Updated: Feb 4
A step-by-step guide to moving your money from your current banking institution to a Better Banking Option
Don’t be intimidated by the length of this article; just know we wanted to walk you through this process as thoroughly as possible, so you might avoid annoying missteps along the way. Although this process might seem daunting at the beginning of it, it’s just a series of simple steps that need to be take, and can be one of the easiest ways for you to change the world. When we redirect our money into channels that take it to the people that need it most, and encourage others to do the same, it makes a huge difference in who and what is being invested in in our communities.
Step 1 – Research your new bank. Are there any fees that you would be likely to be paying often? Do the interest rates and online banking services fulfill your needs and expectations? Essentially, you just want to understand what you’re able to get back from your new bank, and what you’ll be expected to pay. Before you’re appalled at the idea of paying fifteen dollars more in fees a month, instead, think of this money as your monthly contribution to good works in your community.
Step 2- Open your new bank account. Once you find a better banking option that meets your needs, open your new account there, and move enough money to the new account to keep it open without fees.
Step 3- Order a new debit card and checks from your new bank, and make sure you have both at your disposal before moving forward.
Step 4- Make a plan for moving all automatic payments and withdrawals which come out of your old account. It’s very important to make sure there’s enough money in each account to cover any money automatically withdrawn- you don’t want to overdraw either account. Closely monitoring both accounts is essential during the transition.
Step 5- If you have direct deposit, ask your employer to transfer the deposits to your new account. Any other automatic payments that come to your old account, ask for them to be sent to your new account. Make sure you know exactly when this money will be coming to your new accounts, so you can plan accordingly.
Step 6- Move your automatic withdrawals to your new account, first making sure there’s enough money in the new account to cover each payment. Again, make sure you know exactly when these transfers will be taking place, and write this information down. You may want to leave a small amount of money in your old account, just in case there are any automatic withdrawals you’ve forgotten.
Step 7- If you’ve been using online banking with your old accounts, print out or download your statements, or any other important documents, for your personal records.
Step 8- Follow the bank’s process for closing your old account, to make sure you’re not accruing any fees. Your old bank won’t want you to leave; it’s easiest to do this in person, take out any remaining funds in your account while you’re there and make sure you get written documentation that the old account is, in fact, closed. Some people may want to keep this account open, especially if you’re moving your money to a bank that doesn’t have a branch in your neighborhood- you can easily transfer money from your new account to make cash withdrawals at your local ATM.
These last two steps are optional for your personal finances, but essential to spreading the word about what better banking can do for our communities.
Step 9- Write a short letter to your old bank’s board letting them know why you left their bank, and what they should be doing differently.
Step 10- Talk about your experience moving your money and why you decided to do so with anyone that will listen. Tell your friends and communities, and spread the word on your social media pages. When you do so, please tag our Facebook page, or simply get in touch with us through our contact page. We would love to hear about your experience making the world a better place through better banking.
There are other useful articles on this topic out there, a couple of which we referenced frequently for this article- they can be found here and here. However, we wanted to compile our own list of steps to take when moving your money from your current bank to a better banking option, that included all the best advice from these sources.