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Savings accounts have evolved from the days of stashing cash under the mattress. Most American adults use at least one bank account, whether for saving money securely or for completing financial transactions such as paying bills. Even conventional banks have some online presence, so most consumers participate in at least some form of online banking. However, there is a difference between using the online services of a brick-and-mortar bank and making the leap to virtual banking, where the bank exists only in cyberspace. The pros and cons of virtual banking are explored below.
With the commercialization of the internet came internet-only banks that have no network of branch offices. These “virtual” or “direct” banks offer financial services remotely via online banking and telephone banking. Often services are performed using mail, email and mobile as well. Virtual banking is also known as cyberbanking, e-banking, home banking or online banking.
Virtual banks hold several advantages over conventional banks, including:
Virtual banking certainly isn’t right for everyone.
When considering a financial institution to work with, it is important to first consider several factors. For instance, a person’s individual comfort and skill level with computer or mobile technology can help determine whether virtual banks are a good option. Likewise, their preferences when it relates to human interaction in conducting transactions is important, as is a bank’s financial product offerings and ATM availability.