Why I'm Switching Financial Institutions: Cash Isn't Dead

May 5, 2017
Hayley Haspeslagh

Over the course of the last year I’ve had several experiences with my financial institution that caused serious frustration. It wasn’t based on their digital offerings, their marketing efforts (or lack thereof) or their presence in the industry. The reason was ironically simple - cash.

Digital vs. Cash

According to MasterCard in 2013, 80% of spending was cashless. For millennials age 18-24, 100% used their debit card for everyday purchases. I’ll admit, there are very few circumstances I’ll forego using my debit card in place of cash. A wedding gift and a purchase at a retailer who I frequent that doesn’t accept cards are the only cash expenses I’ve paid out in the last 6 months. This is one of the reasons I completely buy into the idea of a digital bank. I can probably count how many times I’ve been in a bank branch for service on my fingers and toes. I appreciate a clean, slick, personalized digital experience with all the bells and whistles such as Touch ID login, RDC, instant transfers, frequent updates to online and mobile experiences and the list continues. Most of all, banking digitally is extremely convenient. Until you need to deal in cash.

For example, I needed several thousand dollars in cash to pay for work being done on my home. I was instructed by my bank to walk into any branch of any financial institution and ask for a cash advance. So, I walked into a local financial institution and asked the wonderful teller behind the counter for a cash advance. She said “absolutely,” asked for my license and debit card, and proceeded to try and complete the transaction. Let’s just say this didn’t end well. I then spent 40 minutes on the line with 2 different customer service representatives. The first explained the “correct” process (which didn’t work so I had to call customer service again) and then the second rep had to remove the fraud alert my second attempt at a cash advance had caused on my account after I had followed the “correct” set of instructions.

The Complete Package

Needless to say, my patience with this financial institution has run thin. If I cannot access my money when and where I need it, no matter the circumstance, what purpose does my bank serve? My current financial institution, despite the benefits that come with being digital, has made it incredibly difficult to access and withdraw the money I need. With this in mind, I’ll be looking for another financial institution. One with a good digital offerings, a great branch experience, and most importantly, gives me access to cash.

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