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Switching Banks a Breeze for Titans Fan

Challenge:

Full-time student Melissa Laster was overwhelmed when her large regional bank announced they were going to start charging a monthly debit card fee.

It wasn’t just the fee that broadsided her. It was the thought of canceling her accounts and setting up new ones at a different bank, all while making sure her bills got paid on time and direct deposits made it into the right account.

“One of the things that upset me with the fees is that it was going to be such a hassle to change banks,” Laster said. “I pay all of my bills through online bill pay and thought it would be horrible trying to transition over.”

She’s not alone. A Fiserv study found that clients who made five or more payments online a month were 95 percent less likely to leave their bank.

Laster decided that the benefits of switching banks—personal service without nuisance fees—would outweigh any headaches involved in making the transition.

Solution:

A big Titans fan, Laster walked into Pinnacle’s Bellevue office in between criminal justice classes at Tennessee State University to set up a Titans Checking account.

She put a small amount in at first as she waited for checks to clear her account at the other bank.

Laster was laid off from her job recently because of conflicts with her school schedule. She receives unemployment and wanted to make sure the next payment would be deposited directly into her Titans account.

“It was a lot easier than I thought it would be,” she said. “They made it fast, easy and simple for me.”

Result:

After opening her accounts, Laster signed up for online banking so she could pay her bills online.

“Three days later I had someone from Pinnacle call me just to see how things were going and make sure it was working right,” she said. “I never had anyone calling me at my former bank.”

Pinnacle recommends following these steps for a smooth account transition:

  1. Before you do anything, organize your bills, statements and account numbers to make sure the information is at your fingertips.
  2. Open accounts at the new bank, but keep in mind low-balance fees that your current bank may charge. Leave enough in your current bank to maintain the minimum balance and cover any outstanding checks.
  3. Go ahead and set up direct deposits, drafts and online bill pay at your new bank. They should be able to help you make the transition.
  4. Leave your old accounts open for at least one month to make sure your drafts have stopped, checks have cleared and deposits are coming in correctly. Then you can close your old accounts.

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