Five Common and Convenient Banking Features You Didn’t Know Existed

 

Most people are aware that banks offer services like personal loans, credit cards, and savings accounts. But did you know that some banks will let you spend a deposit days before it actually arrives in your account? Sounds useful? There are many more convenient banking features that the average consumer doesn’t know about. This article will share a few of the best.

 

Secure notifications sent directly to your mobile phone

Banks often have advanced messaging and notification services that can send you banking information in real time. These notifications can help you manage your money and improve the security of your bank accounts.

You can be notified when:

  • Payments arrive in your account. The bank can notify you as soon as a specific payment has arrived in your account.  This can be particularly useful when you are expecting a large deposit.
  • Bill payments have been completed. It’s always nice to know that your bills are paid and that you won’t be charged a late fee. Your bank can send a confirmation notice to your mobile phone saying that a bill has been successfully paid. You can also have notifications appear as the due date for a bill arrives, to remind you to pay it.
  • Account details have been changed. Most banks will send you notifications when any changes have been made to your account, like the alteration of contact details. This is a very useful feature because it improves the security of your bank account.
  • A transaction has failed. If one of your payments has failed, you can be notified immediately. This can help you avoid unnecessary late fees and credit card charges.
  • Your bank balance or credit card reaches a certain threshold. This is useful if you have a savings goal you are trying to reach or if you want to stop using your credit card when it reaches a certain threshold.
  • Failed account logins. You can be notified if someone has attempted to log into your online bank account without your knowledge. This is another excellent security feature.

 

Mobile check deposits

Most consumers have become used to controlling their finances with computers, smartphones, and tablets — making paper checks seem a bit archaic. However, there are still some occasions when you are forced to either receive or send a check.

Fortunately, some banks make this process easier by offering mobile check deposits. Instead of having to visit your bank in person, you can upload a photo of the check to the bank. The bank can start processing the check early which reduces your payment wait time.

 

Get paid early apps

Some online banks have get paid early features which let you spend a direct deposit up to two days before it has officially been added to your account balance. Using this feature means you will no longer have to wait while banks spend days processing a payment. To use this feature, your employer must sign a pre-filled direct deposit form. You will then receive an electronic notification as soon as the funds are available to spend. It’s a fantastic feature, particularly if you have some bills waiting to be paid or there are some essential purchases you need to make.

 

Automatic bill payments

Most people are inundated with many bills each month, including utility bills, student loans, car loans, rent or mortgage repayments, and various types of insurance bills. Managing your bills and paying them on-time can be a time-consuming chore.

Fortunately, most online banks now offer automatic bill repayment services. Your bank will ensure that all of your bills are paid on time and will notify you when payment is complete. This feature can simplify your life and help you avoid late repayment fees.

 

Account management tools

Most banks have dramatically improved the kinds of account management tools they provide to customer thanks to new online banking systems. Some of the most useful features provided by online banks include:

  • Creating spending categories. You can sort spending into multiple user-defined categories then create reports to identify what you are spending money on.  This is a very handy tool for anyone who is on a budget or has a savings goal they are trying to reach.  You will be able to see how much money you spend on bills, entertainment, and transport at a glance.
  • Powerful reporting and search tools. Online banks have useful reporting and search tools that help you to analyse your personal finances. These tools are particularly useful if you are creating a budget or savings plan.
  • Investment advice. Some banks will analyze your spending and saving habits for you, then give you advice on how to structure your money for the best return.

 

John Andrew is the Founder and Publisher of Teens Mean Business & has been writing about small businesses since 2005.

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