SmartMoney, the Wall Street Journal magazine of personal finances, has ranked First Internet Bank first for Essential Products and Services among the 18 banks surveyed for an article appearing in the April 2000 issue of its magazine.
According to the article, First Internet Bank, “…a state-chartered, FDIC-insured virtual bank, offers everything you’d expect from a large traditional bank…” In fact, First IB shares top honors for products and services with Wells Fargo, a $200 billion financial institution. By contrast, First IB controls over $150 million in assets after just one year of operations.
Of the ranking, First IB Chairman and CEO David Becker remarked, “This ranking is tremendously satisfying to all of us at First Internet Bank. We have made it our mission over the past year to show consumers that an Internet bank can, and does, offer everything a brick-and-mortar bank has, without the high overhead.”
First IB offers an impressive product lineup that includes checking, money market savings, certificates of deposit, IRAs, personal loans, bill payment services, credit cards, and ATM and check cards. Complete information on the Bank’s products and services are available through its website.
The SmartMoney article cites First IB’s free bill payment service and Interest Checking account as two attractive features, the opportunity for customers to make deposits at participating MAC® ATMs vaulted First IB ahead of other Internet-based banks.
“The first question many consumers ask when they hear about First IB is, ‘How do I make deposits?’” Mr. Becker noted. “We take great pride in making not just the deposit process, but the entire banking operation, as simple and convenient as possible for our customers.”
While customers can always make deposits at the Indianapolis headquarter office, First IB also accepts deposits via ATM, ACH, mail, direct deposit, VISA, and wire transfers. Complete information on making deposits is available at the Bank’s website.
SmartMoney also gave First IB strong ratings for fees, security, and account information but marked the Bank down for not offering around-the-clock live support. In response, Becker explained, “Right now, we do not have a demand for 24-hour support. Everyone likes to talk about being able to bank at 2 in the morning, but the reality is, most people use online banking during the lunch hour. That’s when our site traffic and call volume are heaviest, and we staff accordingly.”
Becker also pointed out that SmartMoney and Money magazine, which also featured a story on online banks in its April issue, both applauded First IB’s customer service for the turnaround and quality of responses to blind inquiries.
In addition, First IB offers extensive online help available through its website, allowing customers to handle many routine inquiries and functions, such as wire transfers or check stop payments, without the assistance of a bank representative.
As David Becker remarked, change is the only constant at First IB. Over the last year, First IB has enhanced and expanded its product offering continuously. “We’d like to keep making our services better and better for the customer. To do that, we have to do more than meet the current needs of our customers. We have to anticipate the next request.”
About First Internet Bank of Indiana
Based in Indianapolis, Indiana, First Internet Bank of Indiana offers significant customer benefits over traditional retail banks, including real-time processing of all transactions and services available 24X7 via the Internet, ATMs, and touch-tone phone.
The first state-chartered, FDIC-insured bank to operate solely over the Internet, First IB launched its services in February of 1999. Since its launch, First IB has consistently rated among the top Internet banks according to Gomez Advisors, an independent Internet research firm. The Bank is privately held.