Banking: Brick-and-Mortar vs. eBankOctober 28, 2015
It’s a digital world, y’all. Most companies are making the transition to complete online transactions; from bill payments and customer service to actual currency (bitcoins, anyone?), we could potentially handle all of our day-to-day responsibilities online without ever having to put pants on. While that may seem amazing, is it the best alternative for banking? Since our move to California, we don’t have a brick-and-mortar bank, nor do we do any online banking with a branch. All of our banking and financial tracking is handled online through Ally Bank, Capital One 360, and Personal Capital. What is the better option, though? Online or brick-and-mortar banking or a combination of both?
Perhaps, a better question is what’s best for you? Only you can answer that, so here’s some basic outline of features that’ll help you decide which you want to “bank” on (ha).
Convenience — 24/7 access, need I say more?
Faster turnaround — With just a few clicks, you can pay bills, deposit checks, transfer money, or even have your bank write checks for you.
Easy monitoring — You can check all of your activity from an app on your phone or just by logging in on your desktop, laptop, or tablet. Financial status at your fingertips.
Fewer fees — Most online banks have little-to-no overhead since they don’t have several branches to maintain, so there is less need to nickel-and-dime you with fees. More to save!
Interaction with humans — Sometimes, it’s just easier to speak to someone face-to-face. It’s easier to communicate an issue or talk through a big concern with an actual human rather than via a digital forum.
Services provided — Traditional banks do more than hold your money (and charge you for it). Loans, mortgages, and credit cards are just a few in a suite of options a brick-and-mortar branch offers. Plus, building a legacy at a bank could make it easier for you if you need a loan. Not to mention, if you need to deposit or cash a paper check, you can do that with your bank (but only if you’re an account holder).
Extra perks — Need something notarized, currency exchanged, or just want some crisp dollar bills for holidays (or you know, whatever), banks can do that for you, too (but again, these are perks for account holders only).
It would be slightly more convenient for us to also have a brick-and-mortar, in some respects (like when we need $50 in quarters to do laundry); however, moving from city to city, we’ve found it’s not worth the opening/closing of accounts. For you though, it’s important to remember, as Investopedia writer, Kate Nixon advises:
When choosing a bank, think about the resources and services you need today and those you will want in the next few years. You might even consider opening an account at each type of bank – one for the majority of your day-to-day banking needs and another to grant you access to other banking resources as you need them. It takes some time and research (one good website is findabetterbank.com), but with today’s technology and banking resources, you should be able to find a bank that works for your needs.
How do you bank? We’d love to hear your preferences in the comments below!