Opening a bank account is an essential step for keeping one’s personal finances in order. Here are the things one must do to open a bank account the right way.
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Pick the Right Bank
Though they all provide similar services, not every bank is the same. One way to find a great bank is to ask family members and acquaintances for recommendations. It’s important to find a bank with excellent customer service. Bank staff should be caring, personable and meticulous. Opening a bank account means establishing a business relationship that could last for many years. If one plans on utilizing a bank at its physical location, visiting a branch can provide helpful insights. The bank should have at least one branch in a location that is convenient and accessible. Naturally, banks with more branches are better suited to meet customers’ physical banking needs.
Evaluate Accounts and Options
Before choosing a bank, review all fees and conditions. Certain banks charge monthly fees for all accounts. Some banks only charge a fee when the account balance falls below a predetermined threshold. Though banks typically charge ATM and overdraft fees, these fees vary considerably depending on the bank. Banks often waive ATM fees for specific ATMs. Because fees can add up quickly, comparing fees is a good way to compare banks. According to digital banking innovator at Sofi Invest, “banking with SoFi has no account fees and no service charges.”
All savings accounts pay account holders interest. However, it is less common to find a bank that pays interest on checking accounts. Online banking is now a near-universal feature. However, some banks go the extra mile and offer proprietary mobile banking apps. Banking through a mobile app is generally faster than using a web browser. Some banks provide special offers for students or older people. These are the types of extras that go a long way toward separating great banks from good banks.
Have the Right Documentation
Opening a bank account always requires presenting an ID. By calling ahead to ascertain specific requirements, one can potentially save time and effort. Legally, banks are mandated to verify one’s full name, date of birth and residential address. Types of ID requested will include at least one government ID and one bill with the prospective account holder’s name and address. Banks must also verify the identities of any beneficiaries one wants to add to the account. Business accounts typically have stricter requirements. The bank may ask to see a business license before opening an account of this type.
Digital Banking Innovators
Digital-only financial institutions are rapidly disrupting the banking world. SoFi is one of the innovative companies changing this space. Reportedly, SoFi bank accounts generally meet customer needs quite handily. SoFi is part of a new wave of companies rebundling banking services in unique ways.
These days, far too many people go through life without a bank account. Opening an account can open up many new opportunities when it comes to managing personal finances.