Written by: Lindsey Marx | Best Company Editorial Team
Last Updated: November 11th, 2019
Do you struggle to remember passwords and get locked out of your device frequently?
Is the idea of money being managed online frightening to you?
Are you concerned about someone hacking into your online account?
Most people share these common concerns. Online banking can seem scary and often has many negative connotations due to a lack of understanding. But online banking has never been safer or easier. Here are eight reasons why you should have an online banking account:
1. Lower fees
Online banking tends to have lower fees because these banks don’t need the funding for branch maintenance. With typical brick and mortar banks, fees help to cover the costs of buildings and staff members as well as advertising and handling fees. Even if it is only by a few percentage points, the larger your balance, the more money you will save with little to no fees.
2. Better interest rates
As with lower fees, online banks are able to provide better interest rates because they do not have the costs of traditional banks. Online banks can have up to six times higher interest rates than traditional brick and mortar banks.
Unless you live right across the street from the bank, it’s probably not convenient to drive to the bank and deposit or withdraw your money. With online banks, you can get all of your banking needs done by the touch of your phone or laptop. No more waiting in lines for 20 minutes just to make a simple deposit. Now you can check your balance, make a deposit, or transfer funds in just minutes.
4. Free ATM access
Traditional banks have ATMs all over major cities, but online banks have agreements with ATM networks which provide surcharge-free withdrawals. Online banks will often reimburse their customers for using ATMs as well.
While many may argue that going to the bank is safer for your money and you are less likely to get hacked, it certainly is not true. Data theft is a real thing; however, if you choose an online bank backed by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp), your losses are covered up to $250,000, which is the same for any other banking customers. The important thing to remember though, is to avoid online banking on shared computers or shared Wi-Fi connections. Make sure the online bank you go with has encryption and fraud monitoring.
6. Free checking
Traditional brick and mortar banks used to provide free checking accounts to anybody, but it is more common today to have a required balance in your account for a checking account, or automatic paychecks every month. Now, online banks are the only banks that have truly free checking accounts. Additionally, some even have interest rates on your checking accounts, even though they won’t be as high as savings account interest rates, it is still better than what you would earn at a traditional bank.
7. Stellar customer service
We all know what it feels like to be waiting in a line at the bank for what seems like forever, just to talk to a representative or teller who is exhausted and grouchy and doesn't seem at all concerned that we are in a hurry. With online banking, you don’t have to deal with a teller who’s ready to go home for the day. You can literally manage all of your finances online, and if you need help, a friendly service agent is literally a chat box away.
8. 24/7 access
With traditional banks, they are only open during business hours on business days, online banks however, are open 24/7. Transactions might not be approved instantly, but online banks are open all day everyday, with constant customer service available to help solve all of your banking needs.