Securing your money is the primary reason why you avail the services of a bank. However, not all banks are created equal. Choosing a bank that will ideally provide you with your financial growth and needs can be a challenging task. That’s why you have to think critically, and you need to keep your priorities and goals in line when deciding which bank you should entrust your money.
Here are some considerations you need to think of when selecting a bank:
The bank’s security should be your highest priority when choosing a bank. Select a financial institution that has an established reputation in the business. Security is not limited to the reassurance that nothing wrong will happen in the bank but also includes the safety if it goes bankrupt.
A bank is secured if they possess the following features:
- Presence of security guards and surveillance cameras in the physical location of the bank
- In terms of your money, a bank should set and amount of guaranteed deposit wherein they provide insurance for the money deposited in their accounts
- Has website where clients can do online transactions, with integrated security features such as firewall and intrusion detection system
Tight security measures should be observed in online transactions. Some security features of online bank transactions include:
- Alerting the clients if there are security upgrades in their system prompting them to update their information or change their password.
- Blocking online transactions f there are suspicious activities detected when accessing their account using unsecured network
- Recommends a habit of changing passwords from time to time
2. Financial goals
Another consideration you need to think of is your financial goals. Some questions you might be asking yourself are:
- What do I want to do with my money?
- What financial goals do I have in the future?
Whether you want to earn money or grow it without doing anything, your bank should satisfy your objectives of using their service. You have to get this right – you need to choose a bank with the highest interest rates on deposits and lowest interest rates on loans.
If you’re aggressive enough to make your money grow with the least amount of effort, you can choose to put it in investment funds offered by the bank. Banks are highly varied in the investment field – some are still into a conservative type of investing, whereas others are aggressive in investing in various companies in different areas. Make sure that you’re adequately aware of the risks and terms before you dive into this option.
On the other hand, if you’re lending money from a bank, choose a bank that offers low interest on loans so it will not be burdensome when you have to pay it back. Again, you have to make sure that you adequately reviewed the bank terms before availing loan services as you don’t want your money to be eaten up just by interest rates.
3. Quality of service
More often than not, poor customer service is the reason many people continue to patronize their local banks and credit unions instead of big banks because they’re looking for a personal commitment when handling their accounts and their related concerns.
High quality of service can be achieved through:
- Attending to your needs promptly when making over the counter withdrawals or deposits
- Initiating strategies with your consent if you’re looking for other platform such as mutual fund allocation or bond funds to make your money grow
- Offers you services that is suitable for you based on your needs like educational or housing loans
4. Location and accessibility
When choosing a bank, you also need to consider its strategic location so that when you need to do a bank transaction, you can quickly go to their office either by private or public transportation. Your bank should be located in an area that’s accessible to you.
The bank should also have branches and ATMs that are widely accessible if you’re far from your hometown. In the event that you need emergency cash, you can easily access your account and withdraw your money. However, you have to make sure that the ATM’s location is also secure to avoid card information theft.
Financial institutions are providing an easier way for their clients to manage and access their accounts without taking much effort in visiting the bank. These include online banking and mobile banking. However, make sure that the bank you’ll be choosing invests on the security and other upgrades on these systems. Some banks experience glitches, system failure, and even hacking and you don’t want your bank account to be caught up in these.
You’ll know if they are dedicated in keeping up with the technology but at the same time keeping their clients’ account safe if you see these features:
- Adapts security features of your smartphones such as one-time PIN when making transactions and logging in using fingerprint technology
- Firewalls and data intrusion system integrated in their site. For users, you can see the effectiveness of this feature if you try to log in using an unsecured IP address or location.
- Prohibiting access of the banking site if possible malware or threats is detected that can endanger the system’s data
- Proper notification, either through SMS or e-mail if there are suspicious activities and transactions attempted to your account.
Keeping your money secure is not as easy as randomly choosing a bank and opening an account with them. You have to think rationally and take into considerations things like interest rates, security, quality of service, and accessibility before you decide on where you’ll be entrusting your money. Banks are not created equal, so you have to select which one will meet your needs based on your financial goals.