When the government passed legislation opening up hundreds of billions of dollars for stimulus spending two years ago, it’s not as if that enormous sum of cash suddenly appeared in a vault somewhere.Sure, the government had a fair share of cash-on-hand, billions worth, but the overwhelming majority of that money was, for lack of a better word, imaginary.
It existed not in physical space, but in calculable, kept-track of data through a series of electronic transfers and transactions.
To this day, as the stimulus spending dries up, very little cold hard cash was ever dispersed.
Physical currency has always been a means to an end. In the age of the Internet, the need to carry actual sums is no longer necessary. Therefore, what’s the point of a brick and mortar bank? Is there a reason we need to burden city blocks with insurance nightmares, and make banking customers pay for services they rarely use anymore?
Sure there’s the worry that some evil villain is going to discharge an EMP over New York City, wiping out every financial record in existence, but let’s get real here. The true natural value of paper currency existing in a vault is no different than it existing as a series of ones and zeroes. Both, in the event of a true crisis, would be equally worthless.
So, the shift to strictly online banking makes sense on a logical level, but what about on an economic and personal level? To decide that, consider the following:
–Online banks have higher interest rates: They can because they have much less overhead to worry about than banking institutions with real world locations. It’s also an incentive they use to drive business their way. Why not offer higher interest? So why not take advantage of it?
-Online checking accounts are easy and safe: The actual check – when was the last time you saw one or used one? Your 15th birthday and your college apartment rent, are probably your answers. The account itself existing online is much more important for automatic withdrawals and other things you’ll use it for. Plus, without the paper trail of an actual check, identity theft is significantly reduced.
-ATM access is ample: Despite what you might think, online banks and credit unions have a vast network of ATMs that oftentimes have no surcharges for cross-banking withdrawals. You see, that surcharge you pay with normal banks is nonsense, because it costs them nothing to have a robot reroute your funds through another bank. It’s a slick way of paying for all that overhead. Online banks don’t need to do that, and see the freedom and prevalence of their ATMs as a way to attract customers.
–Credit unions are cooler: Without all the added riffraff of investment accounts and other big boy nonsense, low-key online credit unions focus entirely on simple daily bankers like yourself. This means their services are catered to you and you alone.
-Nobody respects the “too big to fail” banks anymore: This includes you, and you know it. They’re the clowns that got us into the economic train wreck we find ourselves in today, and are the main bums responsible for why we’re having such a hard time clawing our way out. Forget about it. Deposit your money with smaller streamlined online banking organisations that aren’t responsible for the Great Recession.
Money is imaginary. Whether it’s cash or code, it’s just a method of simplifying valuation of goods and services. So skip the brick and mortar bank for a banking website; there’s seriously no difference except in savings and superior service.