Should I bank online or in person?
Tips for deciding when you should make a visit to your local bank branch.
The advancement of technology has changed the way consumers buy, sell and do most things — including how they bank. According to a GOBankingRates survey completed last year, 49 percent of respondents prefer in-person banking, while 51 percent favor a digital method (online or mobile). While some consumers do prefer one banking channel over the other, many with a preferred channel still mix their banking methods to best serve their needs.
Here are some key differentiators you should consider when deciding whether to visit your local bank branch or go online:
Go to the bank when….
- You want to inquire or take out a loan. These can include personal loans, a car loan or even a mortgage. While you can complete the application online, it is helpful to visit your local bank branch and discuss your situation with a banker who can learn more about your goals and what you want to accomplish. This step can help speed up the preapproval process, making it easier for you and your family to make a big purchase.
- You need financial advice. Taking time to speak to a banker where you are a customer can be extremely beneficial. This person may already know you or will take the time to get to know you and provide specific advice to help guide you in making smarter financial decisions.
- You need a cashier’s check. This type of check is mostly used for a large purchase including a car or house. These checks have extra security features, making them ideal for large purchases.
- You have questions about your account. If you need to address something specific about your account, going in and speaking to a banker can help speed up the process and ensure you receive personal attention.
Hop on your computer or phone when…..
- You need to deposit your check. Depositing your money is now easier than ever. Download your bank’s mobile app and you can take a picture of your check and have it deposited anywhere.
- You want to transfer money into or out of your account. What used to involve a trip to the bank can now be done in minutes from your home.
- You need to pay bills. Instead of having to withdraw money and then pay, it is easier than ever to set up automatic withdrawal from your bank account for most of your payments.
While these are good guidelines of when to go in the bank and what you can do online, should you have a preference of how you conduct your banking activities, use the method you are most comfortable with. However, when conducting online banking be mindful of online security. Do not log into your bank account under public Wi-Fi to avoid your information being compromised. Always monitor your account and be sure to report any suspicious activity.
Shawn O’Brien is a consumer banking group executive with Atlantic Union Bank.