Like most financial questions, the issue of online banking doesn’t come with a one-size-fits-all answer. Online banking is a tremendous boon to some folks, while it’s become something of a nightmare for others. If you currently are considering opening an online banking account, there are a number of factors you need to take a look at when it comes to your options:
- Online banking can be tremendously convenient. Unlike the bank down the street, an online bank will never close. It’s open all day every day, and access to that bank is just a click of the mouse away.
- Deposits can be a hassle. You can usually get your paycheck deposited into your account, no matter whether you have online banking or not. The problem comes with depositing checks or cash. Unless you use online banking with a local bank, you’re going to have to mail the check to the bank, and probably pay for a money order if you want to deposit cash.
- Online banking transactions can be quicker. In many cases, an online banking site will execute and confirm your transactions as fast as or even faster than what would happen if you used an ATM.
- Online banking offers more tools. From things like having stock quotes to being able to download your statements into a personal financial program like Quicken, you’re more likely to find these kinds of add-on resources with online banking than you are with conventional banking.
- There’s a learning curve for online banking. It can be difficult to navigate some of the sites out there. You’ll need to spend some time reading tutorials and such in order to get up to speed.
- A local bank with an online banking option is often the best bet. This allows you all of the advantages of online banking as well as the advantages of having a local branch if you need it. You can go to the branch to make deposits, or you can get some help from the staff at your local bank to help you learn how to use the online tools.