Less-Than-Ideal Features of Ally Bank's Transfer Service
As I reported in October, Ally Bank made a big change to its online banking system. Part of the change involved the bank-to-bank ACH transfer service. Ally now uses Cashedge to conduct the transfers. Before the change, it was Ally's own customer service. In the October post I reviewed some of the transfer details such as the times it takes for transfers and dollar limits. Based on the comments in that post, I don't know anyone who thought these changes were improvements. As I've been using the service in the last few months, I've noticed a few annoying issues.
First, in the account transaction summaries, you don't get any information about the transfers that have completed. In the summaries, transfers are shown as:
1/18/2011 ALLY BANK $TRANSFER
There are no details about where the funds came from or went to. Even if you click on this, the page doesn't show the source or destination of the transfer.
I asked Ally's CSR via the online chat if there's a way for it to be more descriptive. Here's the reply I received:
With our new transfer system there is no way to have those be more descriptive. We now send alert emails that let you know about pending transfers.
That brought up another issue. For every transfer, Ally emails you the transfer summary. Here's an example of what the email contains:
Transfer #: 123456789
From: Bank XYZ, Checking
To: Ally Bank, MMA Savings
One reader had expressed concern about having these details sent in unsecure emails. Even though there is no account number, someone could see what banks you have and how much you're transferring.
I asked the CSR if there's a way that this email feature could be disable or if the transfer details could be reduced. Here's the reply I received:
No, those are generated by our vendor and are not something we can edit. They do not include any information that is used to access your account.
In short, Ally's new transfer service has quite a few limitations. I hope Ally is seeing benefits from this change (perhaps in cost or security). I don't think customers are seeing any advantages. If you've seen any advantages or if you have other issues with Ally's new transfer system, please leave a comment.
Since their rates are always just out of the running, it's time to move on.
How the CSR neglected to guide you to this page is what amazes me the most.
As to limit of linked accounts, when this first got reported on a thread, I called Ally up to confirm. I was told there is no limit. My account is presently linked to 17 outside banks. That's not enough?
They are no longer customer oriented bank and get used to receiving less and less free services or wish list of customer ideas.
There is nothing wrong with their UI or their system. As a web page designer, my opinion is this is a logically designed and well executed process.
Is that enough? Maybe if you only have 17 it's enough for you. Personally I had as amany as 25 accounts link at one point, set up before there was a limit. Now I am down to 23 having closed a couple of accounts but I still can't add any new ones unless I get below 20.
The edge being referred to in their name is that of a razor blade they pass forcefully across your neck each time you use their "service". Said another way, they bleed you to death. I don't like companies like CashEdge. They are unvarnished thieves.
I wised up and now use Alliant as my hub. I initiate an ACH transfer today and the money is at its destination first thing tomorrow morning. Why anyone would choose to use CashEdge I have no clue; ignorance, perhaps.
Given the post immediately following mine might be from a person at that bank, I think we have insight as to why they opted, against all good sense, for CashEdge:
Based solely on that post, the Ally bank folks are technically challenged/clueless. In 2011, that's a dangerous state of affairs at any bank.
How could any bank not know this??
Why would you switch from a great money moving service to a slooooooow service?
It's an easy answer. The standard Xfer time for ACH is overnight. Any entity taking longer has the use of your money during the delay . . interest free.
Did you notice the part about . . interest free? I hope so. Because access to money interest free is a reason they made the switch. The other name for that is "theft". But fortunately we can opt out. And that's what the smart money is doing. Why cooperate with them as they go about trying to fleece you??
With Ally ACH, you lose 3 days of interest.
I agree it is theft in either case, but will take the lesser of two evils until a smarter bank comes around.
Overnight ACH service involves no theft. Persons wanting same day transfer of funds have forever had available Fed wire service. We all expect to pay for that service, customarily between $10 and $30 for each domestic wire transfer. Some financial institutions even charge to receive wired funds. So same day movement of funds seldom is free.
Given ACH is free, overnight service is the best that can be expected. And financial institutions offering that level of ACH service are not committing theft. They are serving their customers properly.
The customer service told me they did not know why I was never and continue not to be notified about anything regarding my account. I know that the email correspondence is in tact because promotional emails come in fine.
Also, out of 10 purchases you make atleast five especially online retailers (online bank right?) wont process the account due to secure $0 debit protection. I called about this and a rep actually told me to ask the reltailer to "ping," my account. Of course there was nothing they, or their, "check specialist," couild do. Please for any of you who are students or anyone who wants to keep your money safe leave now!!! The more money you have in your account equals more problems because that everytime my account is high so are the issues. No one can help. I have offered documentaiton to prove and backup everything and they dont want it. Im waiting to see if my aid will be accepted and not rejected by Ally one more week and if it doesnt come in I am going to have to wait a month for a paper check. Then I am running back to bank of america (who I thought wasnt the best) with open arms like a child.
However, these are all legitimate concerns and I fully agree with what was written here. Most people think that metadata isn't important, but it can quite accurately be be used to infringe on people's privacy.