You may or may not have heard the buzz: Amazon is planning to offer checking accounts. The plan is still in the early stages, and Amazon hasn’t released too many details to the public yet. Not to be outdone by another conglomerate, Google has also decided that it will offer banking options next year. Starting next year, you’re going to hear a lot about the supposed perks of these services. Cool commercials with sleek props and vaguely hipster-esque pop songs will try to convince you why you should open one of these accounts. Don’t fall for it. Here’s why it’s a terrible idea to bank with the same people who want to sell you cheap electronics.
Poor History of Data Sharing
Do you remember when Facebook got into trouble because it was selling user data without user permission? Did you know that Amazon was in on that deal? As it turns out, Amazon has a horrible history of sharing private user information without consent. Facebook shares user data with Amazon all the time. Facebook lets Amazon see users’ names through their friend lists, and it also allows Amazon to gain extra contact information. All of this is in the name of targeted ads so that Amazon can sell you more products. Now, one of those products may be a bank account. But do you really want to trust your banking data with a machine that cares so little for your privacy?
Your Community Will Lose Money
We’ve all seen what big corporations do to small businesses. When a giant company rolls into town, it takes jobs away from community members and crushes the local economy. That’s why you may have seen a lot of information on how to “shop local” recently. Small businesses boost local economies, provide jobs, and make investments back into the community. The same concept applies to small banking. When you use community banks and credit unions, your money goes to the good of the community. When you bank with Amazon or Google, where does your money go? Straight into a billionaire’s pocket, that’s where. That’s highly unfortunate because billionaires don’t tend to care much about treating people with fairness or respect. For example, remember when Whole Foods cut medical benefits for hundreds of its workers? Whole Foods’ owner can easily afford to provide those benefits, considering the fact that it’s owned by a multi-billion-dollar company. Which multi-billion-dollar company? We’ll give you a hint: It shares a name with a famous South American river.
Nobody Should Have That Much Power
Google started as a way for people to find information. Amazon started as a way for people to buy books. Those are both great things, and there’s nothing wrong with growing a business or watching that business become successful. However, there’s a difference between a successful business and a crushing conglomerate. Think about everything Amazon has become. It’s a shopping service, a streaming service, a grocery supplier, and a whole lot more. Meanwhile, Google has become a tech developer, an internet provider, a communication service, and a ton of other things. Smaller services that offer these same things get pushed out of the market. If enough people switch to Amazon and Google for their checking account needs, your local community bank will get crushed. After a certain point, we’ll all either be working for Google or Amazon. Let’s hope that they don’t cut our medical benefits.
Did We Mention the Data Sharing?
Seriously, Amazon is very bad at keeping your data safe. A lot of Amazon’s services involve cloud computing, which can put your data in a very vulnerable spot without the right security. Amazon Web Services has a long history of exposing user data through security breaches. Recently, millions of Capital One customers had their data stolen. That data included information such as social security numbers and bank account numbers. The data breach has been linked to Amazon Web Services. Amazon is refusing to take any of the blame, of course.
Does Alexa Need to Know Your Account Balance?
Do you have an Alexa in your home? Cool. Did you know that Alexa is spying on you? Alexa records conversations, and then Amazon keeps those recordings forever. Google Home devices aren’t any better. What sort of information are these devices getting from your home? Whatever it is, we’ve already seen that this information has virtually no chance of staying private. Does your Alexa or Google Home device really need to know your bank account balance? And do they really need the opportunity to share that information? “The temperature today is 39 degrees. And you have $34 in your checking account.” The problem isn’t just data breaching, either. How would you like for your search results and recommended products to be based on your current account balance? “Sorry, Dave, we don’t think this is a wise choice for you right now.”
Customer Service? Good Luck.
One thing you can always count on from your local bank is customer service. The bank owners know you. They employ your neighbors. In community banks, banking isn’t just a business. It’s not just an opportunity to make more money. It’s a chance to help a community member with their banking needs. It’s not the same with conglomerates. What happens if a misunderstanding or an algorithm glitch locks you out of your account? Do you think you can get help from Amazon or Google?
Just Say No
Look, at the end of the day, it’s never a good thing when a few extremely wealthy and powerful people have access to all possible products and services. When giant corporations take over, ordinary people suffer for it. Just say no to Amazon and Google banking. They have enough of your money as it is, and they’re certainly not using to help local communities. If you don’t want your money going toward a billionaire’s latest hot tub, then switch to a community bank instead.
Let Bundlefi Help
When you’re ready for a bank or a credit union that won’t leak your information to the world, Bundlefi is here to help. Check out Bundlefi today to find the bank or credit union that will fit your needs. Find a bank that sees you for who you are, not for the data that they can sell. We’ll help you get exactly what you need from your financial institution.