Online vs. Traditional Banking: Which one is right for you?
When it comes to deciding between traditional (or physical) banks and credit unions or online-only banking, it can feel a little overwhelming with so many different options. From services to interest rates to ATMs, EFCU Financial is here to help you navigate ﬁnding the right type of account to meet your ﬁnancial needs.
Pros and Cons of Traditional Banking
While traditional banks and credit unions operate with physical branches that you can visit in-person or via drive-thru, many oﬀer online banking service options as well. This means you can manage your accounts with your branch’s tellers or with a computer or a mobile device. Let’s take a look at some of the Pros and Cons of traditional banking:
Having access to a brick-and-mortar location gives you the opportunity to build personal relationships with the people who are directly managing your accounts. This makes it easier to handle any problems with your account in the future.
Large ATM network
Physical banks and credit unions oﬀer broader access to ATMs, so you won’t encounter many withdrawal or deposit limitations, in-network fees or ATM fees.
Online Banking Options
In addition to traditional services, most brick-and-mortar banks and credit unions oﬀer all the same beneﬁts of online-only banking, including mobile transfers, check deposits and more.
Robust Customer Support
At traditional banks and credit unions, you have the option of face-to-face interactions, or online and phone service to help you with your banking needs.
More Account Options
Functioning as a one-stop-shop, traditional banks and credit unions oﬀer a variety of account options including savings, checking and business accounts, so you can handle all your banking needs under one institution.
More Account Fees
Traditional banking is normally associated with higher account fees. Some banks and credit unions may require a minimum deposit or balance to respectively open and maintain checking accounts.
Open Accounts In-Branch
You may be required to provide documentation at your local branch to open your ﬁrst account at a physical bank.
Lower interest rates
Traditional banks and credit unions typically oﬀer lower APYs, aligned with or below the national average of 0.04%, on savings accounts.
Pros and Cons of Online-Only Banking
Online-only banks operate without branches, which means you’ll be managing your accounts primarily with a mobile device or a computer, and you’ll never meet a teller or banker in-person. Let’s take a look at some of the Pros and Cons of online-only banking:
Lower Account Fees
Since they don’t have to maintain the expenses of traditional banks and credit unions, many online-only banks don’t charge monthly service fees.
Better Interest Rates
If you’re looking to earn more interest, online-only banks typically oﬀer higher APYs (around 0.5%) when compared to the national average.
With online-only banking, many processes, such as opening an account, are expedited, and you’re guaranteed constant access to your accounts.
No Physical Locations
You can expect minimal personalization with little to no in-person customer service at an online-only bank. That means dealing with chat bots and scrolling through support forums when you need help.
Limited ATM Access
If your online-only bank isn’t associated with a well-connected ATM network, you may encounter ATM cash withdrawal fees.
Cash Deposits Can be a Hassle
Without a local branch, depositing cash into your online-only bank can be a diﬃcult task. If your online-only bank doesn’t have deposit-accepting ATMs, you may need to utilize other resources, like transferring from a brick-and-mortar bank or credit union.
Limited Account Options
Some online-only banks may oﬀer great savings accounts with high interest rates, but you can’t always ﬁnd a checking account to match. This may result in having to open accounts at various institutions.
Bank like a Boss
Where you decide to bank aﬀects your ﬁnancial needs. That’s why EFCU Financial has a variety of account access options to help you bank like a pro. With all the personalization of traditional banking combined with the convenience of online banking, you get the best of both worlds here. When you bank with EFCU Financial you can expect:
As a member of EFCU Financial, you have access to 8 branches in the Greater Baton Rouge Area, as well as a co-op shared branch network of more than 5,000 credit unions and 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs across the U.S. where you can conduct your EFCU Financial transactions for service anywhere.
Affordable Account Options
Designed to simplify your ﬁnancial life and make money management easier, our checking and savings accounts oﬀer no minimum balance requirement or monthly service fees. Our Rewards Checking account gives you the choice of cash back or high yield with easy-to-meet qualiﬁcations.
Convenient Online Banking
All of the electronic services you want and need are right here. When you enroll in online and mobile banking, you have secure account access to view your balance, transfer funds, make deposits and more.
Accounts Under One Roof
From personal checking to savings to loan options at competitive rates, you can manage all of your ﬁnances at one institution.
Become a member of EFCU Financial or learn more about the added beneﬁts of banking at a credit union!