Online banking has been on the rise for some time now. During the financial crisis it became quiet for a while, just as it became quiet around the entire financial sector. But now people are starting to save more again. However, conventional savings accounts hardly yield anything and more than ever before, online banking is the only solution to enjoy a decent interest rate. People no longer trust risk investments on the stock market and are returning to what they have always known, the conventional savings account and savings certificates. For years people have been saving less and less, but since the financial crisis the amount in our savings accounts has never been so low. Many banks offer online savings accounts. As a customer, you must do all your transactions from behind your PC. But it is also a savings account that you can open and manage quickly and easily.
The principle of the savings account
With every savings account you have a basic interest rate and a fidelity premium. You used to also have a growth premium, but that has now disappeared. Not a bad thing, because this makes the interest calculation easier. Basic interest The basic interest that you can receive on a savings account is legally limited to a maximum. This basic interest rate fell sharply during the financial crisis and now stands at a maximum of 3% (2009). The interest rate depends on the evolution of the interest rate of the European Central Bank and is recalculated twice a year. Almost every bank will grant an interest rate for its savings accounts that is slightly lower than the legal maximum. In practice, you can therefore enjoy a basic interest rate of approximately 2.0% to 2.5%. The bank can use different base interest rates for good and less good customers and may change the percentage at any time below the legal maximum. Loyalty premium The fidelity premium is somewhere between 25% and 50% of the base interest rate. In practice, this means that with a base interest rate of 3%, it is between 0.75% and 1.5%. If you, as a saver, leave your money in your savings account for 12 months, you will see this fidelity premium appear in your account from January 1 of the following year. Some banks only require you to leave your money in your account for 11 months, instead of 12. The percentage of the fidelity premium can also change, but as a customer you are assured of the agreed fidelity premium when placing the money in the savings account. This percentage may not change for 12 months. If you withdraw money from your savings account in between, you will of course not receive a fidelity premium on the amount withdrawn.
The principle of online saving
At most banks you can choose to save online. If you have an internet connection at home, you can open and manage an account faster than with a regular savings account. It is best to compare the conditions of the different banks in advance. The most important advantage of any online savings is the higher base interest rate, which is often up to 1.5% higher. As a customer, you usually receive the statutory maximum percentage as base interest, regardless of the amount you wish to save. This is of course done to stimulate online banking.
Before opening an account at a bank, you should be careful. The conditions that banks attach to online banking vary widely. More than half of the banks want you to open a current account with them first. At about half of the banks you will have to visit the branch itself one or more times to arrange documents, while at others this can simply be done by post. With some banks it may even take more than a month before you can start. Some banks are also not very clear about the costs charged for online banking. Useful and clear online savings accounts are the Azur savings account from Keytrade, Lion Deposit from ING and Excellence from BKCP. With these 3 online savings accounts, you do not need to open an additional current account or visit the bank itself. Moreover, the account is opened within 5 working days and a clear overview is given of the costs associated with the account. Only at ING you will have to install special software on your PC. At all other banks you can easily log in to the bank’s website. In all cases, you can request your account statements online and transfer money from your savings account to your current account. Once you’ve set off, it’s a piece of cake.