Ally Bank Introduces Idea Share – Share Your Ideas

Here at Ally, we’re always looking for ways to make banking a little better. We’ve already introduced a few innovations you might be using, like our Raise Your Rate CD, Sleeping Money alerts, and the 24/7 live chat feature on We know the only thing consumers like most—maybe even more than innovation—is the opportunity to be heard. And that’s why we’re excited to introduce Idea Share. It’s a new way for Ally customers, the personal finance community and anyone who cares about the future of banking to exchange suggestions on how Ally can improve.

We welcome you to participate in our Idea Share discussion on Facebook and give us your ideas on how you think banking could change for the better. We’re kicking things off by asking for your thoughts on Mobile Banking, Staying Connected, and Banking in the Future. Is there a way that using debit cards could offer you more benefits? Is there a feature that you wish came attached to every Money Market Account? Is there something missing from your banking experience? Now you can just click onto Idea Share to make your ideas known.

Idea Share will be around until mid- September, so make sure you head over to our Facebook page to join in this unique opportunity to share and discuss your ideas for a better banking experience. Our featured topics will change, so check back often. Tell us how we can create a better banking experience together.

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  1. 3

    Mobile banking and depositing (i’m sure everyone has beat me to that), the option to view our pending transactions, and image cards (Capital One allows one free customizable image per month on any card)

    Other than that, this bank is perfect :)

    • 4

      Thanks for that, Jesse, and appreciate the feedback. We’re definitely moving forward on those and encourage you to put your suggestions in Idea Share as well. Thanks again!

  2. 5


    Not a big fan of a FB app for this so I’ll share an idea here:

    allow direct connection from Quicken-like software

    This would enable customers to directly download transactions from Ally into their accounting software making reconciliation that much easier.

    Oh, and of course, a mobile app but I think that has been amply covered on FB :).

    • 6

      We assure you that the app is safe, Romain, but we completely understand. And definitely a great suggestion! We’ll pass it along though we do work pretty seamlessly with right now, if you haven’t checked them out. Thanks again!

  3. 7
    Miraj Savla

    Faster clearing of checks…..anything that can be done to make funds available sooner upon a transfer or check deposit would be of a great help.

  4. 10

    You could allow overdrafts. It’s not sopmethng that happens often but when it does I like to know that it’s ok, things are taken care of and will be fixed (by me) in the morning. I love that you have a $9 a day OD fee but that doesn’t do any good if no over drafts will be paid out in the first place.

    I apologize if OD is allowed but when I talked to a rep she said that it may be allowed one time in an odd circumstance but overall Ally will never pay out money that you don’t have in your acct.

  5. 11
    Dr. Hedrick

    I have been waiting for an Android app to enroll with Ally. It seems that while Ally is ahead of their times with online banking and branch-less banking, they fail to stay up with Technology.

    What bank doesn’t offer Mobile Banking in this day and age? Similar branch-less banks like USAA offers not only Mobile Banking, but remote deposit (ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT FEATURES FOR A BRANCH-LESS BANK) for iPhone and Android. Chase Banks and Bank of America does as well.

    After the Dobb-Franklin (?) act, I am looking for rates and services such that Ally offers, but I am unwilling to move my money and accounts without Mobile Banking…

    Completely unacceptable! :(

  6. 12

    I am a WaMu refugee and one thing I am missing from is the $100 up front for the check clearing. The check maybe held for a day or two but the first hundred of it is made available to you. This allows some flexibility to my accounts!

    Also maybe offer MultiAccount cards from Dynamics Inc =)

  7. 14
    Stella Star

    In the past few days I’ve been checking on banks that have the weakest/strongest approval ratings. In Florida alone there are 2589 banks that are in a weak situation. So, what does that mean? Does it mean if the country has one more bad economic problem those banks will close? I want to put my money in a bank that I can feel safe in. Is this a possibility with Ally? Please give me some sound advice. Thank you…..

  8. 16

    Why is there not a mobile banking website like the others banks? This is really irritating. I am going to Cap One and they have a great mobile banking page.

  9. 17

    iphone app please. until that…. the “orange” bank keeps my “green”. .It’s been years of people needing this and waiting too patiently.

  10. 19

    Here’s an idea. I can put my paycheck directly into Ally accounts and take cash directly out with any ATM, but there is still no way to put cash directly into Ally accounts :( I still need my big bank to deposit that in, then transfer.

