Online Banks 2021: Handle All of Your Banking Online

Daniel Penzing
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Interested in opening an online bank account? Here are the best banks for checking and savings.

If you’ve ever wanted to bank entirely online, there are several good options out there – it’s just a matter of finding the right one for you. Benefits of an online bank account can include cheaper fees, no branches to maintain, and greater ease of access to your money. Let’s take a look at some of the best online banks out there to help you decide which one might be best for you. Online banks do tend to have slightly lower interest rates, but the difference is usually fairly minimal.

The Best Online Banks 2021 1. Bank5 Connect

The Best Online Banks 2021 2. Ally

The Best Online Banks 2021 3. Capital One 360

The Best Online Banks 2021 4. Commerce Bank

The Best Online Banks 2021 5. HSBC Direct

The Best Online Banks 2021 6. Synchrony Bank

The Best Online Banks 2021 7. UFB Direct

In this guide, you'll read all about:

But do you know what would make online banking even better? If it handled all of your financial needs, from investment advice to student loans.

In this guide, you'll read about how banks are starting to get into the alternative lending game, and you'll be introduced to some of the most popular online banks that are available to everyone in 2021.

Even if you aren't comfortable with the idea of a "robo-advisor" (where a computer advises your investments for you) this could be a service worth looking into if you already have an online savings account. After all, this is essentially what a robo-advisor is – it's just that the investment advice is free, since the bank is trying to encourage you to keep your money with them.

What Is an Online Bank?

An Online Bank is simply a bank that doesn’t have any branches that you can visit in person or physical bank closes. They do all of their business online, making it easy to process payments, transfer funds, and store your money.

There are lots of benefits to using an online bank. For example, you can do almost everything that you can do with a traditional bank. However, you don’t have to worry about going out of your way to get to a branch if you forget to make a deposit.

Instead, you can just log in through your computer and make the deposit.

Truthfully, starting with a traditional bank is the best idea. It offers you the ability to deal with a professional, see them in person, and see what is happening with your own money, which is part of the foundation of setting financial goals.

Many say that the reason why Online Banking is becoming such a big part of our financial landscape is due to the convenience of it. In the past, even if you were a good customer, or if the bank was just lacking enough staff, you might have been turned down for a loan. But now, with Online Banking, you can apply, deposit money, and have access to multiple banks all with the click of a button.

It is now easier than ever to find the best way to manage your finances, and Online Banking makes it possible.

Can You Really Handle All of Your Banking Online?

A new study conducted by the Center for Financial Services Innovation reveal that 54 percent of U.S. banking customers want all of their banking done via an online platform. It’s no wonder that banks are conceding to this demand. In fact, as of July 2017, just five of the top ten largest U.S. banks are still delivering services through traditional branches.

While online banking services have been around for a long time, what we are experiencing now hasn’t been seen before. Six years ago, the number of online banking services increased by just 4 percent year over year, from 478 to 491 services. Then in 2014, the number of services started to trend up at a more noticeable rate and now, just three years later, the number of online banking services is projected to more than double by the end of 2021.

There are plenty of online banking services and the number is growing. Here are a few of the most popular:

  • Farm Credit Services of America’s Farm Business Online
  • The Aspiration Summit Account
  • Markets Edge
  • ING Direct Cash Management Account
  • EDIfY payments account
  • Bluebird
  • Chime
  • ABNB Allbanc Savings Account
  • Peoples Bank Account
  • Simple
  • Capital One 360
  • TD Bank
  • BB&T Digital Banking
  • And a plethora of others

What to Look for in an Online Bank

Banking online has grown in popularity over the last few years. What once saw mainly as a convenience now sees great potential to stay away from those banks for good; by doing all of their banking online. This point in time is a wonderful time to get excited about banking and online banking. You can accomplish everything you would in a bank, like depositing checks online, manage your investments online, transfer funds between accounts, etc. However the bank may also let you do some really cool initiatives, like paying your credit card, savings, and checking online, all from your bank account. If you are a business owner there are many more unique abilities to host your business’s financial activities under your domain. Your bank will most likely govern what you can and cannot do with them, and you will want to make sure they are giving you the tools that you need. Online Banking 2021 can be just as simple or as complex as you want it to be. With all of the online banks competing for your business with more services and more technology that are being refined every single year.

