Online banking

scrooge-mcduckFor years (I’m embarrassed to admit how many) I’ve kept a wad of cash in a money market account at my local bank. For a long time I thought of this as my “savings” account, as opposed to my day-to-day checking account where I kept a few thousand bucks.

In the last couple of years I’ve moved most of those funds to my investment portfolio but kept some (too much) in the money market account. Last week I got curious about exactly how much the money market was earning. A whopping .15%. The lady at the bank apologized when she told me.

When I asked my financial advisor for ideas he recommended a savings account with an online bank. He pointed out that the good ones are FDIC insured, just like my local bank and because they aren’t supporting all that brick-and-mortar infrastructure, they can afford to pay better interest rates. I went with Ally where I’ll get .90%.

My initial experiences have all been positive. Security seems very tight. I can talk/chat with someone 24/7. And their iOS app is very good. By that I mean, simple.

Once it sunk in that my money is not really in the vault of the bank across the street, I got comfortable with the idea of an online bank. I’ll keep a checking account with my local bank but as tools like Apple Pay gain wider acceptance, that might not always be the case.