Ever wondered what banking could be like if it serviced you according to your preferences? Technology has really help in many areas but I find that banks are really slow at adopting technology to provide better services as opposed to looking at another income channel for their juicy dividends (You know I love their dividends but I hate the fees as a customer)
Here are 4 services that would add to my banking satisfaction as a customer.
Free Chequing Account
Many online banking institutions and credit unions already offer a free chequing account. Other big banks offer you free chequing if you have multiple products or a minimum. How about, if you have your pay deposited here, you get free chequing account?. Since I have no strings attached to my pay, I am now free to roam where I want regardless of where my mortgage is.
I really don’t understand why it’s so complicated to make the chequing account free. Raise the fees for talking to a teller if you need to. This is a pet peeve of many because of the amount you have to pay. I used to have the fees waived but since 2009, I have not had that privilege anymore. I have asked a couple of times. Now I am moving banking institution. I already switched discount broker and landed at RBC Direct Investing. Now I am taking care of my chequing account.
Readers: If you are not on Free Chequing, what’s holding you back?
Automated Credit Card Payments
For the longest time, the only credit card brand I used was VISA. Over the past year, I ended up picking a MasterCard and an Amex. I don’t really use the MasterCard though as I am a faithful to my cash back Scotia Momentum Infinite. Sometimes I do go through the hassle of getting a card for the discount but you need to follow through and close it otherwise, the borrowing amount does affect your credit ability. I use Amex for Costco since it’s convenient and you can’t use anything else but cash…
With using Amex, I discovered that I can automate the payments from my bank account. What a relief! No need to schedule payments, it just happens. Why can’t the big banks provide that service? They manage the account and I would expect the same service. No more late fees for many procrastinators.
Readers: Would you welcome such automation?
Linked Line of Credit for Overdraft
A line of credit is a really good tool to have in our financial tool box. It helps manage cash flow when timing is poor. Why is it we cannot link a chequing account to a line of credit as an overdraft? Are the banks really this technically challenged? Or is the automated overdraft fee just another cash grab from clients.
I want to have the safety of the overdraft just in case but then I have to work around all the ding fees… All they need to do is link the two accounts together and automate the process. Programmers can easily write the software.
Readers: Would you like a feature like this?
Email Money Transfer
Yet another great innovation fronted with a fees … I have to write cheques for all the sports associations fees since I have to pay fees on each email money transfer. ING direct offers free email money transfer by the way. I find ING interesting but since Scotia Bank purchased them, I have this constant worry that the ING utopia will change over time.
The least that could happen would be that EMTs are free between customers at the same bank. Even better is to allow your customer at the same bank to transfer funds between each other without a fee. RBC currently allows for the latter but I have not used it yet.
Readers: Are you a fan of email money transfer? Would you use it more often?
I thought I would add one more which American Express does well and it is to notify you when your accounts are due and it also has reminders. We all have emails and use it as a primary form of communication (I think more than Facebook …). With American Express, I get emails and I can act on them. Why is it that my other credit card companies and banks cannot send me emails when my balance has passed a threshold or the bill is ready. I only know when my VISA bill is ready after I receive my ePost notification. Otherwise, I would have to go look or wait for the bill to come in the mail. It’s very disappointing that such easy setup is practically non-existent and it could help the customer and be a great service by the financial institutions.
I have only banked in Canada and I have used a fair number of institutions but I find that there are very little innovations. We can all do online banking now and they all have a smart app (keeping up with competition) but the oligopoly is not quick to my life easier. A bank I won’t name offers a service to text you for convenience … at a fee for each text. No thank you. If they follow in the footstep of account authentication, they will soon text for free to send a verification code.
Why do they have to charge for every electronic services? Aren’t all the other fees keeping them afloat? Is that to cover the juicy dividends? I am sure they could streamline their cost structure if they had to rather than increasing fees on the consumer.
Readers: What’s your utopian banking experience?
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net