Choose The Best Online Bank For You

Daniel Penzing
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Online banking is an easy way to manage your finances from your computer or smartphone.

With the prevalence of laptops, tablets and smartphones, it is convenient to be able to access your bank accounts from anywhere, and this includes the ability to transfer money and receive payments as well. Online banking is a great way to be able to manage your finances on the move and without having to worry about an emergency transaction only being made at the bank during their hours of operation.

However, you do need to be aware of the differences between banking online and banking in person at your bank. Your safety while banking online is of utmost importance, but you can rest assured that it is safer than ever. It is much easier to protect yourself online than it is in person. This article will discuss more widely how to choose the best online bank for you.

Who Will Be Using Your Account?

The first thing you need to consider when looking at which bank you want to use is how many people will be involved in it. An online account needs to be set up with a username and password, and this could be used by someone else. This means the safety of the account would be lost. You do want to be able to trust the person who will be using your online account.

Benefits of Opening an Online Bank Account

Online banking is becoming more and more popular as the world we live in advances. Many people prefer using online banking for a number of reasons. It’s very convenient, easy and safe. Because it gives you the freedom to work when you want to without having to drive to a branch, you can save on gas, time and money. You no longer have to worry about your bank running out of branches, or having to wait in line to talk to a teller. Online bank accounts let you bank without going to a physical location.

You can pay bills online, deposit checks, transfer money, check your balance and account information. You can even pay credit card bills and mortgages. And all this is available 24 hours a day.

There are many types of online accounts; you can choose from savings and checking accounts to certificates of deposits (CDs), all of which offer excellent perks.

Online banks also offer the ability to set up individual accounts for your children. This gives them an opportunity to learn how to handle money. Many times this is the first savings account they have. If this is the case, make sure you let them see the transaction history and statement so that they can see what monitoring their own spending does.

Step 1: Choose the Best Online Bank For You

When you want to choose the best online bank for you, you should think about the following:

  • Does the bank have services that I will actually use?
  • Does the bank charge fees for those services? Is this something that I’m willing to pay more for?
  • Will I be able to easily access my money?
  • How safe is this institution? If I want to, can I get my money back quickly?
  • Will I feel like I’m a part of this institution?
  • Can I incorporate my spending, savings, and other financial products into one convenient place?
  • Online Banking Features

Many online banks offer basic services. But some, such as Capital One 360, offer services such as automatic budgeting and a business savings account.

While your savings account won’t earn exceptionally high interest, neither of these features are included at many banks, so it’s worth looking into those options.

These features help you stay on track with your financial goals. If you’re interested in available features, review your bank’s online account details.

Safety and Security

How safe are my financial accounts? Your online bank should be able to answer this question easily.

Step 2: Get Your Info Together

Just because you’re banking online, it doesn’t mean that you can skip the first step and go straight to Step 2. However, you’ll still only need basic info like your name, address, birthday, social security number, and driver’s license number.

The two most important things here are your name and address. Lenders want these to be accurate so that credit checks are accurate. It’s not that big of a deal if you’re already a client with the bank, but if you’re coming in as a new client, make sure you have the most current information available.

Step 3: Fill Out an Application

Because complex questions, such as “Have you declared bankruptcy?” or “Do you own any property?” can be answered with either yes or no and may be open to interpretation. The answer you provide cannot be altered after you’ve sent in your application.

So to make it simple, you can use the tool below to generate a fake answer that you can fill out. Some banks will ask basics questions, such as your name, address, and date of birth, so you’ll need to enter that information ahead of time.

Banks will also ask you to provide some type of government issued identification to prove your identity. So if you’re planning on fudging some of the answers, make sure you have alternate identification handy and accessible.

A common scenario is to apply for a credit card or a home loan and provide a copy of a driver’s license (or passport, if you drive) as a form of identification, when in reality, you live at the house with your dog, the one in your photo is your neighbor’s dog, and you lost your actual driver’s license in the fish tank.

Step 4: Make Your First Deposit

Once you have an account, you need to invest your money. You can either do this via a transfer from another financial institution or your own account, or you can use the ATM.

Depositing your own funds is a good way to get comfortable with your bank and their bank transfer process. If you’re nervous about using the online transfer process, it’s a good idea to set up at least one account at your bank for your own funds.

A Money Market account works well, as it allows check writing privileges and is slightly higher in terms of APY.

Any local bank will allow you to use ATMs. You’re likely to find a Money Market account at the same financial institution where you’re opening your online bank account, so it won’t be difficult to start saving. You may want to consider adding in a transfer from your other financial institution account or your personal account to your new one. This will help you get a feel for the online transfer process, while also helping you start to grow your new bank.

Look for more low interest accounts that give you a higher interest rate. After you’ve earned your interest, you can then transfer funds into your other investments.

Step 5: Go Out With the Old and in With the New

When shopping around for a new bank be sure to compare some current accounts. Be sure to read the terms and conditions so you do not get a nasty surprise when it comes to transaction charges.

If you have been with your current provider a good while, and have a decent amount of money with them then don’t be scared to ask for some money off as long as you are not being unreasonable.

A easy first step is to simply re-negotiate your bank account with your current bank, it may even take a minute of your time on a call to your bank but could save you a few pounds per month. This is a process that banks will struggle to turn down as long as your relationship is good.

Once you have a new bank account with a better interest rate and lower fees, always try and move your current account balance over to it. This process may take a few weeks and during this time try and manage you bills online for the next few weeks. Make sure if you have an overdraft that it is paid off first because while you are moving your current account to the new bank any fees and charges will still be applied to the account you are moving from so you may still incur some charges before moving over.