Choosing a virtual bank was a relatively easy proposition in the recent past as there weren’t many. But the field has expanded considerably in the last few years, and today consumers have quite a few virtual banks to choose from. When comparing banks, Rory Brown, Cofounder of VirtualBank, suggests looking for a bank that maximizes many of the following factors.
Low to No Fees
Virtual banks have little overhead compared to conventional banks. As a result, they can reduce, and sometimes eliminate the fees normally associated with banking. You’re looking for a bank that charges no or low monthly fees, and low fees in general. Try and match the fee schedules with your behavior. As an example, if you perform a lot of transactions each month, choose a bank that doesn’t charge a fee for excessive transactions.
Lower overhead also allows virtual banks to pay significantly higher interest on their interest-bearing accounts. And while virtual banks generally have higher deposit rates than conventional banks, not all virtual banks pay equally. As of September 2019, there are virtual banks offering savings accounts with a yield of 2.42%, which is much higher than what you would earn on your money at a conventional bank.
Free Access to ATM Networks
Because virtual banks have no branches, ATMs become more important. Make certain your virtual bank offers access to an extensive ATM network, with locations near you. And be sure they don’t charge fees for ATM transactions.
Read the Reviews on the VirtualBanks App
Make sure you like the banking app that’s offered by the virtual bank you’re considering. You want to be comfortable using it because it will be the primary way you do all of your banking. Check to see that you have easy access to the functions you perform most frequently. Be sure the app feels intuitive to make sure you have a good virtual banking experience.
Stellar Customer Service
You want a virtual bank that offers several ways to access customer support. Remember that no live teller means there’s no one to go to with questions. Pick a virtual bank that offers 24/7 chat and phone support, as well as extensive online help.
Also, check into the bank’s chatbot plans. These AI-driven virtual tellers are the future of online banking support, allowing you instant access to banking information and answers to questions. Soon you’ll be able to bank with a chatbot right through your favorite messaging service like Facebook Messenger.
If you can find a bank that tips the scale in all of these areas, sign up for an account.