Monday, October 15, 2007

A really new spin on branch banking

By way of reader Laurie Amster-Burton comes this wacky news about ING Cafes: retail locations for my new sort-of bank, where they invite you to enjoy a cheap coffee, free Internet, and explore their financial products.

I had never heard of this before (thanks Laurie!), but there is apparently an ING Cafe in NYC. Clearly, a Birds & Bills field trip is required!

I'm actually on my way out of my brief financial relationship with ING. My first direct-deposit paycheck arrived safely at WaMu last Friday, so it looks like all systems are go to declare that my fully operational new bank. Getting the last of my money out of NetBank proved surprisingly painless, despite the whole scary FDIC-shutdown craziness: Since my funds were well below the $100,000 insurance cap, I was able to simply write myself a check for my account balance and cash it with WaMu. I left a ceremonial $1 in the account. I'm kind of curious to see how long ING will consider me a customer, with my $1 investment.