Tag Archives: checking

Remote Deposit is Coming to ING Direct in Spring 2012

UPDATE: ING Direct is now Capital One 360

I got a fantastic email from ING Direct today. If you don’t know, ING Direct is being acquired by Capital One. Not everyone is ecstatic about the change. After all, who wants to be part of a big bank? One of the things I love about ING Direct is their excellent customer service, which many big banks lack.

In today’s email to customers alerting them to the change (hint: not much is changing, at least in the short-term), there is an interesting nugget about a big change that I’ve been waiting a long time for.

Coming in Spring 2012, ING Direct customers will have access to CheckMate, their new remote deposit service. This means customers will be able to deposit checks to their ING Direct accounts from their computers or mobile devices.

I’ve been waiting for this feature for a long time now. It was promised about a year ago, but I assumed that getting acquired by Capital One would push off this much anticipated service even further. However, they pleasantly surprised me this time, and having the ability to do all my checking from the comfort of my own home is a huge plus.

Remote Deposit will complete ING Direct as a bank for me. A few months ago, they allowed people to get paper checks instead of having to mail them in. They are so close to becoming a bank I can use full time.

I’ve wanted to close my Bank of America account for a long time now (they only have one redeeming quality), but I didn’t have a convenient way to deposit checks. When this service arrives sometime in the next few months, I don’t think I’ll have a reason to keep my Bank of America checking account anymore (and I definitely don’t have a BOA savings account!).

While ING Direct has been my primary bank for over 2 years now, it hasn’t been my only bank. I’ve had to go through the lengthy process of depositing a check at a Bank of America ATM, transferring it to my ING Direct account, and waiting several days for the transfer to clear. Waiting several days for your money isn’t ideal, so this is much welcome news for me.

Readers, am I silly for being this excited? What’s your favorite bank perk right now?

Have You Noticed Google Advisor?

I do a lot of reading in Google Reader. I have about 50 blogs I read consistently, so each morning I just scroll through all the interesting articles.

Recently, I’ve noticed one ad in particular: Google Advisor.

Of course, I got interested, so I clicked over, and what did I find? An amazingly useful personal finance tool. Google Advisor gives a list of rates for mortgages, credit cards, CDs, checking, and savings accounts based on your location and needs. It even gives contact information for lenders so you can start the process!

I’ve seen some aggregators in the past, but when Google creates something, I expect them to do it better than anyone else. And it looks like they’re close if not already there.

The credit card offers are cool because you can tailor the results to you! You can choose whether you want rewards or a good APR, whether you’re doing it for a balance transfer or to earn air miles. Don’t want annual fees? No problem! Just select the options you want and boom, the best credit card options for you to look at are right in front of you. And it’s very simple to apply for a credit card from their site.

The mortgage page is similar. Just enter the amount of your house, the size of your down payment and your approximate credit score and voila, all the information you could ever need is at your finger tips. Maybe it will help you pay mortgage off faster!

One thing it definitely leaves out are the high interest checking accounts. I did a test with Consumers Credit Union in Illinois. I know they offer 4.09% APY on their checking accounts, so I typed in their zip code, 60079, into the Google Advisor tool, and sadly, they still didn’t show up.

Credit unions definitely need to be added, but Google gets bonus points for having savings accounts. Entering the amount of money you want to put in an account not only shows the interest rate, but also includes minimums to open the account, any fees, and the amount of interest you’d earn in a year. Very cool.

Their CD tool is another good one, showing the interest rate, length of term, minimum to open, interest earned over the length of the CD, and any early withdrawal penalties.

One thing I’d definitely like to see on there is a student loan comparison tool. It may get a little complicated because of unsubsidized and subsidized loans and determining who qualifies without a lengthy process, but if anyone can do it, it’ll be Google.

Google Advisor is the ultimate comparison tool. I give it a thumbs up. Once they add in area specific checking accounts and some student loan pages, that will turn into a big thumbs up.

Readers, would you use Google Advisor? What other types of aggregate information would be useful? Check it out and tell me what you think!