Switch over direct deposits and bill pay
There's a reason banks encourage account holders to sign up for direct deposit and bill pay besides the fact that it's cheaper for them to process transactions this way instead of receiving and issuing payments via paper checks, banking consultant Soifer says.
"Banks love those services because they make it that much harder for customers to switch out," he says.
Fortunately, switching those services over to your new bank just takes a little bit of paperwork and good timing, says Ware of the Independent Community Bankers of America.
First, you'll want to cancel any automatic bill payments scheduled at your old institution, to prevent those payments from overdrawing your old checking account, she says.
Then, arrange to switch your direct deposit to the new account with your employer's human resources department, Ware says. You might need to bring in a canceled check from your new account, but your new account number and routing number may suffice.
After doing that, it's time to start rescheduling automatic bill payments from your new account. Keep in mind that if you've authorized a particular vendor to automatically charge monthly payments to your debit card, you'll need to give them your new debit information to prevent an overdraft or late payment.
Ware says these steps should be taken in a short time frame to prevent double payments.