Online Banking or Traditional Banking?

Key Terms

Online banking – managing your bank accounts via electronic devices, to accomplish different tasks which may include depositing checks, or transferring money.

Attempting to contain the spread of Covid-19, most banks, including financial giants like JP Morgan and Barclays, were forced to function online. And of course, it came with great consequences when firms, that are reliant on direct customer contact, started losing their revenue. Some other smaller ones even had huge amount of losses in their existing fund. This also didn’t go without affecting employees, when firms like Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs started laying them off as they struggle to cope with regulatory issues. But now that banks are opening back up as the situation gets better, they are thinking of going fully remote. Below, we are going to discuss whether that’s the right thing to do or not from the student’s point of view.

Advantages of Online banking

Speed and efficiency

With the elimination of burdens like waiting in queue just to perform banking transactions, you don’t have to wait anymore. Now everything is at the tip of your finger, provided you can safely log in to your account online.

Lower fees

At traditional banks, you usually pay about $15 of monthly service unless you meet certain requirement where your fees can be excused. While on the other hand, most – if not all – online banks do not charge any extra fees such as overdraft fees.

Full Time Access to Account and Service

As long as you have internet access, online banks are accessible 24/7. Other banks even go out of their way to provide call service agent for those who do not have internet connection.

This does not go without mentioning that there are many downsides to using online banks. These may include no relationship build with personal banker, technology and security issues.

Disadvantages of Online Banking

Technology Issues

In cases of poor internet connection, or power outage, there is no way to reconnect with the same customer service personal, while you don’t have same problem at in-person banks.

Security issues

With absence of physical interaction, it’s hard to trust even the reputable banks. The increased cases of identity frauds and possibility of website freeze don’t make it easier, either.

Relationship with your personal banker

It is extremely important to build a strong relationship with your personal banker, especially if you are dealing with huge amounts of money all the time. It can a great advantage for you if you find yourself in a sticky situation in the future. But this is not found in online banking, where you are usually paired with an anonymous customer service agent.

All in all, even though online banking, and traditional banking have their fair share of benefits and drawbacks, I feel like online banking takeover is inevitable, and it is only a matter of time until all firms switch to digital banking eventually either due to huge losses, or decreased competition.

Husan Ravshanov, American University of Central Asia

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