The Best Online Banks

There was a time when if you had to do your banking it was done in person at a bank’s branch. Checking your ledger, settling accounts, and conducting other financial tasks were typically handled in person.

Today, however, banking has changed thanks to the Internet. In fact, mortgages, peer-to-peer loans, and even credit cards are increasingly being done online. In addition, most personal banking has moved online so it’s becoming less and less common to have to see a branch manager.

With the myriad of online banks out there, it can be difficult to determine which offer the best online banking experiences. We’ve taken the opportunity to review some of the best online banks on the market today, but that doesn’t mean you can’t read about it yourself.

Betterment Checking

The asset allocation will be determined by their robo advisor algorithm, considering the amount to be invested and the investor’s attitude toward risk.

The investor chooses the portfolio’s asset allocation from a shortlist of options, each representing a different attitude toward risk, which is the trade-off between risk and potential return. If the investor chose a 50/50 asset allocation between US stocks and bonds, for example, the following options are available:

Conservative, Balanced, Moderately Aggressive, and Aggressive

The investor could then choose the Nth percentile to describe the attitude they would want their robo advisor to have toward risk, for example, the conservative investor would choose to describe the system as being 85% conservative, and 15% aggressive, while the aggressive investor would choose to describe the system as being 15% conservative and 85% aggressive.

The choice of the fraction each of the three buckets would receive asset allocations would be determined by the evolutionary investment robo advisor algorithm; there are many different variations of this algorithm.

The robo advisor algorithm would evaluate the investor’s three buckets of investment choices, to determine the asset allocation given to each of the three buckets.

The core asset allocation, between stocks and bonds, would receive 55% asset allocations, while the two sub-asset allocations would receive 35% each.

Ally Bank

With online and mobile tools, you can deposit checks from your smartphone, deposit checks to multiple Ally Bank accounts, cancel checks, review statements, monitor and transfer your money between accounts and more.

View Money Market Performance Breakdown

Access All the Tools You Need to Manage Your Money Any Time, Any Place from Ally Bank.

Capital One 360

Every day, you will receive a text message with your account balance as well as a rundown of your purchases. This may irritate some people, but for folks on the go, it provides an easy way to keep track of their accounts. And since it’s a text message, there’s no need for customers to feel like they need to subscribe to something. It’s an extra source of information that’s easy to digest.

Chime

Was launched in 2009 through an online application. It offers a variety of financial services. It also permits customers to go across borders. It is possible to send money from one country to another for free. It is a free payment network. It is possible to turn your account into a checking account. You are able to send money to any US bank. You don’t even have to have relations with the recipient prior to sending.

Discover Bank

Discover Bank was born in 1985 as the first online bank. This speaks volumes about how innovative their strategies for online banking are, but it also says something about the company in general.

They consider online banking to be a way of life and have made finding ways to make online banking more efficient a top priority. Their goal wasn’t just to bring online banking to the public, it was to make online banking better.

Discover Bank's primary focus is online customer information, but because their primary goal is to improve online banking, they have expanded to include up front banking, savings, and lending services.

They began as a venture between GM Finance Company, which was based in Michigan, and the Discover credit card company. Discover had purchased the credit card company in 1986 and knew that they wanted to provide the best in financial services. One of those services was online banking.

Discover Bank has seen how much interest their customers have in online banking and has grown accordingly. In 2007 they were acquired by North Carolina-based Bank of America Corporation. While this fact indicates that the bank is still small in comparison to other banks, it also indicates that they are a leader in the online banking world.

Novo Bank

Novo Bank was founded in 2007 and is based out of Estonia which is located in Northern Europe. It is a bank that is capable of handling all of your personal and business banking and financial needs. Their online services are available in German as well as English and offer excellent customer support via both email and telephone. Novo Bank has a banking license from the European Central Bank as well its own regulatory authority and is constantly being evaluated by external auditors in order to maintain its quality of service. Their services are secure and they don’t seize to amaze with new technological features added to their website every now and then.

Radius Bank

Welcome to another comprehensive review about a bank that I personally use. I’m going to review the workability of the website, the support staff and if it’s entirely possible to have nothing but an online bank account.

Radius Bank is an online-only bank unlike Bank of America or Chase you may have heard of. Although they aren’t quite as large or well known as their brick and mortar competitors, this bank is currently doing very well.

