I hate their commercials.
But thatís about all I can find to complain about. Jefferson State Bank
offers a robust online banking service, which has steadily improved since
its inception. Originally accessed via dial-in modem, about a year ago
it transferred its access to the Internet. Although at first there
were a few anomalies, like large discrepancies between the ATM computer
balance and the daily ledger, those seem to have been worked out.
The cordial personal support from the Jefferson State Bank staff has been
a definite asset, helping work through some of the difficulties with early
software problems. Their support staff, although available only during
banking hours, are extremely friendly and genuinely helpful. When I have
identified problems to them, they have made obvious attempts to fix them.
Jefferson State Bank uses web-based software for its banking services,
so all you need to use it is a browser. All sensitive parts of their web
pages are encrypted to provide security. Some encrypted sites are downright
slow, but not Jefferson State Bankís. After logging on, the first screen
you view is an account summary, which shows you your account balance. There
are four options you can then pick: detail, statement, history,
and transfer to/from. Detail shows you all account activity for
the last month. Itís useful to verify a check has cleared. An Update
Balance button is available to make the bank computer run an update
on your balance to be sure it recognizes the latest transactions.
The Statement option actually computes a monthly statement for
you. Itís just like the printed statement you receive every month by mail.
You can print it out if you like. The History option lets you display
or download account information between any specified dates. Downloads
may be in Quicken, Money, or several other formats. The Transfer To/From option lets you move money from one account to another on a particular date. Transfers can be either one-time, or on a recurring basis.
Another option, accessible though a button on the banner at the top of the page, is a Payments option. This lets you make electronic
payments through funds transfers. It is not recommended for paying taxes,
since the payment would arrive without your tax return. Payments can be
either on a one-time basis, or recurring.
A User Services button lets you manage your account. You can
change your password or address, or set user preferences (like which view
you see when you log on). You can also take standard banking actions like
stopping a payment, ordering checks, request documents (like loan applications),
or buy savings bonds.
A Messages button lets you send a message to the bankís staff.
These are secure messages and are only viewable from within the encrypted
web site. I have always received prompt, courteous replies to messages
I have sent.
So with software like this, do you still need Quicken or Money? Maybe.
Those programs are far more powerful and store more info. The Jefferson
State Bank software doesnít tell you what a check was for, only the check
number and date it cleared the bank. So for doing budget analysis, Jefferson
State Bankís software is a bust. But thatís not itís purpose.
Although I picked a predecessor of Jefferson State Bank as my bank before
online banking existed, Iím very pleased with their services. Online banking
is only as good as the bank behind it. From my perspective, Jefferson State
Bank is a great bank to deal with, online or in person.