A millennial’s guide to digital banking
August 25, 2019
The traditional banking process involves entering a branch to conduct business, regular visits to ATMs and dealing with checks and cash. Digital banking eliminates that need. Almost all brick-and-mortar financial institutions have digital options and some don’t have a consumer-facing physical presence at all.
David Reiling, CEO of Sunrise Banks, a leader in financial technology, stresses the need for digital banking.
It pays to know more about what’s available to you in the world of digital banking. Here’s your guide.
Digital checking accounts
Even if you will never write a paper check (and odds are you won’t), you’ll want a place to deposit and house the money you earn or receive. With a checking account you can tap into those funds to pay for the products and services you need.
What to look for in a digital checking account:
Digital savings accounts
The perfect addition to a checking account is a savings account. With it you’ll be able to set cash aside for emergencies and fund goals.
What to look for in a digital savings account:
Credit cards and loans
You can apply for and receive just about any kind of credit product from a lender with an online presence. After you complete the application available on the website, in minutes (if that) you’ll find out if you qualified and were accepted.
What to look for in a digital credit product:
Currently there are several ways to pay that don’t involve removing bills from a wallet:
Technology is marching forward with new digital payment options on the horizon, but whatever they may be, exercise caution. Frictionless transactions can feel like you’re not using real money. You are. If you don’t monitor your accounts, you’ll soon delete your funds or rack up unintended debt.
Person-to-person payment apps
If you go out for a coffee with a friend and if she picks up the tab, you can repay her by sending your portion of the bill with a person-to-person payment app. It may come with your banking account — such as Zelle — or from you using an independent company, including Venmo and PayPal.
According to Melissa Lowry, Vice President of Brand and Consumer Marketing for Zelle, the appeal of these apps are their convenience and instant gratification. “Just pull out your phone and pay your friends,” says Lowry. “It’s satisfying, and eliminates the awkwardness of talking about money owed. With these digital transactions you do it all in the moment.”
What to look for in a person-to-person payment app:
After that it’s up to you to use the app safely. Only pay people you know and trust and double check any contact information you enter, says Lowry. Once the money leaves your account, it’s virtually impossible to get back.
In a nutshell
Ready to go totally digital? You can. However, you may miss out on the face-to-face interactions that can improve service. “Consumers might be able to glean more information from their banker than from their banking app,” says Reiling. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone or schedule an appointment with an actual human.