Some of the advantages of online-only checking accounts include convenience and lower fees, notes Bankrate. Without branch buildings, online checking accounts have lower operating costs, enabling them to offer these advantages to customers, as well as some expanded customer services.
Because banks offering accounts that are strictly online do not have bank branches, they may offer a large ATM network with no fees to attract customers. Many online banks offer phone support or live online chat support 24 hours a day in lieu of face-to-face contact. Ally Bank, one of the leading banks offering online-only checking accounts, is one example of an online bank that offers all these features, according to the company's website. As of 2015, Ally claims to offer higher interest yields on its fee-free checking account as compared to other banks. Because its ATM network is smaller than some of its competitors' networks, Ally also reimburses a portion of fees from ATMs outside its network as well.
Mobile banking, including check deposit via smartphones, is another offering common to online checking. Some online banks, such as Simple, combine mobile banking with expanded customer service by offering budgeting tools that go beyond simply storing customer funds and play a role in how customers manage their funds. Simple allows customers to establish savings goals and debt-reduction plans. It offers customers a "safe to spend" balance, in addition to the available balance, that takes into account savings goals and scheduled payments in order to improve customers' finances, explains the Simple website.