Every business will have interaction with a bank in some capacity – so how do you pick the right one?
Picking the right bank is an integral part of handling your financial affairs, but how do you decide? Deciding which bank you should use is a decision far more significant than what you may realise. Your bank is a port of call for your financial needs and can easily become a frustrating relationship if you haven’t picked correctly, so choose carefully. There are plenty of things to consider before you commit to your bank, or banks, so consider doing some research or ask your contact at Accru for guidance.
Location, Technology and Service
The world of banking has changed significantly over the last few decades. Bricks and mortar banks are far less common than they used to be and online banking has grown to become the number one method most Australians use for interaction with their bank. Some banks have even completely removed physical locations and now offer online banking exclusively.
Online banking may lead to benefits for you but it comes with drawbacks, for despite changing times, physical location still serves a purpose. Depositing cash feels a lot more secure when you hand money over to a teller rather using a chute or making inconvenient transactions online. Speaking to someone at the bank – your bank – can give you confidence and a better sense of connection. Above all, however, time in a bank can be spent building up relationships – with tellers and managers, but also with people you meet along the way.
Online technology as a means of banking is still growing however, and no-matter how much we enjoy getting out and about, we all will still need to master the recording and analysing of all transactions online. Your phone and your laptop or PC is still replacing the contact hours you have with your bank manager. Services offering mobile payments are not yet across all banks, but if that’s something you’d like you need to shop around.
Fees and Costs
We constantly hear of how banks are taking advantage of us or ‘ripping us off’. This may happen, unless you do your research. Bank fees for example, they can be large and frequent, so shop around to compare the costs. 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 because of low interest rates or bonus frequent flyer points, or any other perk that benefits you in regard to your banking habits. And if you are a shameless online shopper, make sure you sign up with a bank that offers good foreign exchange rates and no international transaction fees.
Shopping around and Mortgages
Shopping around for the right bank can be beneficial. This is particularly so if you are looking for a home loan, as different banks will have different options and packages. Engaging a broker to aid you in a significant banking decision like this can also be highly beneficial, particularly if you use a broker who is not a licensee of another bank.
Read between the lines
To gain and keep your business, the Big banks will always market themselves as a ‘one stop shop’ with every available option, but the responsibility for your financials and their records is YOURS. 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 less than perfect results. It can often be much better to pick and choose different backs to try to obtain what you need. 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 loans may be through yet another with a lower rate and the net result of all this may be ideal for your circumstances. 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 meet your needs.
Choosing which bank you use is very much a personal decision and its one you will likely have to make again. It is often beneficial to weigh up your options every now and again to make sure that 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.
Book an appointment with our Lending Specialist, Jayden Chen or contact us today on (03) 9835 8200 to review and discuss your lending and banking needs.