With the advancement of technology, safe deposit boxes have become nothing but an antique object belonging to the analog age since personal banking has now become digital. However, some people still prefer safe deposit boxes to store their important papers, jewelry, and other valuables as they are of the opinion that their stuff is much more secured in these good ole’ boxes. A safe deposit box is a large storage container that is placed in a secured area that is rented or a vault, typically rented or owned by banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions. Customers are provided with a key and they need to inform the bank employee who possesses the second key before they unlock their safe deposit box.
There are a few banks that offer keyless systems that enable the customers to access their valuables by scanning a hand or a finger. Even though the proper statistics regarding the use of these safe deposit boxes are not available with the industry groups and federal regulators, but according to banking security experts, the demand has been sluggish. A representative of the Bank of America recently revealed that the demand for such boxes has dropped quite drastically. The young customers are particularly the ones who prefer to store their documents digitally. Less than half of safe deposit boxes of banks are being rented these days. On being asked whether they are providing safe deposit box services to its clients, a majority of the banks replied with a negative. Another major reason why these boxes are not in so much of a use in recent times is that they occupy a lot of space which could be utilized for some other purposes.
JPMorgan Chase representatives divulged that even though there isn’t much of a historical data regarding the use of safe deposit boxes available with them, they have kept these boxes active in over half of the financial services firm’s branches and they are still pretty much in vogue. If the statements of safe deposit box consultants are taken into account, at least a million boxes are being rented and several branches have been including them in their list of services. In reality, some people believe that these boxes are the most secure place to stack up whatever is valuable according to them.
A question might crop up in your mind regarding what to store in a safe deposit box. The bank boxes are suitable for stacking up valuables, as well as any important document that you wouldn’t need immediately. The list of significant documents comprises birth certificates, mark sheets, property deeds, and paper bonds too. In case you travel abroad quite often, keeping your passport in a safe deposit box might not be a feasible idea. You can get access to your bank box only during the banking hours and not beyond that. Keeping a safe deposit box back at home might a pretty good option in such cases. Estate lawyers do not favor storing wills in the bank boxes since accessing them after the owner’s expiry becomes tough. Clients are generally advised to keep the original document with their lawyers and store a copy of the same in a cabinet or some other secure place.
As per banking security experts, stacking up your deposit boxes with emergency cash is not a very practical thing to do. FDIC provides insurance on the cash that you keep in a deposit account. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the cash that’s stored in the bank boxes. Hence, there is every chance that your money might get stolen. In at least one instance, a bank employee was taken into custody who walked off with cash deposit amounting to $30,000 that belonged to a client a few months back. These physical deposit boxes are also prone to risks that are associated with natural disasters. Therefore, experts advise that you should stack all the valuable documents and cash in plastic bags or any other air-tight containers to protect them in case of any water damage.
As you can assume, safe deposit boxes are no more a pragmatic option for today’s banking industry consumers. Going digital is the order of the day. With that being said, you still have the liberty to choose safe deposit boxes and your bank should be ready to offer you the facility.