5 things freelancers should always compare when choosing where to bank 🤔
Your bank doesn’t have to be just a vault anymore, it can be a real partner in your business growth and financial well-being.
Whether we like it or not, we have to admit eventually that a lot of the things we do in life were decided by our parents: our favorite brand of mac ‘n cheese is usually what they used to feed us on Thursday night, what we call ”true” classic rock is what they listened to in the car, and more often than not, we’re still banking with the same bank where they opened our first account when we were sixteen.
And for a while, it made a lot of sense. It’s easier to stay where you are, and for a long time most banks were pretty much offering the same services. But in 2020, it might be time to reconsider. All of it. Because now there are new options for banking services out there that are different.
If you’re considering shopping for a new banking service for you and/or your business, here are a few things you should always look at:
Cost It sounds obvious, but this is often overlooked because we've always paid bank fees, so we assume it’s normal. And it was. But it isn’t anymore. A few challenger banking services now offer accounts with NO monthly fees, NO minimum balance requirement and FREE - or at least cheaper - transaction fees (free foreign exchange rate and no-fee ATM withdrawals are now a reality!) So always give a close look at how much your bank charges you for the most basic of banking services. If you’re spending $15 per month to just keep your account open, that’s$180 a year you can save VERY easily.
Timing Sometimes you need a bank account fast. When you start a business and need a place to receive your first payments, having to wait days or weeks for an account to be opened be frustrating. Especially when there’s a lot of documents requested (who here knows where their birth certificate is?!) Some bank accounts can now be opened at lightning speed, with minimum documentation necessary.
Availability When you work all week, trying to meet deadlines or pursue new clients, it’s hard, borderline impossible, to deal with banking matters on regular business days. So make sure the services your bank offers online fit your needs. For example: does your current bank allow you to freeze your card at 2am on a Saturday (because when else would you forget it at the bar?).
Safe? Always make sure your banking service is FDIC insured. This means that your money, up to $250,000, is insured by the US government. If they are, your money is completely safe with them.
What else? Today, challenger banks don’t stop at holding your money and giving you a piece of plastic to access it. A series of new features, using technology and design, can now provide you a better banking experience, more suited to your profile: freelancers can now access tools to manage their business finances, their tax savings, and business deductions directly from their bank account; workers paid via direct deposit can now access their money up to 2 days earlier than with a traditional bank with Early Payment…
So look around, your bank doesn’t have to be just a vault anymore, it can be a real partner to your business growth and financial well-being.