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Things To Consider When Choosing A Bankengage

Saturday, August 5, 2017
Beyond Payday

For many of us, banks are the primary location where we store our money. A key element in personal financial management involves choosing the right bank. There is no golden rule for choosing which bank is right for us, but there are some important considerations that should be made before opening that first or next bank account. In no particular order, here is a brief list of factors to contemplate.

Past Relationships
In banking, relationships matter. Many of us would have inherited a banking relationship from our parents or some other familial association. For example, if our parents or other family members have had favorable relationships with a bank, and have established a good name with them, it can usually work to our advantage to choose to continue our relationship with that bank as well. Leveraging the connections built by those before us can help us develop our own banking relationship and the associated benefits much faster and easier. Never underestimate the power of a good name when it comes to choosing a bank.

Branch Network
Access to a psychical location of a bank still remains very important for many people. Having to go too far to utilise the services of a branch is something that should be considered in choosing where to stash our cash. Additionally, the distribution and scope of a bank’s ATM network is also worth taking into account since out-of-network ATM charges can really add up. The emergence of online banking has gone some way in alleviating the necessity of visiting branch locations, but there will still be times when an on-site visit to the bank will become necessary. It is therefore important to weigh proximity and a bank’s branch network in choosing the bank that best suits our needs.

Customer Service
It goes without saying that customer service matters. In fact few things affect our relationship with a bank more than the level of customer service we receive. Some banks have a reputation for delivering excellent customer service, while for others the perception may be different. One of the best ways to determine if a bank offers the level of customer service we desire is simply to Bankengage them ourselves. If we’re satisfied, it could be the start of a healthy banking relationship. If not, looking elsewhere is always an option. Ultimately, how we feel treated by our bank matters.

Services You’ll Utilise
It’s important to determine which services are most pertinent before deciding to engage with a bank. For example, you may decide, based on your desires and research that Bank A best suits your credit card needs, while say Bank B best suits your savings needs. It’s perfectly justifiable to have separate relationships with both banks because each suits your particular needs differently. There’s no obligation to stick with one bank for everything. In fact dealing with separate banks for separate services has tremendous merit as a tool in managing our personal finances well. Only you can determine what you’re most likely to extract from a banking relationship and only you will know what you’re likely to use enough to make that relationship count.

Interest Rates, Fees and Charges
The reality is banks make money by charging interest, fees and other charges on loans, deposits and other services they offer. In choosing a bank what matters is the amount of those expenses you feel comfortable incurring. Naturally this will vary from person to person, and will have to be seen in light of what the general market is offering. The bottom line is that banking services have costs, and we should be mindful of those costs when choosing a bank to cater to our financial needs.

Banking On Our Choices
By no means is this the definitive list on choosing a bank as other considerations can be included. Fundamentally, its important to recognise how the right banking relationship can affect our ability to level well, beyond payday.

Myths About Money



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