When you switch phone companies, you’re allowed to keep your phone number. So why isn’t there this “number portability” for bank accounts? Well, a bill has been introduced in Washington to let you do exactly that.
Pay Dirt reports on how Rep. Brad Miller (D-North Carolina) has proposed “The Freedom and Mobility in Consumer Banking Act” (H.R.3077.IH). It would let consumers keep their account numbers when they switch banks. So instead of having to change all your direct deposits and all your other auto-transactions set up to your bank, you could just flip the switch. That’s an important consideration and without it, there’s a bit of stickiness that discourages consumers from punishing banks that are doing bad by them by moving to another bank.
“The technology is already there – The FDIC already does it whenever they go into failing banks and electronically transfer the accounts to another bank.” Rep. Miller told Pay Dirt. “In fact, the only obstacle to this is that the banks are unwilling to do it.”
Bankers disagree and say that switching banks is simple enough as it is. They argue that the regulation would create more costly burdens on the system that will get passed on to consumers in the form of higher costs.
Bank account number portability would certainly make it easier for people to participate in the November 5th Bank Transfer Day.