    If there was to put cash directly in my Ally accounts, I would put ALL my cash in them :)

  11. 20

    I have an idea that promotes financial responsibility while expanding your targeted customer base. I call it a Savistry. It’s similar to an online registry but for savings. Here’s how it works: Aunt Caroline doesn’t know what to buy little Johnny for his birthday. Johnny’s mom has set up a Savistry account on Ally’s website so that friends and family can view Johnny’s savings goal which is $10k for a car. The $10k has been divided into 20 parts, each representing a piece of the car. Aunt Caroline makes an online contribution to his account and decides to “buy” the bumper of the car. A couple of days later she receives a sticker in the mail that is in the shape of the bumper. She wraps it up as a gift and presents it to little Johnny who races in his room and attaches the sticker to the large car silhouette hanging on his bedroom wall. The target savings doesn’t have to be a car, it could be anything. Submit a picture; decide how many parts/pieces you want to divide it in and Ally allows you to print or mails you a silhouette of the item. You can always view the progress online and privacy options allow you to make the account as public or as private as you like. Whether it’s a young college student saving towards next year’s tuition, a bride and groom saving towards a honeymoon or a middle aged Dad saving towards a boat we can all stand to learn a little fiscal responsibility (while also providing a means to let others contribute).

  12. 22

    I am a WaMu refugee like Will and miss the $100 up front for the check clearing as well. As he said the check maybe held for a day or two but the first hundred of it is made available to you. Flexibility is always a major plus!

    Other than that just a mobile app for Android (not just iPhone PLEASE, some of us aren’t Apple fans). Photograph and deposit would be amazing to go with your entire service! 😀

  13. 23

    Mobile app is a must, Blackberry is my mobile flavor of choice. Bank with the best mobile apps get my accounts. Orange is great, but Cap One scares me, so looking for the next place I can put my money with out the fees…

    Overall I like what I see in Ally, just need the apps… :)

    • 24

      Thanks for the feedback, Tim! We’re working on a mobile solution as we speak and we should have some news on that front soon for you.

  14. 26

    I believe others have mentioned it but I’d like to be able to see what pending transactions I have. I’m shocked that this isn’t a “feature” with this bank. Doesn’t every bank/credit card company allow you to see pending purchases before they’ve actually cleared? I think it’s a little ridiculous to have the available funds amount reflect pending transactions but you can’t actually see the breakdown for those transactions; not until they’ve cleared but that defeats the purpose.

    Other than that, a mobile app, remote deposit (which are 2 things I know you’re working on), and the ability to have access up to $100 of your deposit up front, everything is great!

    • 28

      Thanks for the suggestions, Jonathan! We’ll definitely pass on the ideas. We’re actually moving towards giving you guys some news on the latter, so keep an eye on the Straight Talk Blog in the near future!

  15. 29

    It would be AWESOME to have the option to receive an automatic mobile text (maybe as part of the mobile app?) as a reminder when we’re physically at a store that is part of the Ally Perks program, so that I’d remember when to whip out my debit card instead of my credit card when shopping at, say Bed, Bath and Beyond, or Dick’s Sporting Goods.

    Also, the more places enrolled in the Ally Perks program, the happier a camper I’ll be, naturally :) Here’s hoping for Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Apple would be great too. Maybe some office supply stores. Grocery stores. Etc.

    Also: kind of a one-off, but it’d be cool if Ally opened up a design competition for designing the fascia of the next Ally debit card (or *gasp* credit card, if you have plans for that… cause then I’d be able to take care of all my money-related things through Ally) – sorry, got distracted there, right then: a design competition to design the background of the next Ally debit card. To kind of put a personal touch on it, while still being able to pick a design that’s acceptable to Marketing, since you’d still have control of the final pick – or you could act as a filter and let customers vote on a final design from the ‘accepted’ finalist designs which your marketing dept has picked – get some customer interaction goodness in there – twice! Winner gets a prize of some sort (cash monies in the bank…an iPad 2… one of the new super-sexy super-thin 17″ Macbooks that’ll be coming out in time for Christmas, according to the Internet…?) and Ally gets a handsome customer-generated card design. I would be happy to submit a design (or three) myself. Crowdsourcing!

    Just some ideas. Might have more in a bit. My compliments to your design people, by the way. I like everything from the look and feel of the website to your commercials. Props on being the only bank I know to use magenta/purple accent with a grey/white primary. Bold, Ally, very bold. What’s the official name of the magenta/purple color? The design nerd needs to know.

    Reading up through the comments a bit, let me say: I’m not a huge fan of Facebook apps in general (props to Ally for tapping into that, though) which is why I’m here and not on the IdeaShare platform. I’m just creeped out by FBook’s privacy issues. It’s all about Google+ now anyway, or soon will be %) Still, if it’s easier for you guys to log and/or pass on ideas through IdeaShare, I’ll do it, just wish it didn’t have to be through Facebook. Advice?

