Would You Trust an Online-Only Bank? Here’s What You Should Know

Choosing a checking account is an enormous deal. After all, you’re handing the establishment what’s almost definitely the vast majority of your cash for safekeeping. You wish to be certain it’s really secure.

You additionally want to have the ability to entry that money for all of your day-to-day operations, like paying payments or coughing up to your share of the pizza.

Along with selecting from a number of monetary establishments, banking in 2019 and past means making one other necessary choice: Will you employ of one of many many all-digital, online-only banking choices, or will you retain it old fashioned by opening an account at brick-and-mortar facility?

Are Online Banks Safe?

In a latest survey performed by The Penny Hoarder, greater than 50% of respondents stated they wouldn’t think about using an on-line financial institution, and greater than 19% have been uncertain about utilizing one. Given how a lot of our lives are performed on-line nowadays, we discovered that knowledge level shocking.

But however, we do perceive having reservations relating to cash issues. Walking right into a stately, brick-built financial institution could make it really feel much less scary at hand over your hard-earned money.

So are on-line banks secure? The reality is there are a rising variety of online-only banking options which can be, certainly, legit and secure. Online banks like Chime and Simple are FDIC-insured for deposits as much as $250,000, similar to Bank of America and Chase.

And because of the magic of know-how, you are able to do just about the whole lot you would possibly must along with your cash with out ever needing to go to a teller in particular person: depositing checks in your cell phone, pulling money from a community ATM or transferring funds to a member of the family or good friend. You may even write paper checks… for those who actually, actually must.

It’s true, nonetheless, that you simply gained’t be capable of stroll right into a financial institution and discuss to a teller in particular person. What are the opposite necessary variations between these two strategies of banking?

Brick-and-Mortar Banking: Pros and Cons

Since practically 72% of our survey respondents stated they’d visited a brick-and-mortar financial institution prior to now 12 months, we wish to give this selection its due. Here are the drawbacks and advantages of patronizing and old-school financial institution — the sort you’ll be able to stroll into to open your account.

Traditional Banking Pros

Larger banks might provide “one stop shopping” to your monetary wants: They typically make it simple to take out a mortgage, open a bank card, or apply for a private mortgage with the identical establishment you financial institution by way of. (However, these merchandise might come at larger charges than you’d discover by purchasing round for unbiased lenders.)
Some customers merely discover it simpler to stroll right into a financial institution and ask for the service they want. This could also be a greater choice for you for those who don’t like determining how one can get what you want by way of an on-line banking portal or app.
Depending on the financial institution you select, chances are you’ll be supporting an area (or local-ish) enterprise, or at the least a nationwide enterprise that gives jobs in your space. Credit unions particularly are sometimes community-focused establishments that take part in native occasions and supply pleasant, face-to-face customer support to account holders.

Traditional Banking Cons

Again, relying on the financial institution you select, chances are you’ll solely be capable of entry your financial institution regionally. That can current issues for individuals who journey or ultimately plan to maneuver out of state.
Large banks typically have larger account upkeep charges and different related prices. After all, they must maintain the lights on at an in-person banking facility. Furthermore, the quantity you stand to earn by way of interest-accruing financial savings and checking accounts could also be decrease than what you’d get from a digital-only financial institution.
You’re in all probability already doing most of your banking on-line. In reality, greater than half of our survey respondents stated they do most of their banking on-line or through cell app. And at an in-person financial institution, notably a small or native one, the net banking portal or cell app gained’t be fairly as spiffy because the tech instruments you’ll discover at a financial institution the place these instruments are the first approach to entry and work together along with your money.

Online-Only Banking Pros and Cons

So what about digital-only banks? What incentives can they provide to outweigh the disadvantage of not having a bodily location — and what different drawbacks are there?

Online-Only Banking Pros

Because they don’t have as a lot overhead as banks with bodily services, on-line banks incessantly provide lower-cost banking choices. Many haven’t any month-to-month upkeep charges or stability necessities.
With an on-line financial institution, your cash goes with you in all places. You’re not tied to the bodily location the place your financial institution has branches. Many on-line banks permit you to entry your money by way of a fee-free community of ATMs that stretches not solely throughout the nation, however abroad as effectively, and also you’ll at all times have entry to the instruments out there in your laptop and smartphone.
Some on-line banks and options do provide different monetary merchandise, like mortgages and pupil mortgage refinancing. For instance, take a look at Ally and SoFi, which additionally provide funding merchandise, academic sources and extra.
Many on-line banks provide a set of digital instruments that will help you take cost of your funds. These embody built-in price range trackers, automated financial savings, and integration with common third-party apps like PayPal or Venmo. While brick-and-mortar banks are additionally catching on and including in these extras, all-digital banks are likely to have the leg up on these kinds of forward-thinking extras.

Online-Only Banking Cons

No in-person banking choice. If you’re set in your methods and don’t wish to have to maneuver by way of the training curve of determining a digital financial institution’s instruments, a brick-and-mortar financial institution could also be simpler. (That stated, even huge chains are putting in souped-up ATMs and routing a lot of the queue to the machine somewhat than having them work together with tellers… so in the long run, chances are you’ll not likely have a alternative!)

What to Consider if You’re Looking for a Bank Account

No matter which form of banking choice appeals to you greatest, needless to say not all banks are created equal, whether or not they inhabit actual area or our on-line world. It’s necessary to completely analysis all of the options and insurance policies of your potential checking account earlier than you signal the paperwork.

Looking for a brand new dwelling to your money? Check out our critiques of the perfect checking accounts and financial savings accounts available on the market at the moment.

Jamie Cattanach’s work has been featured at Fodor’s, Yahoo, SELF, The Huffington Post, The Motley Fool and different retailers. Learn extra at

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