Gone is the era of deposit slips, driving to the bank to check your balance, and interacting with another person to do your banking. We are in the era of online banking, and while its ease and convenience can’t be denied, there are also some downsides.
1. Convenience Convenience is arguably the biggest upside to online banking. You can quickly do most if not everything you can do at a brick and mortar bank quickly and easily, any time of the day. Most banks offer a mobile app that will allow you to make mobile deposits simply by snapping a picture of a paper check. This is invaluable for people who find it difficult to squeeze in time to go to a bank and physically deposit checks.
2. Speed Since online banking is generally faster than ATM’s, it’s great when you need your money quickly. If you have multiple accounts at the same bank (i.e. a savings and a checking account), transfers between those accounts are generally instant or near-instant. And mobile check deposits are typically available within a day.
3. Bill Pay Many banks offer online bill bay capability, so you don’t have to worry about mailing in a payment or going through multiple company websites to pay your bills. Simply set up a payee and make your payments. Some banks even give you the option of setting up automatic draft so your bills will automatically be paid at the correct time.
2. Transaction or Account Problems If you encounter an issue with a specific transaction or your account, or you suspect fraud, it is highly unlikely that you’ll need to reach out to a bank representative. Getting help via email may not be the most effective means of resolving an issue, so be sure your bank has a contact center or brick and mortar location nearby where you can speak to a person. And some transactions, like cash deposits, can’t be done online, so if you make such deposits frequently, be sure there’s a physical bank location or ATM nearby.
3. The Learning Curve If you aren’t used to using technology, you may find it difficult to navigate online banking at first. And every bank’s website and app is different, so even if you have done online banking before, you may need to get used to a new website or app if you switch banks.
Online and mobile banking can be both a blessing and a curse. Some find it a quick and convenient way to do their banking, others might find it too impersonal. Ultimately, whether to use online banking depends on you and your specific banking needs. If you typically only deposit checks and don’t have a complicated financial situation, it may be a great option. But if you deposit cash on a regular basis or want a more personal banking experience, consider sticking with the old-fashioned method of banking in person.