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Banks That Get It!

November 28, 2009

Are you tired of falling victim, and yes I said victim to your banks trickery, excessive fee’s and sup-bar website that only tells you how to call customer service?  In this tech age of instant access to information we need banks to have this same speed and tools required to gain as well as keep customers or just compete.

There are several banks out there  that get it, meaning they are working to provide the key thing consumers are looking for when it comes to chosing a bank.  What are they you may be asking?  Let’s take a look…

Help You Manage Your Money

Mint.com let’s you manage all of your accounts from one central place.

Bank of America’s website lets you see all your financial accounts in one place — including those from other institutions —

PNC Bank’s Money Bar tool (3 accounts working together like 1) allows users to whisk cash between Spend (checking), Reserve (interest checking), and Growth (savings) accounts in real time.

Offers Innovative Ways To Save

ING Direct lets you create unlimited sub-accounts, or buckets, for your dough. (Even provides discount to some of the retailers that you may be saving to purchase good from).

***Favorite***

At SmartyPig, an online service affiliated with West Bank, users can designate only a single purpose for each account, but outsiders are allowed to see what they’re saving for. you could deposit cash directly into the SmartyPig account tagged for that goal.

SmartyPig and Bank of Internet offer a 2.01% and 1.75% annual yield on their savings accounts, respectively, far above the national average of 0.31%.

Prioritize Customer Service

FNBO Direct’s toll-free service line is staffed with agents 24/7. (makes it easy to talk with a live person)

And several credit unions and banks now, such as Freedom near Philadelphia, offer live web chat.

Many banks, including Chase and Wells Fargo, now offer envelopeless ATMs that print a scan of the checks deposited; no more searching for an account number to fill out a deposit slip or waiting in line for the cashier.

HSBC Direct will alert you via e-mail if the interest rate changes on its bank accounts.

Most TD Bank lobbies are furnished with free Penny Arcade machines: Anyone can walk in, dump in spare change, and get cash for no fee. (Rival Coinstar charges 8.9¢ for every dollar counted.)

Accessible Anywhere

Wells Fargo’s mobile service lets you send short text messages to find out your balances and recent account activity.

One of the most useful mobile innovations comes from USAA: iPhone users can snap a photo of a check, push a button on the USAA app, and funds are deposited right away. (BlackBerry users will be able to do this in 2010.)

No Excessive Fees

ING and EverBank have a sensible policy about overdrafts: Your checking account can be linked to a line of credit that carries an interest rate of 9% or less.

Charles Schwab has a similar approach. Checking overdrafts are “borrowed” from the customer’s brokerage account (you must have a Schwab brokerage account to use its checking services).

Schwab also refunds ATM fees, like many online banks. But unlike other banks, it doesn’t impose a maximum on the number of withdrawals it will reimburse you for each month. It’s not perfection, but it’s a big step in the right direction.

Some require a minimum monthly direct deposit ranging from $200 to $2500 for unlimited while others will cap anywhere between $3-10

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kristin permalink
    January 2, 2010 11:08 pm

    Hello Mr. Anderson,

    Your article was very informational! Thank you for helping me start out the new year on a new note!

    I have a question: In your opening sentence, you mention the “sup-bar website.” What is that? Is it something specific to banks?

    Thank you!

    • January 3, 2010 1:53 am

      Hi Kristin,

      Thanks, I’m glad you saw it as informative. I hope I can continue to assist you with info that will aid you and your finances.

      Thanks for catching that typo, it should have read sub-par 🙂

      Thanks and let me know if you have questions.

      Clyde

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