  16. 34

    Definitely the ability to view pending debit transactions. Didn’t realize that you couldn’t see them until I received my debit card and went to use it… which was slightly disappointing. Also a mobile app would be awesome, it’s time consuming to have to log on to the full site just to check a balance. Overall though, glad for Ally. Just switched from BofA. Take that big banks! :)

  17. 36

    Join an ATM network. I don’t like using a big bank’s ATM, knowing that they’re going to get $3 from you for it. I’d rather go to an ATM where I know it doesn’t cost you anything. For example, ING uses Allpoint.

    Also, I’m not sure how long you’ll keep the ATM reimbursement policy. It sounds like a money-loser.

    • 37

      Appreciate that, Ted, but we’ve got no plans on getting rid of it. Just makes sense to not have to nickel and dime our customers. Thanks for the comment though!

  18. 38

    It would be great if Ally offered a health savings account! I am considering closing my checking account and moving it to a bank with and HSA.

  19. 39

    2 things ING does that is great:
    1) e-mails me every time a debit card transaction occurs, instantly when the transaction is authorized. That makes me feel more protected against fraud.
    2) Shows pending and scheduled transactions right above the cleared transactions and balance. That way I can see how much money I have on balance and what is scheduled to go out, so I know how much money I really have free.

    • 40

      Thanks for the feedback. In regards to your second comment, we’ve heard this from a few of our customers on our end before and are passing along the feedback to the team over here. Thanks again for your comment and we hope you’re otherwise a happy customer!

  20. 41

    I just opened my accounts today and, like many others, was surprised that Ally does not offer an Android app.

    I just assumed that an online bank would make mobile apps a top priority.

    Very Disappointing.

    • 42

      Response: We appreciate the feedback, Matt, and want you to know that we’re currently working on a few mobile solutions to be released in phases in 2012. We’ll have an Android app in our first release, in early 2012. We recently wrote a blog post answering some frequent questions we’ve heard from other customers about mobile, too:

      We hope this helps and we look forward to giving you a better banking experience here at Ally. Welcome!

    • 43

      The first phase of our mobile rollout is actually scheduled for early 2012, Matt. It will include mobile apps for iPhone and Android phones. Check out the details here and please let us know if you have any questions!

  21. 44
    Chris Gatens

    In this day and age, to lack the basic Banking processes is unacceptable.
    They seem to put locks on accounts without any reason (3 different merchants) and do not even notify you. I had to spend 30 minutes on the phone to be able to make a 8 dollar payment (to Hulu)
    Not be able to display Pending Transactions…..I WILL SAY IT AGAIN not being able to Display pending transactions. I assume that is beyond basic.
    No mobile Apps (YEA, I heard Soon!!! YAWN)
    time to say goodbye to ALLY
    I had such high hopes

    • 45

      Thanks for your feedback, Chris. We’re continuing to improve our banking services and we’ll update you if we include pending transactions in the future.

  22. 46

    Ive been a customer for a long time, I love your bank, keep up the good work. Love not having to pay to take money out of the ATM. I’m dying for the iPhone mobile app, it’s early 2012 already, any news on when this app is actually going to be here? Would also love to deposit checks right on my phone, the e-deposit through scanner needs to be tweaked as well, it’s almost impossible to deposit a check. It took me 35 minutes the first time and the second time I tried, I gave up after trying for about an hour. Use the KISS METHOD so it’s more user friendly! Thanks! Would also love a new card design, it’s hard to read the numbers on the card.

    • 47

      We appreciate all the feedback, Alex, and thanks for your patience . We are continuing to work on the mobile apps and will provide an update for our community on our progress soon. Thanks again for your patience.

  23. 48

    Hello there!

    I don’t have FB, so I thought I’d share my suggestion here…

    How about an RSS feed ability for Ally Perks? I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Perks and the simplicity of it all, however, it is quite complicated to access them having to log in and everything. The emails come regularly, but they don’t include all that are available, just the most recent ones.

    Perhaps an email of ALL of the perks instead of an RSS feed? However, an RSS feed would be fantastic! Then when I am out and about, I can make sure that I use my Ally Debit card at the right places.

  24. 49

    I’d like to suggest the ability for customers to rename their transaction descriptions as they appear in their accounts.

    I used to be a BofA customer and really liked that they would let you change transaction labels because the way transactions are labeled isn’t always clear.

    Instead of seeing “Check 128” or something of that nature, I’d like to rename it as “Check 128: Dog Boarding” or whatever else it might be. It would make things much easier as opposed to digging out the check image to see why the check was actually written.

    • 50

      Thanks for your feedback, Josh! Sharing this with our team over here. Should this feature get implemented, we’ll be sure to let you know! Thanks!

