Recently switched from Wells Fargo to Ally Bank.  Got tired of ME paying for a bank to borrow my money out to other people.  Ally Bank actual pays me money in the form of interest.  Every thing went fairly well.

Only two things are bugging me.

  1. The process to deposit checks takes for ever if using snail mail.  They do have a electronic method involving a scanner and a web based wizard, but it has only worked once.  They really really need to get a smart phone app.  Other banks have had this for years.  Welcome to 21st century!
  2. When you use bill pay the money is not subtracted from the source immediately.  It takes a few days for the transfer to complete and then it subtracted from the source (usually your checking account).  The problem with this is that you have to pull out a calculator to see how much you have available in your checking account.  This is a horrible HORRIBLE design, it should be instant.  It’s the god damn 21st!  I should not need a calculator  and a computer to know my balance.  I called to confirm this was by design and below is the transcript.

Welcome to Ally’s Live Chat. Thanks for joining us! A Customer Care Associate will be with you in a moment. You are number 1 in the queue. Thank you for waiting.
You are now chatting with ‘Sarah’
Sarah: Thank you for chatting with me today. How can I help you?
heath: When I pay a bill using bill pay the amount is not debited immediately from the source (usually my checking account). So when I go to look at the amount in the account it is artificially high; I have to go to bill pay page and look at the total payments and get a calculator and use it to find out how much I actually have in my account.
heath: is this by design?
Sarah: Hello, Heath.
Sarah: Yes, it is. It is setup for the customer to organize their own bill payee’s.
heath: so.. to find out how much money I have in my checking account I have to use a calculator and subtract the amount in my checking and the amount that the website shows me on the bill pay page?
Sarah: Yes. It will show up in Ally but not until the funds clear. You would want to keep up with the transactions as you go along.
heath: so I need to use a check book to keep track of a computer based transaction?
heath: you see the irony here.. don’t you
Sarah: That is correct. Remember, even though you are using the computer, it does not update instantly.
heath: haha, that’s insane
Sarah: Is there anything else I can help you with today?
heath: well I don’t think you can change that system, but thanks for the info
Sarah: You are welcome.
heath: this is going on the internet

If they don’t fix both of the problems soon I will be looking for a new bank.