Thanks to your willingness to do a little research and listen to the advice of an expert or two, you have now established your first offshore banking account. While it did take some time to consider your options, you finally chose the right institution in the idea location. Even the range of features that you can use for offshore online banking is impressive.
Now that everything is in place, the ball is in your court. In others words, how do you plan on using all those wonderful account management tools? Assuming you are serious about putting the account to work and using it as an integral part of your international investment strategy, take some time to really get to know all the functions and bells and whistles that the bank provides.
Move Some Money
While you have read through all the materials and have a good idea of what you can do with the offshore online banking account, that is no substitute for actually trying out the features. Are they really as easy to use as the bank literature indicates? There is only one way to know for sure. You have to personally test each one and see how things go.
Start with initiating a few transactions. Set up a funds transfer from the account to one of your domestic bank accounts. Pay close attention to how long it takes for the money to be deducted from the offshore account and be available for use in your domestic account. Once that task is completed, try moving money from the domestic account to the offshore account and see how long it takes to post. Since the ability to manage money transfers quickly may come in handy some day, it is important to make sure you know how long the process will take between the two institutions.
Generating Reports and Statements
Accessing and downloading account data is something else you need to explore in more detail. Try downloading every report format that your offshore bank currently offers. Spend a little time looking over the way that the account information is arranged. This will make it much easier to know which format will have the right detail for a specific application.
Assuming that the bank allows you the ability to create customized reports, spend a little time creating a few formats of your own. Pay close attention to the options for saving the downloaded files in different formats. Ideally, at least one or two of those formats should work easily with the word processing and spreadsheet software that you currently use.
Testing Customer Service and Support
As part of your evaluation of the offshore online banking services, don’t overlook the importance of communicating with the customer support team. Try placing a phone call during normal business hours or sending an email after hours. If your bank is like most of the banks in Belize, you can also try using the real time messaging option to get help. Prepare a couple of simple questions to ask and see how quickly you get a response. Doing so will make it easier to have some idea of what type of support you can expect when you really need answers now rather than later.
Setting up offshore banking services is supposed to make it easier to participate in international investing activity. While your bank of choice may provide plenty of tools as part of the account privileges, they are of no value at all unless you know how to use them properly. Don’t wait until some emergency situation comes along and then try to figure out how to utilize those features. Set aside some time and get to know all about the account and the support in advance. When a real situation arises that requires quick response, you’ll be very happy that you took the time and effort to do so.