Union Bank has over $60 billion in deposits and currently stands at fourth place among California’s banks as far as the deposit market share is concerned. The bank recently unveiled a new approach to offering checking accounts and related services to their customers: Banking By Design.
Though Union Bank has locations all over California, Oregon and Washington, this new feature is currently available to California residents only. Their cool online interface presents potential customers with a grid of various selections and automatically totals the monthly cost as more are chosen.
The base cost for the services is $3 a month, but that will be waived if the customer makes a direct deposit of $250 or more each statement period, not $100. The account can be opened with a minimum deposit of $100.
Debit and credit card usage, online banking, online statements, mobile banking and email and text alerts are some of the services that are available at no charge.
Online bill pay is $1.50 a month, although that cost is waived through 2013.
The fee for a variety of other features –
- including paper statements,
- an unlimited check supply,
- incoming wire transfers,
- money orders,
- traveler’s checks and cashier’s checks
– is $1 a month.
The most expensive fee is $3 a month for non-Union Bank ATM transactions. Two are allowed per statement period.
Consumers can design their account at bankingbydesign.com. After customizing it, they can call or visit a Union Bank branch to open the account. Another thing to note is that though customers need to call or visit a branch to activate their account right now, the full online process will be available in January 2013 and customers can complete their whole account online.
Banking By Design disassembles the traditional checking account and offers a wide range of optional features, each with associated costs that are clearly visible. As you can see, many are available at no cost.
Banking By Design’s initial offering is only the beginning as additional feature enhancements are already planned for 2013. The Banking By Design Web site design team from Eleven Inc. includes Human Factors Engineer Michael Neuman, formerly with Apple®.
Most of the customers have no need to choose all of the services listed in the Banking By Design tool, but some options may prove to save money. Where Union Bank truly stands out among the competition is through simply and transparently describing applicable account fees (the one exception being overdraft fees and protection options, which seem to be missing). Some of the biggest national banks, such as Chase and Citibank, are beginning to adopt more consumer-friendly fee disclosures , however some consumers may still find it difficult to understand the overall costs. Union Bank’s tool, by comparison, automatically adds the monthly charges and makes it clear how much the customer will be spending on a monthly basis.
- Union Bank Unveils Banking By DesignSM (fool.com)