Picking the right bank is an integral part of handling your financial affairs but how do you decide?
The decision of which bank you should use is one that is far more significant than what you may realise. Your bank is your main point of call for all your financial matters and can easily become very frustrating if you haven’t picked correctly. There are plenty of things to consider before you commit to your bank.
Technology, Service and Location
The world of banking has changed significantly over the last few decades. Brick and mortar banks are far less common than they ever used to be. Online banking has grown to become the number one most Australians interact with their bank.
Some banks have completely ditched physical locations and now offer exclusively online banking. This cost saving exercise may lead to benefits for you but comes with draw backs. Despite the changing times, physical location still prove a purpose. Depositing cash feels a lot more secure when you hand money over to a teller rather than dropping it into a post box and hoping that it’ll find its way to your bank balance.
Technology is something that will also need to be a question with most banks seeing this as a point of difference. A sophisticated and bug free is a must these days for all banking as your phone continues to replace your bank manager. Banks that offer services like mobile payments from android and apple pay are not yet across all banks and if that’s something you’d like, you need to shop around.
Fee and Costs
We are constantly hearing of how banks are ripping us off and the reality is they will unless you do your research. Bank fees are nuisance that can be avoided depending on your circumstances. If you are the type of person that loves to use your credit card, find one with a deal that suits you whether that be lowest interest rates or bonus frequent flyer points. If you are shameless online shopper, make sure you sign up with a bank that offers good foreign exchange rates and no international transaction fee.
Mix and Match
The Big banks will always market themselves as a one stop shop and every option they can so they keep your business. It can be a lot simpler to keep your loans, cards, investments and day-to-day accounts all together. This may be easier but can lead to a less than perfect results. It can often be much better to pick and choose different backs to try to get the best result for you. You may setup one card for international purchase through one bank. Then you can use a different bank for a high interest savings account. Your loan may be through another with a lower rate and the net result of all this will likely be ideal for your circumstance. There are no limits to the number of accounts you can have so it’s up to you on how you want to personalise this mix to get the best deal for you.
Choosing which bank you use is very much a personal decision and its one you will likely have to make again. It’s often beneficial to weigh up your options every now and again to make sure what you have is what you need. Banks will often have introductory offers and as long as you don’t get caught paying any exit fees, it can be very beneficial to shop around.
Shopping around and Mortgages
Shopping around for the right banking option can be worthwhile, as different banks will have different options. This is particularly important if you have or are looking for a home loan, as there are various different options and packages available. Engaging a broker for a significant banking decision like this is highly beneficial and in particular an independent broker who is not a licensee of another bank.