First Internet Bancorp operates First Internet Bank of Indiana as a bank holding company. It is one of the very first state-chartered, FDIC-insured banking institutions that doesn’t have any brick and mortar locations. You might be thinking, “Slow down. There are no physical locations?” You’ve got that right. These online-only banks are becoming increasingly popular, and it was only a matter of time before states and federal banks got on board the “online-only” train. Most people don’t utilize a physical bank location, even if it’s available to them, which means that banks are spending money to keep the lights on when it’s no longer truly necessary. This cost-cutting measure could result in lower costs and fees being passed along to their account holders – which would be a huge deal.
Why is online-only so popular?
Online-only banks tend to offer much, much lower fees and better service than some of the big, traditional banks, in the USA, in Canada, and worldwide. And you’re not really sacrificing any physical-location bank perks. You can still order checks, deposit money with your mobile app, withdraw money without fees at specific ATMs, make international or domestic money transfers, and more. More importantly, people tend to love online-only banks because their mobile and desktop applications and software is so much better than those at a traditional bank.
Why’s that? Because traditional banks are still bound up in the old way of thinking. They’re dumping tons of money into improved bank locations, new services, and more expensive things. As a result, they have high overhead costs and have to pass that along to customers in the form of higher fees, huge penalty costs, etc. When all is said and done, they don’t have a ton of money left over to contribute to their online presence or to their tech improvement. That’s not the case with online-only banks. Their primary space is online, so their system needs to be amazing for anybody to want to use them.
In most cases, their systems are amazing. Some online-only banks have cashback credit card rewards programs already set up, and others still offer extra perks, like budgeting apps or investment savings account offerings (think: IRAs and Roth IRAs for retirement). Users love having everything all in one spot, and the 24/7 support takes the place of needing to go into a physical bank location to chat with a representative (which may or may not have solved your problem in the first place).
So, wait. Why haven’t you heard of First Internet Bancorp?
The bank is still relatively new. It was founded in 1997 by a David B. Becker and wasn’t open for users to join until 1999. They also chose to go about their bank growth organically – which can be tricky. In general, it’s a good policy not to overpay for mainstream market popularity, but because their growth has been slow they haven’t been a major player in the online-only banking community. Speaking of marketing, First Internet Bancorp isn’t exactly rocking their marketing game. In general, online-only banks have very clean, aesthetically pleasing websites that appeal to a younger user. This also means extensive advertising on social channels, etc. First Internet Bancorp doesn’t participate in that kind of thing to as great an extent as some of their online-only competitors do.
What does First Internet Bancorp have to offer?
First Internet Bancorp offers both personal and business banking solutions. Traditional accounts are available, as are low, fixed-rate mortgages, and credit cards. Despite not having any physical, brick-and-mortar locations, they offer multiple solutions for depositing money in your account, withdrawing funds, and speaking with banking experts. For example, you can do direct deposit online, and you can use the mobile app to take a picture of any checks for immediate deposit. First Internet Bancorp also offers budgeting and planning services – something that not every traditional bank can offer to account holders.
Although the online-only trend is just now gaining in popularity, there’s no reason not to consider it, and by committing early before the online-only banking option increases in popularity you get to take advantage of the amazing benefits they offer before they change things to accommodate a larger user base. People tend to be nervous switching to a digital-only system. Security questions come into play, and with something as sensitive as their finances, they feel more comfortable sticking with what they know – which is why banks like First Internet Bancorp haven’t risen to the top of the banking industry. Ask yourself this, though: Do I like paying too-high fees and penalty costs just to stick with what I know rather than going online-only?
Everyone needs a bank at some point. Online-only banks, such as First Internet Bancorp, just make the whole process of banking easier – and there are so many benefits, it seems like a no-brainer choice to make. Making sure that your online-only bank has all the perks you’re looking for, including low fees, high interest rates for saving accounts, or no penalty costs is a must.