The importance of choosing a bank should not be underestimated. Picking the right bank can help your financial life run smoothly while choosing the wrong one can be very frustrating. At some point in your life, you will need a bank, and to consider which type of bank is best for you, you should first consider your needs as a customer. We can all agree that there is no one right bank for everyone so whether you are new to banking or not, there are main factors that you will need to consider when choosing the bank. Banks play a major role in our life by helping us to handle our finances. Most of us may not understand the importance of having a bank you can trust and rely on. I want to remind you that the bank not only provides you with the security of your money but assists you through loans when you are in desperate need of quick cash. Hence, it is important to select a bank that aligns with your lifestyle and meets all of your financial needs and goals. This week, I will share some factors that you should consider when choosing the bank:
- Security of your money — Banks are supposed to be a safe place for your money so you want to choose a bank that won’t endanger your money. Hence it is vital to make sure that any bank that you choose is insured by Deposit Insurance Board (DIB). The monetary value of your money is the physical representation of your hard work so do not use any bank that doesn’t have that kind of protection. For example, In Tanzania, it is worth mentioning that the the maximum amount that is 100% covered is Tanzania Shillings One Million and Five Hundred Thousand only (i.e. TZS 1.5M).
- Fees and Charges — Always make sure you read and understand the fees and charges of the bank you are considering very carefully before you sign up. As the banks understand the power the consumers now have, some of them are offering free accounts to use as long you keep your account balance at a certain amount. Some of the fees that you should consider are ATM fees, monthly maintenance fees of the accounts, over-the-limit fee, payment transfer fees, over-the-counter withdrawal fees, and late payment fees. For For example, it is important to know how much will you earn on your savings, how much will you pay on loans, and how much do you pay for transactions and account maintenance fee.
- Customer service — Customer service can make or break your relationship with a bank. When you have a problem or issue, the last thing you would want is to have a bank representative who is rude, unfriendly, and unhelpful. Find the bank that sees the World from your point of view and understands your journey. So, it is important to choose a bank that takes its time to understand your needs and expectations and is more proactive in addressing the issues and solving customer’s problems.
- Convenience — When choosing a bank, you will need to assess your needs as a customer so it will be convenient for you. You should ask yourself this, do you need human interactions when doing transactions, or you comfortable using electronic channels? If you need that human interaction, then the location of a physical bank is important to you while if you comfortable with electronic channels (Internet and mobile banking) then the location of your bank is not important but electronic channels are; so you need to make sure those channels are reliable and easy to use.
In summary, we have seen that it is very important to choose a bank that aligns with your lifestyle and meets your financial needs and goals. Furthermore, since most banks offer similar products but they differ in services, policies, and charges that can have a huge impact on your financials hence it is imperative to consider the above four factors that I have mentioned when choosing your bank. Lastly, please remember to choose a bank that aligns with your values and lifestyle.
Written by Kelvin Mkwawa, MBA
Email address: Kelvin.firstname.lastname@example.org
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