Last October when Ally Bank changed their account center and their bank-to-bank transfer service, most were disappointed with this change. Transfers were a little slower, and as I described in this January post, transfer summaries were vague. There have been some small improvements. In the last month or two, the transfer descriptions that are shown in the account transaction summaries have improved. Before, the description had very little information. Here's an example:
1/18/2011 ALLY BANK $TRANSFER
Now the descriptions have all relevant information. Here's an example of what it looks like now:
Requested transfer from JOHN C DOE (WELLS FARGO BANK Checking XXXXXX1234)
This is a small improvement, but it's nice to see Ally making these tweaks in addition to adding new products and services.
There hasn't been any change with the automatic emails that are sent after you initiate transfers. They can't be disabled or adjusted. Even though these emails don't include account numbers, some readers have been concerned that these emails have too many details for unsecure communications. The transfer details include the dollar amount of the transfer and the name of the bank that's on the other end of the transfer.
A more important issue for the bank-to-bank transfers is the speed. I did another test at Ally this week. On Tuesday morning, I initiated two transfers at Ally: one outbound transfer and one inbound transfer. In short, these completed in two days which are inline with reader's 511h test. Here's a summary of my recent test:
For an outbound transfer to my credit union initiated at Ally on Tuesday 7/19:
- On Wednesday 7/20, the amount is debited from my Ally account
- On Thursday 7/21, the amount is credited to my credit union account
For an inbound transfer from my Wells Fargo account initiated at Ally on Tuesday 7/19:
- On Wednesday 7/20, the amount is debited from my Wells Fargo account
- On Thursday 7/21, the amount is credited to my Ally account (not available)
- On Friday 7/22, the amount is available
In summary, both inbound and outbound transfers are taking two business days with one day of loss interest. Make sure to avoid initiating transfers on Thursday and Friday. In those cases, the transfers will likely take two extra days for the weekend. It's not the best, but it's no worse than many other internet banks.