October 11, 2017
This Is The Reasons Why You Must Stop Banking Offline.
You can do almost everything digitally these days, and banking is no exception. More Nigerians now bank online – which isn’t surprising, considering the benefits.
Here’s why banking offline is costing you too much time and what you should do to optimise your online banking experience, according to money.usnews.com.
Limited locations and bankers’ hours
When you bank offline, you can only handle your money at certain times and places.
Brick-and-mortar banks tend to be open during the most inconvenient time of the day which is the conventional work hours. To transfer cash between accounts, order cheques and access other banking services, you have to brave the crowds at lunchtime or during limited Saturday hours – or miss work.
Online banking allows you to bank whenever and wherever. Using your computer or phone, you can deposit checks, transfer money, check your balance and view old statements. There aren’t any lines or “closed” signs, save for the occasional website update, and these often happen in the middle of the night to avoid disruption.
Bonus: You don’t have to waste time or fuel driving to and from your brick-and-mortar institution.
Outdated bill payment
We’ve come a long way from running around town to pay for utilities in person, or even sitting down with a stack of bills and a cheque book. Now you can have your bills paid automatically every month on the due dates.
Saving time isn’t the only benefit of automatic online bill payment. Some companies offer a small discount for setting it up. And provided your bank account is sufficiently funded, the service will ensure you don’t miss payments. Those missed payments can result in late fees, or even damage your credit. Making regular, on-time payments can help build your credit.
But if you don’t keep an eye on your balance and your automatic bill payment causes your account to become overdrawn, that can also hurt your finances. Aside from accruing fees, you might also lose your bank account, which is much more limiting than banking offline.
As long as your balance always covers your automated bills, though, online banking has other perks, too. You can search online statements – no more paper clutter! And you can make free and easy money transfers to others.
Switch banks if you have to
Many banks offer online banking, and you can ask customer service for help setting up online bill payment and other services. But first, make sure your current bank has some of the best online banking features. Does it offer real-time chat? Secure messaging? Check on ATM access, because limiting branch visits should be your goal. Does your bank charge for using other ATMs? Does it have a mobile app? If it does, read the app’s reviews.
If your bank doesn’t have good online banking services, consider switching to one that does. Some banks are only online and specialise in that user experience.
Changing banks can be daunting, but it might be worth the trouble. Here’s how you can do it:
Research and choose a bank. Remember you’re looking for a user-friendly digital experience. Pick one that offers accounts with no maintenance fees – or fees that you can easily avoid with, for instance, a low minimum balance – plus, comparatively high interest rates.
Make a list of every account that will be affected by this change. You’ll have to update direct deposit and – if you already bank online – automatic payments. Review your bank statements from the last six to 12 months to create this list because some expenses aren’t charged on a monthly basis, such as some car insurance premiums.
Open your new account. And start your online-banking journey by setting up automatic bill pay and money transfers. This might take some time if you have complicated finances, but it will save you time going forward.
Keep a buffer in your old account for now. You might want to leave some cash in your old account so you don’t bounce any cheques or incur overdrafts for forgotten items. And know your old bank’s fee structure: You might have to keep a certain minimum balance to avoid monthly maintenance fees.
Close your old account after a few months. Three to six months after you’ve opened your new account, it’s probably safe to close your old one.
Banking offline is time-intensive and unnecessary for the average consumer. Performing most of your transactions online saves time and energy. It requires a little effort upfront, but it’ll be worth it for the convenience in years to come.