Military Banks vs. Traditional Banks: What’s the Difference?

military family spending quality time together

While both military banks and traditional banks share the common objective of providing financial services, notable differences set them apart. These distinctions primarily center around their target customer base and the specific services they offer. In this exploration, we'll cut through the similarities to uncover the fundamental differences that make military banks uniquely positioned to cater to the needs of the military community. Join us in comparing military banks and traditional banks, unveiling the unique traits that distinguish them.

1. Target Customer Base:

Military Banks: Notably, these banks extend their services to anyone (even people without a military connection), but military banks are specifically designed to serve members of the military, veterans, and their families. They often have branches located on or near military installations.

Traditional Banks: Also known as commercial banks or retail banks, traditional banks cater to the general public and offer services to individuals, businesses, and organizations without a specific focus on any particular profession or group.

2. Services and Products:

Military Banks: While military banks offer standard banking services such as savings accounts, checking accounts, loans, and credit cards, they may also provide specialized services tailored to the unique needs of military members, such as deployment support, military-specific financial education, and special mortgage products like VA loans.

Traditional Banks: Commercial banks offer a wide range of financial products and services, catering to the diverse needs of the general public. These include personal and business loans, mortgage services, investment products, and various types of accounts.

3. Knowledgeable Staff

Military Banks: The team members at military banks are extensively trained and familiar with the unique challenges and responsibilities that come with serving in the military. Their expertise allows them to provide specialized assistance and tailored financial guidance to military personnel, veterans, and their families.

Traditional Banks: While traditional banks may have some staff members who specialize in military banking, more often than not, customers are likely working with someone who doesn’t have a full understanding of the specific needs and circumstances associated with military service.

4. Locations:

Military Banks: These banks often have branches located on or near military bases to serve the military community. Some military banks may also provide online services for customers stationed in different locations around the world.

Traditional Banks: Commercial banks have a broader geographic presence, with branches and ATMs located in various cities to serve the general population. They also typically offer online and mobile banking services.

5. Mission and Focus:

Military Banks: Many military banks have a mission to support and enhance the financial well-being of military members and their families. They may offer special programs or benefits to address the unique challenges faced by military personnel.

Traditional Banks: These banks focus on providing financial services to a wide range of customers, with a primary goal of generating profit for their shareholders.

6. Community Involvement:

Military Banks: Aligned with their mission, these banks engage in initiatives benefiting the military community. For example, this may include supporting nonprofits that help veterans find homes and transition to civilian life, sending letters abroad to deployed military personnel, and actively participating in military Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) events. This focused involvement highlights their commitment to addressing the distinctive needs of active-duty personnel, veterans, and military families.

Traditional Banks: Standard banks have a broader community focus, contributing to general local needs. However, they lack the specialized programs addressing the specific challenges faced by military members.

Armed Forces Bank is Your Dedicated Military Bank

In our commitment to "serving those who serve," Armed Forces Bank stands out as a beacon of excellence. A remarkable 80% of our retail workforce has military affiliation, embodying values such as respect, duty, loyalty, service, integrity, and commitment in every facet of our operations. This dedication has earned us prestigious accolades, including "Bank of the Year" 27 times, the America Saves award 13 times, and recognition as one of America's Best Employers for Veterans by Forbes. We also proudly hold the distinction of being named one of the strongest large banks in Kansas City.

Our dedicated loan advisors provide invaluable perspectives, with many being veterans or military spouses themselves. This firsthand experience equips them to understand the nuanced needs and challenges of our borrowers. They excel in handling complex situations, especially for active-duty personnel facing relocations across the country. As a testament to our unwavering commitment to veterans, we waive all lender fees for them, ensuring they receive the finest combination of service and affordability.

Armed Forces Bank offers a unique blend of convenience and accessibility. With banking centers located on military installations across the country, we provide personalized, in-person services. Simultaneously, our fully-digital online banking service caters to the diverse needs of customers nationwide, offering flexibility and ease of access.

Our commitment extends beyond traditional banking services. Our educational materials and resources surpass those of any military bank. Whether you are seeking advice for a smooth PCS move, basics of banking, starting your financial journey as a military recruit, or simply looking for engaging and informative military podcasts, Armed Forces Bank is your dedicated ally, ensuring comprehensive support for all your financial needs.

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