Evaluating the Benefits of Digital Banking

March 17, 2020 by Susan Paige

Heading into a local banking branch is almost a thing of the past, as digital banking trends show more individuals choosing their mobile and digital devices to access their money. About 71% of all bank customers access their information online, while 43% rely on mobile connectivity for their banking needs. Even though an individual may not feel like they are a digital user, relying on a debit card for their financial transactions settles that idea. The average U.S. consumer uses their debit car just about 23 times a month. This data shows just how important financial access is to the average consumer. Fortunately, the banking industry has caught on to these signals, and digital banking opportunities and features are exploding.

Banking With Comfort

While your local bank branch may have added a complimentary coffee station or free Wi-Fi access to keep you comfortable while you wait to conduct your business, online banking changes the comfort level drastically. Being able to pay bills, check balances, and remotely deposit checks from the comfort of your couch makes banking so much easier. Access to the Internet is generally all you need to connect to your information and conduct business, and most banks offer online banking options at no extra cost to their patrons. However, there are several financial institutions that offer their banking services entirely online and have no physical branch locations. Though some of the services offered by traditional banks in an online medium are the same as a completely digital bank, there are some benefits to choosing an online provider.

Online Bill Payment

The United States Postal Service does the best it can to deliver the mail on time, but you can run into unforeseeable delays if an economic or environmental disaster hits. You also have to contend with lost or stolen mail, often not realizing either of these have occurred until your utility account gets a late fee for a missed payment.  Using an online banking system allows you to set up bill payment services and protect yourself from missed or late payments on account of postal issues. For these services, there is an initial form to fill out that designates the date, amount, and payee, but subsequent months are generally taken care of automatically based on your chosen payment profile. Even if your bank does not have an online payment system established, there are many companies that offer online payment options through customer service portals. These options generally have a direct debit of funds on the day the bill is due. You will just need to make sure there is money in your account, to avoid any hassles.

Mobile Banking

Smartphones have become more than communication devices between two people. The development and use of apps to navigate your day’s schedule can take you from grocery shopping to fitness tracking, and video-chat doctor’s appointments. Case in point is Apple’s famous trademark “there’s an app for that.” Banking from your mobile device or tablet uses an appt that often gives you all the same features of a local branch, but without ever having to leave your home. Many digital banking operations let you deposit a check straight from your mobile. You simply take a picture of the document and let it upload to the system. Sesame Cash is one of the newest additions to the completely digital banking operations, but the company has already attracted attention for how well it does online banking. It offers patrons a new-fee debit card, no overdraft fees, no service fees, no minimum balance, and free access to over 55,000 ATMs. A highlight of their services is early access to paychecks, which are remote or direct deposit.

Transaction Accountability

With digital banking, there is greater accountability for all transaction that occurs on your account. Whether you want real-time notifications in order to track your spending or to warn you of fraudulent activity, the connectivity offered by online banking services surpasses assistance at a local branch. By checking your transactions through a mobile device or your web browser, you can see if a transaction has cleared your account or you can check on totals from the day’s purchases. Many consumers have stopped entering data into a check register, choosing to access their information online for up-to-date information. You can also resolve suspicious or inaccurate transactions more quickly than taking a printout into your local bank branch.

Money Transfers

With digital banking, transferring money between different accounts can happen with the push of a button. Rather than withdrawing and depositing or filling out your information on a tiny slip, moving money between your online happens almost instantaneously for transactions done within the bank’s network. However, even money moved to another bank or finanical institution can happen more quickly than a traditional run down to the bank to get it taken care of. Banks often pass fees along to consumers who want access to these features, but as seen with the newer institutions, there are many companies that eliminate transaction fees as a way to stay competitive in the digital banking market. Online banking also makes it easier to establish more than one bank account and transfer funds in each one when payday arrives.

Digital banking is fast becoming more convenient than heading into a brick-and-mortar branch location, as the service options are the same but without the hassle of logistics and timing. Carefully weigh out your options when looking to open an account, but if you are always on the go and like to be in the know with your money, online banking is the thing for you.

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