More than three decades into the Internet Age and our world is forever changed. How we shop. How we vacation. How we entertain ourselves.

And, above all, how we manage money.

Technology has radically changed banking. With the advent of online and mobile banking, your financial life no longer needs to be centered around the local branch.

At the same time, while many things have changed about banking, the fundamentals have not. After all, a bank is more than the box where you keep your money. Instead, it’s a wellspring of financial tools and wisdom.

At PNC Bank, customers enjoy the best of both worlds--The convenience and speed of online banking along with the service and personal touch of traditional banking.

However, not all banks have the institutional depth or resources to offer a full and broad range of products and services in both arenas.

So, in your everyday banking, when is digital banking advantageous and when is it best to rely on the tried and true? Let’s compare the benefits of both traditional and digital banking.

What Is Traditional Banking?

If you didn’t grow up banking in the traditional way, your parents almost certainly did.

Banking once almost always required a visit to a physical branch location and interaction with tellers or other staff. There, you opened or closed accounts, made deposits and withdrawals, and applied for personal, business, or home loans.

You might need an ATM, a safe deposit box, prepaid money orders, or a certified check. And of course, there is the in-house expertise that wealth management and investment service provide.

Yet while many of these services can now be found online, there is still a decided benefit to the traditional bank branch.

Pros Of Traditional Banking

  • In-person service. Otherwise known as "relationship banking," there’s no substitute for the rapport that comes from face-to-face encounters with bank tellers, managers, and other staff. In-person service also helps build a sense of trust between the customer and the bank. This comes in especially handy when you have a complex financial issue to resolve or need a specialized solution.
  • Easy access to cash: Traditional banks will typically offer a well-developed network of branches and ATMs, making it easy to access cash from your accounts either by check or cash withdrawal.
  • A wealth of services: Beyond deposits and withdrawals, a branch can offer products such as money orders, safe deposit boxes, or a loan. In addition, you may find services such as personalized wealth management and financial advising and planning or a notary public for legal documents. You might even be able to purchase life insurance policies on site.

Cons Of Traditional Banking

  • Not all branches offer the same services: Some bank branches might not have a complete range of services, such as financial consulting, loans, or even bilingual tellers.
  • Limited hours: With traditional banks, your access to banking services is limited to the branch's open hours. You will likely be unable to make a deposit or transfer funds from one account to another in the evening or on the weekends.

What Is Online Banking?

Online banking (often referred to as ‘digital banking’) offer many of the same transactions of traditional banking. Instead of visiting a local branch, digital banking activities such as online account opening or digital money transfers can only take place online.

Pros Of Online Banking

  • It’s convenient: You don't have to wait for the bank branch to open. Instead, access your account online at any time for many banking activities. However, deposits made during typical business hours may not be reflected in your account until the following business day.
  • Digital security features: While traditional banking offers security in transactions, online banking has layers of service such as two-factor authentication, fingerprint verification, and face recognition to protect your account.

Cons Of Online Banking

  • Harder to build a relationship: If you never visit a bank branch in person, you miss out on developing a bond with your local bank staff. This becomes important in the event of a problem or a question that’s more complex than online or phone support may be able to field.
  • Less access to cash: While there is always access to ATM networks for withdrawals, you may be unable to withdraw cash in the amount you might need.
  • Difficulty making cash deposits: Want to deposit cash online? You might be out of luck. Your bank might allow you to make that deposit by way of an ATM, but that capability may vary from bank to bank or even ATM to ATM.
  • Services may prove limited: Online banking does not typically offer the array of services found in a traditional bank branch. This includes the ability to purchase a money order or certified check, access to a safe deposit box, or loan servicing.

Online Banking vs. Traditional Banking: Key Differences

The biggest difference between online banking and traditional banking is the ability to bank in person, and with it access to a wider variety of services and relationships. This means a bank branch a one-stop shop when it comes to money management.

Bank branches also offer easy access to cash, as well as the ability to deposit cash. With online banking, you'll need to locate an in-network ATM to bank with that capability.

However, one upside to online banking is the convenience of performing a host of transactions anytime, anywhere you desire.

Enjoy The Best Of Both Worlds

Fortunately, PNC and other modern banks offer a range of banking options, including both traditional and online banking. This allows customers to choose the method that best fits their needs. If you prefer online banking, you can explore PNC's online banking services.

Alternatively, if you prefer a more traditional approach, you can find a PNC branch near you.