Finding a bank for your financial needs once depended on geography. You needed to choose a bank that was physically close to you so you could visit with ease and conduct your banking business without wasting time. Now thanks to mobile banking the world of finance has changed dramatically. Banks big and small are turning to technology to help them meet the globalized needs of consumers. Unfortunately, there is a common misconception that community banks can’t keep up with the technology like mega banks can. We are here to dispel this myth and present you with the facts about technology and banking.
Online Banking at Local Banks
For some reason, consumers are still under the impression that community banks do not offer online banking. However, local banks have been offering online banking for a decade now. Of course, some of these banks previously had limited services, but that was yesteryear.
Now thanks to cloud services and the massive gains of banking technology, even the smaller banks can afford to offer the same online services as mega banks. In addition to paying bills online, you can balance your statement, contact your customer service rep, and deposit checks. These are the banking basics that you need and want.
Plus, when you use a community bank you still maintain that local identity with your banking team. If you see something odd on your online bank statement, you can easily call and talk to someone who is actually working within the bank at that very moment. Try doing this with a mega bank, you’ll end up talking to a call service in another country. With local banks, you get to take advantage of the conveniences of online banking while also benefiting from that personal touch.
ATMs and Chip Cards
Easily the most popular type of banking technology is the good old automatic teller machine. Nowadays all community banks give you easy access to your cash via a debit card and ATM. It used to be that local banks only allowed you to use ATMs with their specific logo. However, that too has changed thanks to the advancements in debit card services. You can just as easily use your debit card from your local bank when you are overseas to withdraw funds in a foreign currency.
What about those chip cards that everyone is saying offers increased security? Well, local banks have these, too. Chip cards have been used overseas in Europe for decades, and they are becoming increasingly popular here in the States. This is all due to US EMV Chip Card Migration that is currently underway here in the US.
For community banks that have debit and credit cards under the card brands of American Express, MasterCard, Discover, and Visa, it is a cinch to get these transferred over to chip card capabilities. You don’t have to be a customer of a mega bank to utilize this secure banking technology.
Paying for Technology Services
Who is going to pay for all this banking technology, from online banking access to debit cards? Well, if you ask a mega bank, it’s the customers of course. Some banks charge as much as $5 per ATM use, while other banks charge for every bill paid online. Talk about being back in the banking Stone Age!
This is how mega banks make their big bucks, by charging pocket change for all of these wonderful technologies they offer. Sure, mega banks may have more account types that you can sign up for online, but did you know that these banks often charge you to close these accounts or if you aren’t using them regularly? It is this fine print that mega banks attempt to get away with when it comes to offering technology to customers.
Saving With Bank Technology
On the other hand, it is also where community banks shine. When you choose a local bank that offers online banking, universal ATMs, and debit card access, you save big on fees. For starters, more than 63 percent of local banks offer free checking account services, while less than 25 percent of mega banks offer the same service for free.
Why would you pay for a checking account when you can get one for free, while also benefiting from all of the mobile banking services that you need? This is a question more consumers are asking every day, and it’s also why more people are returning to their roots with local banking.
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