If you’ve paid any attention to their new line of commercials or opened a popular magazine lately, you’ll find that Washington Mutual – or WaMu – is actively marketing their checking, savings and credit card accounts.
For several years, Washington Mutual has hung in the background of the major financial institutions, but recently they have opened new banks all over the United States and have been pushing their free checking accounts, their mortgage home loans and their hassle-free customer service. They also have an online banking option for their customers, which is reported to have some of the “most advanced security systems in the world” as well as excellent anti-fraud teams.
Since identity theft has become a major issue among banking customers, security systems for online banking are an enormous asset.
Washington Mutual’s online banking service is free to customers with checking, savings and business accounts. Using this system, you can check your account balance, transfer funds, pay bills and review your account history details. Washington Mutual also allows customers to re-order checks and place stop-payments from the convenience of their home computers.
In my research into Washington Mutual Online banking, I have found mixed results regarding security, ease of use and customer service.
According to Galltech.com, Washington Mutual is the leading provider of online banking because of the easy system they employ. “You don’t need to download any software or learn any new program(s),” the reviewer at Galltech says, and goes on to talk about how well-organized and accessible the online banking service is In another review, however, an unnamed customer talks about the difficulty he or she had when trying to link a business account to a personal account. The customer has been unable to access either account online, and claims that the customer service representatives at Washington Mutual are clueless about the problem.
There have also been a few phishing scams reported in conjunction with Washington Mutual, though this is hardly a surprise, and similar scams have popped up with most of the other large banks. This particular scam involves receiving an e-mail (purportedly from firstname.lastname@example.org) that tells you to log in from their link and update your password for your Washington Mutual account.
The link takes you to vwamu.com/login, however, which is of course not the Washington Mutual website. The financial institution has advised that all online banking customers pay attention to the e-mail they receive and avoid clicking on links to the Washington Mutual website.
“The only difficult part of it,” says Robert Eames of Aiken South Carolina, “is setting the account up. It requires you to try to find your original application, which is complicated. But after that, I didn’t have any problems.”
This seems to be a trend among customers of Washington Mutual’s online banking. When you apply for an account online, you have to go through the process of waiting to hear from them. But when they tell you to go ahead and log in to your account, you have to go through the system to find your application and authenticate its activation.
This can take a while, as most of the Washington Mutual site is geared toward soliciting new clients, and not facilitating the activities of the current customers.
“I’ve been thoroughly pleased,” says another satisfied customer on a message board. “Every time I call to ask about something, the customer service has been really helpful. It’s usually [my fault] for doing something wrong, but they fix it for me in [less] than five minutes.”
Another customer says, “I love the bill pay. It’s much more user friendly than the other banks I’ve had accounts with.”
The general consensus seems to be that Washington Mutual has an excellent online banking system. The system is user-friendly and easy to navigate and the customer service seems to above the standard for financial institutions.
You can find out more about online banking with Washington Mutual by visiting wamu.com or by calling their customer service department at 800.788.7000, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Can I log into the failed bank?
Will you be able to log into Washington Mutual Accounts? It will all migrate over to Chase with the same account numbers as we are told.
Who took over my bank account?
Note: JP Morgan Chase just took over Washington Mutual which was the biggest bank failure in U.S. History.
Interest as high as failed Wamu?
We warn you that you may be downgraded to a lower interest class than you made with Wamu. You may want to sign up for a higher paying interest bank such as ING Direct or HSBC Direct.
I have over $100,000 in my WaMu Account?
Read our article here on keeping a maximum balance in your current savings or checking accounts. No matter how stable the bank looks from the outside we cannot see their shaky records from the inside of the bank’s accounting.