Smartphones and online banking have revolutionized how you can do your banking. You can transfer money from one account to the next with a few taps. There’s no more waiting in queue for hours or running late, thanks to traffic to deposit a check, cash a loan, or buy stocks.
How Can You Find A Bank Near You?
Traditionally, the only way to find a bank in your area was to call the local branch. Don’t worry — you don’t have to make an in-person appointment to ask a simple question. For example, you might want to know if they have an ATM on site or if they offer checking accounts for non-residents.
The most reliable way is through internet search engines like Google. You can look up the name of your bank and other financial institutions near you and learn more about their services. Remember that the search results you receive have not been updated in a while, so check your bank’s website to see if it offers local branch contact information.
Information such as the hours of operation and contact numbers is an excellent place to start. As a bonus, you can get driving directions from your location so you won’t get lost when visiting the bank in person.
All banks want clients, and one way to gain new customers is through word-of-mouth recommendations. If another resident has had a positive experience at the bank and continues to do business with them, be sure to pass that information along once you’ve opened your account.
Tips for Picking Out A Bank
When shopping around for a bank or other type of financial institution, there are several factors to consider:
You may not realize this, but many banks operate in a culture of fear. They are concerned that customers will appear at their offices with nothing more than the hope of getting free money. A savvy customer interested in learning about new banking options can take advantage of that distrust to steal from the bank. Make sure that the bank is transparent about its security policies.
With many financial institutions competing for business, they are forced to be more transparent regarding prices. Many online banks offer online banking and mobile banking apps where you can access your money and pay bills without checking into an actual branch. To find out what these institutions offer, check their website to see if they will give you the necessary information.
Low Opening Costs
Opening an account with a bank can be expensive. An excellent way to save money is to open an account with one of the big banks. They often offer low minimum deposit requirements to get you started and no monthly fees for checking in with your financial institution.
Some people view customer service as a sales pitch. If that is the issue, it’s your job to educate yourself on the ins and outs of banking. The first problem with customer service departments is the customer’s questions before they become problems. But if you are proactive in your concerns, they can do their job to prevent any issues from happening.
Take a few minutes to consider what type of service you expect from a bank. Are you looking for an institution that is professional with conservative services? Or do you need something more financial-oriented that will respond quickly to requests? Ensure the bank you pick has the customer service departments necessary to keep your business.
Different Types of Banks
The banking industry operates along two general lines: commercially and privately.
Their primary goal is to make money for their owners or shareholders. The economics of banking are based on deposits, loans, and other services. The aim is to ensure money flows into the bank as possible so that the institution can lend it out and generate interest. You may think this is a profit-driven business, but it’s not. Commercial banks don’t make any money on their interest expenses and never have to pay the principal.
These banks are listed on the New York Stock Exchange and trade publicly. Their business model is designed to make a profit for their owners. In other words, they have nothing to do with making money for their shareholders. They are not beholden to the bank’s profitability but instead focus on managing the money in accounts and beyond while providing exceptional customer service in a conservative environment.
Private banking is not to be confused with private wealth management. Where private banks offer various investment and banking services, private wealth management focuses more on the customer and their financial situation.
Banks in the United States
According to the FDIC, there are more than 14,000 banking institutions across the United States. Not all of them will be able to offer you every service you need. Your first step should be to decide what kind of institution works best for you. Some examples of bank branches include the following:
- Bank of America
- Capital One
- Wells Fargo
- PNC Bank
- TD Bank
- US Bank
- HSBC Bank
- USAA Federal Savings Bank (formerly known as Mechanics Savings Bank)
Banks are required to provide you with access to your money, even when they are closed. A network of ATMs is the easiest way for you to make deposits or withdraw cash. It is why ATMs became popular so quickly. Today, you can use them anytime during the day or night, and they are open year-round. ATM services near you include:
- Nearby ATMs
- Bitcoin ATMs
- EcoATM locations
Apart from the banks, other financial institutions specialize in various financial products and services. Some of the most prominent are:
You may not have known this, but many banks offer jobs as pawnbrokers. If you must sell something of value and don’t want to put it up for a credit check, you can take your items to a local pawn shop that accepts cash, checks, or money orders.
Money orders are a necessary part of many people’s financial lives. Banks will use them to collect payments on prior business dealings. You can buy them from the bank or get one from the U.S. Postal Service if you don’t have enough cash to pay off an obligation.
Whether you are new to the banking industry or have been involved in financial transactions for decades, you must understand how your bank works. Making sure that your money is safe is an excellent place to start.