeping fees as close to zero as possible. But some may charge for certain services, and if you’re absolutely averse to fees, check to see if the bank has minimum deposit requirements or standard fees.

Quality customer support

Just because a bank offers 24/7 customer support – and real-life representatives on the phone – doesn’t mean the service is flawless. It’s always a good idea to scour a bank’s Facebook page or customer review websites for the bank’s track record. That said, access can also affect service, as you never know when you’ll need to speak to someone.

How to choose your online bank

Enhanced security

There has yet to be an online banking hack that has made headlines. But it’s happened with bitcoin sites — and in a time when eBay and Amazon have both suffered data breaches, it’s worth asking how your bank is staying ahead of the hacker pack. .

Losing money is virtually impossible; online banks are supported by organizations such as the FGDR (Deposit Guarantee and Resolution Fund). But exposing and sharing your information is still possible. It should be noted that cyberattacks against small businesses have almost doubled in recent years, from 18% to 31%, according to Damian Caracciolo, vice president of CBIZ, a company that provides consulting services for employee benefits and insurance.

Flexibility

You would think that all online banks have a smartphone application, but this is not the case. As we have seen, 24-hour customer service and live operators are not a given, and the ATM network can be small or large.

Based on the amenities that matter most to you, take your pick to find the online bank that best meets your list of non-negotiable criteria.

Product diversity

The choice of an online bank largely depends on your primary needs. Do not assume that an online bank offers checks, and do not be convinced when a bank boasts of having the best returns in terms of financial investments – because in all banks, these returns are of any way tiny and never a smart alternative to investments. You are looking for a place to store and move your money easily, not to be fooled by making a “hit” with an annual return of 1.15%.

Ease of account setup

High technology is not synonymous with speed of implementation. With some banks, opening accounts can be easier said than done.

“Scour the web for online banking reviews, and chances are you’ll find a number of customers who have written about how unhappy they have been with their experience. More often, however, the dissatisfaction stems from … the difficulties of opening an account in the first place. »

So if you see an avalanche of ridiculous forms and requirements assailing you, turn around and run to the nearest reasonable online bank. In the best online banks, opening an account is as simple as providing your personal details and the verification and routing numbers of an existing bank account.

There ! You now know what criteria to consider before choosing your online bank . Take the time to reflect before subscribing and do not hesitate to compare the different offers on the market. In addition, do your own research on the internet regarding your future online bank and consult as many customer reviews as possible.

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