To some people accustomed to face-to-face service, online banking isn't an easy sell. To address such concerns, ING Direct promises its Electric Orange checking account holders that they will speak to a live rep within 20 seconds of calling customer service. The bank, which offers 0.25% interest on checking accounts, says it has seen an 80% jump in new accounts in February and March to date from the previous two months.
Another potential hassle: depositing checks. With a traditional checking account, customers can stride into a branch or deposit a check via ATM. Those who opt for an online-based account must mail in paper checks and wait a day or two for the funds to go through.
Federal savings bank USAA has devised another solution. It offers an iPhone and Google Android phone application that lets customers scan an image of a check to make a deposit. One caveat: This feature is currently available only for eligible USAA members, typically military members and their families, though its online checking account is available to anyone. Analysts expect other banks to roll out similar technology soon.
Comment: My brother and sister-in-law use USAA (she is a retired army major). As for depositing checks .... I don't think I deposit more than 4 checks a year (because we use direct deposit for paychecks).