Alas, Greer’s Bank Idol series is over, almost before it even started! I was so looking forward to an honest comparison of offerings. But fair enough – personally, just thinking about paying personal visits to each and every bank out there is enough to drive me to drink.
I must admit I’m a little sad that she didn’t find ASB worthwhile. I love my bank and the only complaint I’ve ever had is that they charged me $20 for an unarranged overdraft (which I know I could have got waived if I had fought it, because others in the same trap did!) Honestly, I thought I had one set up – why else would I have signed up for a tertiary student account? But no, apparently you have to specify that you want one, and all that kind of thing. It was a painful lesson.
But the main reason I stick with ASB is their impressive internet banking. In the past, I have used National, ANZ and BNZ online banking. I’ve also seen Kiwibank’s in action. Granted, that was years ago and could have changed, but I still think ASB’s is pretty awesome. I track my transactions every month with their online tool, which although not perfect, is pretty nifty.
Funnily enough, the reason Greer is leaning towards Kiwibank is their online banking, too – they’ve set up some kind of proactive software to help you manage your money. I’m pretty sure BNZ are also launching, or have launched, one as well. (It’s interesting to note, though, that those are all somewhat, if not completely, separate from their plain-jane internet banking functions.) And I think those are great…for other people. People who swear by Mint and similar personal finance software, who get alerts sent to their phone and proactively manage their accounts.
But me? I’m pretty laissez faire with my finances. That’s why clever tools like Budgetpulse and the like don’t do it for me – they’re just too much work! I set out a rough spending plan, then tally up the damage at the end of each month. I’m not sure obsessing over every transaction would be beneficial…or healthy.
How important is internet banking to you?