Definition of direct bank

What is a direct bank?

Direct banks (often referred to as online banks or Internet banks) are banks that have no branches but offer their services only via telephone, fax, and the Internet. As far as the definition, as far as “real” direct banks are concerned. 

However, today more and more hybrid forms are found; So banks that operate mainly on the above communication channels, but still have a – albeit compared to branch banks very small – branch network haben.

Vorteile and disadvantages of direct banks compared to branch banks;

  • Direktbanken are accessible around the clock via the Internet, so you have to not – like a classic branch bank
  • Pay attention to opening hours, for example, to make a transfer. 
  • Saving on branch and staff costs enables direct banks to offer their customers more favorable terms than branch banks. 

For example, toll-free current accounts are now standard offerings for the vast majority of direct banks. 

But the cost-effective renouncement of a dense network of branches also has its disadvantages:

While the house bank of old hits on every corner has an ATM, this is not the case with direct banks. 

Although you can usually also at ATMs of other banks cash be withdrawn, this costs high fees (usually 4 – 5 Euro), which can quickly nullify the advantage of, for example, a cheaper or free checking account. 

However, that might change soon.

According to a November 2007 news report “test”, banks are considering removing the fees for withdrawing money from “foreign” ATMs. 

Anyone who attaches great importance to the personal contact with a client advisor and who likes to do his banking business at the counter will find a branch bank rather than a direct bank. 

But as mentioned earlier, the differences between these two forms of banking are blurring more and more.