Six qualities Your Primary Bank Should Have
One of the most significant factors to consider when opening a new checking account is the range of banking options that come with the account. According to research, technology is taking over banking and financial management in general. According to a Federal Reserve poll, nearly half of mobile phone owners who had a bank account in 2017 used mobile banking services in the 12 months preceding the survey.
Essential Banking Features
Certain bank-account capabilities are required if you want easy access to your funds, as well as the ability to pay bills, make transactions swiftly, and maintain your balances. When opening a new bank account, check for the following features:
1. A Bank Debit Card
A debit card allows you to pay items without carrying cash. If you do need money, you can go to an ATM or get cash back at the register. According to a Federal Reserve poll, 30% of consumers prefer to pay with debit. When opening a new bank account, make certain that a debit card is included and that there is no price for having one.
2. Mobile and online banking
If you want to keep a tight eye on your finances, being able to check your balance from your smartphone or laptop is invaluable. This is especially vital if you wish to avoid costly overdraft fees. Banks with more than $1 billion in assets collected more than $11.45 billion in overdraft and non-sufficient funds (NSF) in 2017, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Knowing what you have on hand and what you're spending will help you avoid fees.
3. Check Deposit through Mobile
Mobile check deposit eliminates the need for you to visit the bank. You simply take a picture of your check with your smartphone and, with a few touches of a button, the check is deposited without ever having to visit a teller or an ATM. Just keep in mind that certain banks need a lengthier check hold time when depositing with a mobile device.
4. Bill pay Online
If you're bored of writing checks, another feature to look for in a primary bank is online bill pay. According to Federal Reserve data, 80% of consumers who kept paper checks on hand did not use them even once in 2017; instead, three-quarters preferred internet banking. Paying bills online eliminates the need to write checks and mail them. Even better, you may automate your monthly installments so you never miss a payment.
5. Email and text message alerts
You should set up text and email alerts for your accounts at the same time you schedule automated bill payments. You could, for example, establish an alert to warn you when your balance falls below a certain threshold or when a new transaction publishes to your account. If you're concerned about a hacker taking your account information and creating false charges, this could be really useful.
6. Superior Security
Identity theft is not something to be laughed at. When comparing bank accounts, make sure to inquire about the security measures in place at each bank. Find out whether your debit and credit cards have fraud monitoring and an on/off button, and take extra precautions to keep your card transactions secure.
Another consideration when looking for a primary bank or credit union account is whether or not it is insured. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the National Credit Union Administration, respectively, provide up to $250,000 in coverage per deposit account at banks and credit unions.
However, they are not required to carry this coverage. Check the insurance status of banks and credit unions when comparing them to ensure your hard-earned money is safeguarded.