If you’re not satisfied with your current bank or credit union, you might be considering finding a new financial institution. It’s a big decision to make – and it’s important to consider your options carefully before you choose.
Switching banks can be stressful. At Addition Financial, we want to reduce your stress. That’s why we’ve put together this list of five features to look for when you’ve decided to switch banks.
#1: Customer Service
The first feature to consider is customer service. It’s essential to choose a bank or credit union that provides top-notch customer service. Managing your money can be stressful even under the best of circumstances. You don’t want to work with a financial institution that won’t provide the service and support you need to achieve your financial goals.
There are a few ways to find out about a bank’s customer service quality. We recommend:
- Reviewing their website to see which options are available. Do they have phone support? FAQ on their website?
- Doing a Google search for “[your financial institution] customer service” and seeing if there are a lot of complaints or if they appear on any lists of companies with bad customer service.
- Reading online reviews and looking for red flags. Some banks provide good service to large, lucrative clients and very little to small depositors.
- Going into the bank and seeing what the in-person customer service experience is like.
Make note of any potential red flags and use this information to decide which financial institution is best.
#2: Mobile Banking
The next thing to consider is mobile banking. It has become increasingly common for banks and credit unions to provide free mobile apps to their account holders. If mobile banking is something you feel is important, you should make sure to choose a financial institution that provides it.
It's also a good idea to look at specific features and limitations. If you want to be able to deposit checks using your phone, for example, you should check to see if there are deposit limitations. That way, you’ll be making an informed decision.
#3: Online Banking
Some people prefer to do their banking online. If you want to be able to use a financial management program like Quicken or QuickBooks, then you will want to make sure that the financial institution you choose has excellent online banking features and integrates with the software you use.
Some online banking features to consider are:
- Paperless statements
- Online account transfers
- Online check ordering
- Online bill payments
Think about the features you’re most likely to use, and then choose a financial institution that provides all of them.
#4: Financial Resources
Unless you’re already a finance whiz, the chances are good that you’ll need to have access to information and resources from your bank or credit union. Some financial institutions are better than others and it’s essential to choose a bank that gives you the tools and guidance you need to attain your financial goals.
Some examples of financial resources include:
- An informative blog with articles explaining important financial topics and providing guidance to help you make financial decisions.
- Helpful links to sites that you may need, such as the Small Business Administration or the Internal Revenue Service.
- In-depth guides that provide step-by-step instructions on how to plan for retirement, pay for your kids’ college education or buy your first home.
- Online tutorials, videos and other information.
- Online calculators to help you budget and make big financial decisions.
It’s ideal if the financial institution you choose can serve as a one-stop shop for your financial needs. The more information they provide, the more likely it is that you’ll be happy with them.
#5: Personal Guidance
It’s certainly useful to have blog articles and written guides, but sometimes there’s no substitute for the personal touch. If you have big financial goals and you’re not sure how to achieve them, you may want to consider choosing a financial institution that gives account holders access to financial planning services.
For example, credit unions often work closely with their members to help them achieve their goals. The same may not be true of large banks. If you need help buying your first home, purchasing a car or saving for retirement, it’s important to have access to the guidance and advice you need. You should also ask if you’ll need to pay for advice or if it’s offered as a benefit to account holders.
As you prepare to switch banks, keep the five features we’ve outlined here in mind. Remember, you deserve the best in customer service and financial guidance – and doing some research will ensure that you get those things.
If you’d like to learn more about Addition Financial’s personal checking accounts, please click here now.