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The internet and mobile devices have changed banking considerably over the past two decades. While virtually every traditional brick and mortar banking institution has an online presence, the internet age has also brought virtual banking to widespread prominence. Scores of banks around the world have no physical presence whatsoever; they only exist online. Millions of people have said goodbye to traditional financial institutions and opened up a virtual bank savings account instead. While some people still prefer to have a local bank they can walk into, virtual banks have many advantages that are hard to beat. Here are some of the benefits of a virtual bank savings account that you should definitely consider.
Unlike their brick and mortar counterparts, virtual banks have considerably less overhead and infrastructure, which helps lower their operating costs. As a result, many virtual banks are able to pass on their savings to customers in several different ways. These banks often don’t charge service fees on checking accounts or IRAs, and they don’t charge for things such as overdraft protection. Many virtual banks offer free checking or no minimum balance checking accounts as well. Therefore, if you want to cut down on the fees you’re paying for financial services at your current financial institution, check out a virtual bank.
Better Interest Rates
If you have a virtual bank savings account, chances are strong that you’ll be earning far more interest on your balance than you ever would at your local bank. The national interest average for traditional banks hovers around .05%, but many online banks offer rates as high as 1.5%. Many virtual banks also offer checking accounts that earn interest. If you tend to keep significant funds in your savings or checking account, it makes sense to use a virtual bank to get the greatest return on your money.
An Online Edge
Along with low costs, most virtual banks provide a better online experience for account holders than traditional banks with an online presence do. While traditional banks have made tremendous strides with getting services online, virtual banks have only existed online since their inception, and they continue to invest heavily in improving their online services. Virtual banks cannot rely upon good service or local access at a brick and mortar branch to sustain their business if their apps and websites aren’t up to par. As a result, online banks tend to have more innovative, cutting-edge services and mobile apps.
Sync with Other Apps
Do you use other financial apps, such as Mint or YNAB; or, do you use payment services such as Venmo or PayPal? If the answer is yes to any, then having a virtual savings account may be a perfect complement to the way you’re already managing your finances. Many virtual banks strive to ensure they can work well with top payment and budgeting apps. In many cases, you can seamlessly integrate your virtual bank savings account with these apps with little to no effort. Having a virtual savings account with an online bank can help you bring all your financial apps and activities together, so it’s easier to manage your money.
Instant Records Access
Another great advantage of virtual banking is the access you’ll have to all your financial data. It’s common to need access to your bank records. For example, you may need several years’ worth of statements to complete a major financial transaction, such as applying for a mortgage. You may need to provide your financial records for a civil court case or a divorce. You may need them for a job interview, especially if you’re applying for government work or some other sensitive position. Sometimes, you want access to your bank records just to verify your balance or recent transactions. If you have a virtual bank savings account, you’ll be able to use an app or go online anytime you want and get access to your records, without ever leaving home.
In addition to design superiority, another advantage of virtual banks is your access to them. While virtual banks don’t have the physical branches that standard banks do, they nonetheless can be accessed virtually anywhere there’s an internet connection. As a result, it’s easy to check your balances, verify transactions, and pay bills wherever you are with a virtual bank. Most virtual banks have excellent customer service via phone, email, or online chat, whenever you need it. Therefore, if you’re mobile and expect to need access to your bank wherever you go, virtual banking may be a good choice.
Ride the Wave of Going Virtual
Virtual banks are here to stay, and they continue to improve their services every day. If you’re looking for cutting-edge financial technology as well as convenience, online banking may be a great choice for you. The services and access these banks offer are often superior to traditional banks, and it’s all delivered at a fraction of a cost. Virtual banking may be just what you need to get your finances in order and increase access to your money and critical financial information.