What we can all learn from the Changing Banks Experience with USAA
We’ve been talking about changing banks lately with the USAA Changing Banks team and some questions have popped up from USAA members that pertain to the changing banks experience.
Before you say, “But I’m not a USAA member, this doesn’t help me” – let me say that you don’t need to be a member of USAA to glean some great information from their changing banks team. Let’s say, for example, that you want or need to change banks. Even if you’re not changing to USAA, take a look at these questions and see whether or not they are questions you should ask of a new bank you’re considering, before you make any changes.
Here are some questions you should ponder, posed and answered from the perspective of the USAA Changing Banks Experience, with the questions reworded to use for any bank changeover you may be facing:
What is the USAA changing banks program? (Or – Do you offer personalized assistance when switching to your bank?)
- USAA’s answer: It's an experience that guides you through the process of changing your everyday banking to USAA. The tool helps you move your direct deposits, transfer money from your current bank and set up bill payments. Changing Banks is available on usaa.com and the USAA Mobile App.
Who can use changing banks? (Or – As a potential new bank, what do I need to qualify?)
- USAA’s answer: Changing Banks is available on the USAA Mobile App and usaa.com for members who are 18 or older and have a USAA Checking or Savings account in good standing.
What can changing banks help me do? (Or – As a bank, what do you do to make my transition to you smooth and simple?)
- Change your direct deposit. You can get a prefilled direct deposit form to print or email directly to your HR department or employer. If you're paid through DFAS, you'll be able to access the myPay website and update your direct deposit information directly through Changing Banks.
- Transfer money from your current bank. Link non-USAA banks so you can move money between your accounts.
- Set up bill payments. We'll search for your regular bill payments and create a list to help you move them to USAA Pay Bills.
These can be done in any order and you can come back as often as you need. When you're done, select “Open” on the Changing Banks dashboard and choose “Yes” when asked if you're finished.
Why do I need to link my non-USAA account? (Or – What do you do to help me transfer my paycheck to you and make sure bills get paid on time?)
- USAA’s answer: Linking your non-USAA account helps us determine the best way to guide you through the experience, as you move your direct deposit, make money transfers easier and build a list of your current bills.
When I link a non-USAA account, does USAA get access to the personal information on file for that account? (Or – If you do help me in moving everything over, does that mean you see all my other banking and financial information in the process?)
- USAA’s answer: No. We'll only be able to see the account balance and transaction history. We won't be able to make any changes to your non-USAA account.
How does USAA get the list of my direct deposits? (Or – If I have you help me move everything to you, how do you do that exactly? What is the process?)
- USAA’s answer: When you link your non-USAA account, we're able to search your transaction history for direct deposits, which helps us determine the best way to move your direct deposit.
How long will it take for my direct deposit to start showing up in my USAA account?
- USAA’s answer: In most cases, it can take up to 6 weeks for any direct deposit changes to be processed. However, the Changing Banks experience reduces this time by doing most of the heavy lifting for you. Check with your HR department for more information.
Will USAA close my other bank account? (Or – Do you close my old account for me?)
- USAA’s answer: No. If you decide to close your non-USAA bank account, you'll need to contact them directly.
What happens if I don't have my biller account information? (Or – How do I find my bill-pay information if I’m not sure what it is anymore?)
- USAA’s answer: Most of the information you need is on your monthly statement. If you don't have a statement available, contact the biller, or visit their website, and ask for your account number and their billing ZIP code.
How does USAA get the list of my bills? (Or – Do you help me get all of my automatic bill-pay information and accounts moved over to you?)
- USAA’s answer: When you link your non-USAA account, we're able to search your transaction history for bill payments, which can make the USAA Pay Bills setup process easier. We create a list of your bills that you can add to our bill pay service or use as a reference.
I hope these questions help you with a smoother, stress-free journey to a new bank. And if you are interested, USAA will be more than pleased to help you transition to them. Here is some information about USAA and who qualifies:
What is USAA and who is it for?
USAA is a financial institution that focuses on banking and insurance needs primarily for our military and their families. It began in 1922 by the military and for the military as an insurance company. Today it is one of the largest banks in the entire U.S. that focusses on helping the military and their financial security.
Who qualifies for USAA membership?
All Active Duty, Reserve and Retired U.S. Military, veterans and their family members. So, if your father served in the military and was a member of USAA, you are eligible to also become a member (even if you’ve never personally served.) You can always visit usaa.com to determine eligibility.
Check out the specifics on checking, savings, and all the other things that USAA offers by going to the FAQs at USAA.
Check out my latest podcast episodes featuring the USAA Changing Banks team!
My heartfelt thanks go out to Jonathan, Cisco, and Annette from the USAA Changing Banks team and for USAA’s sponsorship and support of our website and podcast.