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CNN Article: Internet banking has a lot to offer


This CNN article opens with a comparison of savings account rates between two popular online banks vs. two popular brick-and-mortar banks:

Online banks:
ING Direct: 3.40%
EmigrantDirect: 4.0%

Brick-and-mortar banks:
Citibank: 0.6%
Bank of America: 0.5%

The article then compared balance requirements:

Online banks:
ING Direct: $1
EmigrantDirect: $1

Citibank: $500
Bank of America: $100 to open, $300 to avoid fees

The article does mention some drawbacks of online banks. There is the two-day lag time for money transfers between accounts. It also mentioned ING Direct's tough policy on customers who require too much personal service. They admit that they close an average of 3 to 4 percent of accounts from these types of customers due to cost.

This policy won't win customers for ING Direct. It will give people another reason to choose EmigrantDirect. However, EmigrantDirect is not perfect either. One thing EmigrantDirect needs to do is to improve its website. ED's website doesn't give an impression of an established bank. For someone just starting to look into online banking, ED's website may provoke some worry.

Worries Over EmigrantDirect

When I first looked into ED, I was very concerned about the open-account link going to another domain (ibanking-services.com). Also, the domain registration information hadn't shown Emigrant Savings Bank to be the owner of the emigrant-direct.com domain name. But afer some research, my worries subsided. ibanking-services.com is owned by Metavante Corporation which is a provider of online banking services. So I guess ED just contracts out the online banking to Metavante. About the domain registration, the owner of EmigrantDirect.com domain name was a marketing company. Apparently, ED had contracted this out also. However, Emigrant Savings Bank is now shown to be the owner of all EmigrantDirect domain names. Also, Emigrant Savings Bank's website has a link to EmigrantDirect.com. So if you're considering EmigrantDirect, don't let the website issues bother you.

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