Choosing your everyday bank can be a decision that is instantly accepted and moved on from, but should it be? The choice you make has some long-term flow on effects and can affect you in the day to day. It’s vitally important you pick the right bank for you and the right one to keep your mind at ease. So what type of things should the everyday consumer be looking for when they’re picking a bank?Technology, Service & Location
Banks these days are desperate to stay with the times and offer the latest technology. Whether that is cardless cash or mobile phone payments, banks should be able to offer you what you want.
If you’re tech savvy, you’ll want your bank to have a user friendly mobile app with a good track record of functionality and security. However if you prefer the human touch, you’ll want to make sure you have a bank with several convenient branch locations so you are not restricted to online banking or call centres. It’s also worth doing a bit of research to check your future bank for their security history just to make sure you are comfortable with who you are trusting with your money.
If you have business banking needs there are many packages and options to pick from. You’ll also want to have an engaged business bank manager when choosing a bank.
Banking institutions are notorious for those little fees that add up. They can be for ATM use, overdrafts, writing cheques, transacting in branch, international fees and countless others. To work out which one is right for you, you must think of how you use your money. If you like to have cash on hand and are constantly looking for an ATM, there are banks out there that offer fee free ATM use with any ATM in Australia. If you make a lot of overseas purchases, look for accounts that have low or no fees for international transactions. Some banks will also offer package fees for accounts, mortgages and credit cards too.
Mix and match
Big banks provide plenty of options these days to keep everything with the one bank. It’s simple to keep your loans, credit cards, savings and investment accounts together to make it simple. Some people will however share the love with other banks to get the best rates and lowest fees. 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.
Picking a bank is very much a personal decision and it’s 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. What you need from your bank will change as your life circumstances change, so it’s important not to settle, but get on the front foot and get the best for you.
Shopping around and Mortgages
Shopping around for the right banking solution is worthwhile. This is particularly important if you have or are looking for a home loan, with each bank offering different rates and packages. Engaging a broker is a worthwhile exercise to ensure you receive the best possible solution for your personal circumstances, particularly an independent broker who is not a licensee of specific bank.
To review and discuss your lending and banking needs, please contact one of Accru Melbourne’s qualified mortgage broking specialists.
By Gareth Livingston, Accru Melbourne