One of the reasons why they aren’t as popular is because they only serve a specific segment of people. In this case, they want to target the current and future generations that spend much of their time online. As they advertise, your “20th century bank is so 1998.”

But if you’re reading this, don’t worry, you aren’t far behind.

Simple

These days you can do most anything online. You can order a book from Amazon and get it to your door in two days, have groceries delivered to your house, and even watch movies on your computer! It is possible to have a 401k, invest your money, do your taxes, and even get your oil changed online. In fact, the option to take care of all of your online banking needs is hardly a new innovation at all. The convenience of managing your finances online is certainly a very appealing one. Just imagine never having to sit in the dreaded bank lobby waiting for your agent to accept you into the bank. Or, if you’re a business owner, never having to miss work to meet with your banker or accountant.

Today, online banking is a common feature, and online banks have become a great way to manage your money. For obvious reasons, online banks are much more accessible than banks that have physical locations. With an online bank, you can do just about everything that you could do with a normal bank, but click a button instead of making a trip. In the past, online banking might not have been as secure as physical bank visits. Now, most online banks have dedicated themselves to providing a completely secure banking experience. They have developed complex mathematical codes and policies to guard against hackers and theft, and many online banks promote at-home banking as a great way to keep your personal information safe.

Pros and Cons of Online Banks

Serious Online Bankers love their online banking. They love the ease with which they can access their bank accounts, make transfers, and pay all their bills. They love the fact that they can automate their payments and eliminate the hassles of writing checks and keeping track of them. When you are determined to be serious about getting things done online, it pays to go with an online bank.

Of course, it is also possible to go too far and to eliminate all things paper from your life. Supporters of online banking claim that this is a great way to save the planet by reducing paper waste. While this is a noble cause, it can have some serious consequences. For example, most online banking systems are tied to your primary bank account. If the bank account is closed, your online connection to that account might also be closed. That means that you will have to be very careful in opening new bank accounts.

Online banking can also end up costing you quite a bit of money. The fees that online banks charge are typically more expensive than fees charged by traditional banks. However, some banks are adding additional fees for new ways to use online banking, such as paying bills online.

Pros

Online banking is a blessing to the consumer. All-day access and 24/7 convenience makes banking simple and easy — but you need to beware of the dangers of online banking.

Benefits:

Banking online creates convenience and flexibility. A lot of banking can be done at any hour of the day or night, without the pressure of a banker standing behind you telling you that you need to step away from the counter. Online banking also allows you to do your banking from anywhere. If your employer offers access to your bank account, you can check your balance and transfer funds while stranded on a business trip halfway across the country. Traveling extensively for business or pleasure involves forgetting your daily worries.

Online banking also guarantees you the convenience of have all your accounts in one place. Once you set up your bank account online, you can link up multiple accounts under one profile. Some bank accounts can be linked to your mortgage, credit card accounts, and more.

Time is money, and online banking allows you to feel the freedom of managing your money from home. Picking up milk during lunch in order to save a trip is another convenience of online banking. You can check the balance on your debit card and see if you have money left over to pick up some extra items you want. The cashier lessens the trip to the store.

Cons

Online banks, which started out as a way to deal with difficult money and business services, now are open to everyone with a good banking account. Most people are likely to be dealing with a single provider, such as Wells Fargo or Chase, in the future, working with banks that combine online banking with mobile banking and other conveniences. But there is still a lot of opportunity for banks that focus exclusively on online services.

The Bottom Line

Online banks are definitely one of the most-used trends of 2021, if not the most-used banking trend of 2021. They are marketed as the best way to handle all your banking online and handle it easily.

Most of the banks have their main office in Luxembourg, and their savings, checking, debit, and credit card services are available online. This can help you save a bit of money on banking services, as you will avoid paying for gas for a trip to the bank, you will avoid the cost of paper checks, you will not have to worry about managing a physical bank account number for your credit card, and you will also have the ease of doing all your banking online or via mobile devices.

Many of the online banks have very impressive mobile banking and security features as well. Online banks are ideal for businesses who are used to dealing in cash and payment cards, as it can help them avoid any costly chargebacks.

The bottom line is that you will be able to get your banking done much more efficiently and easily by using an online bank.