Switching Banks: The Waiting Game

by Kevin on August 7, 2009

Earlier this week I detailed out how to transition to a new bank account. We are in the midst of moving a sizeable amount of our money from our ING Savings account to a new regional bank in our area. In doing so we are tripling the amount interest rate we will earn from 1.4% to 4.4%.

I thought I’d write a quick update about what steps we’ve been through thus far.

Connecting Bank Accounts for Transfers

We’ve opened up the new account and received our debit cards. I ordered new checks online which should arrive sometime in the next 10 days or so. (Ordering checks online was much cheaper than getting them at the bank. Plus we could get University of Tennesse checks!)

One portion of the process that took a while was connecting our ING accounts with our new bank for electronic transfers. I still haven’t finishing getting everything connected from the new bank to ING (that is I can’t initiate the transfer from the new bank).

Setting up from ING’s side of things was much easier. I connected the new account and had to wait a few days for the small deposits to show up in the other bank account. Then you just go online and confirm the deposits. Once confirmed you can transfer money to and from using ING’s interface.

With this being a small regional bank I wasn’t expecting an online bank interface full of features. ING definitely gets a check mark here, but they are an internet bank. They have to have a quality fast interface.

Waiting on a Large ACH Transfer

Once we had the ability to transfer funds to the bank I setup a rather large (at least to us) transfer. It always makes me nervous clicking “Confirm transfer” when there are five figures involved.

I initiated the transfer on Wednesday which means it should show up in the new bank sometime today… but they usually don’t update the online account balances until a day later. Since we are running into the weekend it might be Monday before I see the new balance.

Piles of Named Dollars

Transferring accounts definitely complicates things. I track all of our money in an Excel spreadsheet. Every dollar has a name like “Groceries” or “Car Savings”.

Moving banks means I am moving big piles of named dollars to new locations. But I can’t move everything because I don’t want to get stung by forgetting about some other automatic transfer from a utility company.

To combat this we are going to end up leaving a thousand dollars or so in the old ING checking account. It will take us a while to completely move all of our automatic payments over to the new bank — and I didn’t want to start doing that until I know for sure that the big transfer I mentioned above is in the account.

Patience and Planning are Key

This isn’t what I would call a major life event. However it does take some planning to make sure you don’t get hit with overdraft fees because you forgot that your credit card payment came out of Account A rather than Account B.

Add in the time factor where you transfer money from one bank to the next and it doesn’t arrive immediately and things start to get stretched out.

Thankfully my handy spreadsheet tells me where everything is, what categories have what money, and where everything is located.

Now I just have to wait for the bank online systems to reflect what my spreadsheet says, and we’ll be good.

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