Monday, April 08, 2013

Old School Banking

I received an email from our "online" bank. We have a savings account (and a checking account for that matter) with banks that don't have local branches - we do banking there mostly online. In the last two places we've lived, we've opened accounts at local banks (or credit unions, as the case may be) to have access to cash and a way to deposit checks. This email I received detailed the new (free) process for depositing checks electronically - just take a picture and upload it!

At first I was very excited - this would save time and simplify life a bit. Then I began to realize what I'd lose. My daughter and I walk to the credit union when we need to deposit checks - it's a little more than a mile round trip. All six employees there know her by name and they never ask to see my ID. One moonlights at a local retailer and we get to see her there as well; she's part of the neighborhood. Another teller noticed my name in the paper one day and asked about it (when I didn't even think she knew my name to begin with). A third gave me advice on where to get a decent haircut.

One of the big reasons we moved to Middletown was to be in a community - to live and work and bank, I guess, in and around the same people. There's a community here for sure and we discover more of it each and every day.

I deleted that exciting email from the bank. It would cost too much to use that free service. I'm also seriously thinking about what it will take to move our checking account and all of the direct deposits and payments that entail to the credit union.

Maybe we need to be spending more time there after all.

1 comment:

Alison said...

I'm all for local banking. Eevn beyond the community aspect of it (which is definitely important) you have the assurance of socially responsible banking. You know with a small, local bank that your money is going to local places, local businesses, local people. Banks use your money to make loans and do business, wouldn't you rather know that it is staying in your community than it is being used for who knows what around the world?