  25. 51

    – Show pending transactions in account activity. We can see available balance change but don’t know what changed it until everything is posted
    – account queries such as balance via SMS. Be nice for non Internet phones to still get basic account info such as balance via text message

  26. 53

    Provide a free Card Design Studio. This “design studio” will allow customers to upload a picture and have it printed on their debit/credit card. Wells Fargo provides this service for free, and I think it would be an awesome feature for Ally to have and be competitive.

    • 54

      Appreciate the suggestion, JB. Passing this along to our team over here. Should a feature like this launch in the future, we’ll be sure to let our community know. Thanks!

  27. 55

    I agreed with William

    “William says:
    Mobile deposits like Chase has. Scan a check with your smart phone and make a deposit.”

    I had a hard time trying to deposit check.
    It took me 4 hours and I had to give up.
    I photograph the check as I do not have a scanner.
    Your system is impossible to work with.

    In the end I have to mail in the check to PA and I live in CA.
    It would take a long time until I receive my money.

    Please update your outdated check deposit system.

    • 56

      We’re sorry for the inconvenience, Johnny. We’re passing your feedback along to our team over here. In the meantime, the Ally eCheck Deposit FAQ page might help you out here: If you have any questions, give our Ally Care team a call 24/7 at 1-877-247-2559 and they should be able to assist you. Thanks for your feedback.

  28. 57

    *Checking balance and recent transactions via SMS (someone had said this earlier, but I just wanted to reiterate that people do look at this as pertinent!).

    *Having a higher PIN limit than 4 characters… If only for that false feeling of added security!

    Thank you, Ally!

    • 58

      Thank you for the suggestions, J.D. Passing this along to our team over here. Should these features get implemented, we’ll be sure to let our community know.

  29. 59

    I love Ally Bank for many reasons. However, living in Hawaii at least half of the places I go to only accept cash. It’s great that I can take money out of an ATM and be reimbursed for the fees later, but then I’m left with the change in my pocket. For this reason I am forced to keep my account at another bank. I deposit cash at my physical bank and transfer it over to ally.

    Here’s my suggestion, albeit rather vague, why not strike up some sort of partnership with the US postal service so if I purchase a postal money order to deposit to my Ally account, Ally can reimburse me for all or even part of the cost of purchasing the money order similar to how my atm fees are reimbursed? I’m sure there’s some flaws with the idea but it’s something to think about ya?

    • 60

      Thanks for the suggestion, Josh. Passing it along to our team over here. Should something like this get implemented, we’ll be sure to let you know.

  30. 61

    HSA — we have a terrible plan with 5/3 bank and would like an alternative — no fee for regular accounts, low-fee investment option using low-cost mutual funds like DFA, no screw-ups in the accounting.

  31. 63

    Three quick suggestions:

    1) Eliminate international ATM fees (including the flat 1%)
    2) Add chip & pin technology for international purchases with debit card
    3) Add optional 2 factor verification for online banking to further secure my finances (via SMS or mobile app)

  32. 64

    Bill Pay Payment Activity Status. In addition to “Scheduled”, “Paid”, “Cancelled”, a new status of “Cleared” should be added.

    Seeing paid over several months for each transaction is not helpful if I have to manually click “View” each time to see if all the checks actually cleared. This basic information is a status that I am used to seeing with other banks.

    Please add “Cleared” as a Payment Activity Status item, thanks.

  33. 65

    We need one more option in Bill Pay Payment Activity Status.

    In addition to “Scheduled”, “Paid”, “Cancelled”, a new status of “Cleared” should be added. Seeing only “Paid” over several months for each transaction is not helpful if I have to manually click “View” each time to see if all the checks that were paid were actually cleared.

    This basic information is a status that I am used to seeing with other banks.

    Can you please add “Cleared” as a Payment Activity Status item?

  34. 69

    So if a person chooses not to be on facebook or other social media sites, we can’t participate in Idea Share?
    Or is there some other method of starting a conversation?

  35. 70
    Kevin K

    Please let us design our own debit card. The technology has been around for long enough that it should be easy to implement, The current design is lackluster.

  36. 74

    As have several others, I would like to suggest that Ally venture into the HSA market. I already recommend Ally to everyone I can find and have even talked a few people into switching over. An HSA option would simply be one more thing I could mention when talking about how great Ally is.

  37. 75

    I understand that doing the HSA thing is probably more work than we realize, but if Ally let us open an HSA, I would switch in a heart beat. My current HSA company (optum bank) is a pain to work with and is not user-friendly at all. I echo the sentiments of the other commenters when I say that I think Ally could make a FAR superior HSA product than the ones currently on the market.

  38. 78

    I think Ally should have a money/budget tracker like some of these other banks do. I have been happy with everything Ally has to offer except this. I would prefer to not use outside programs like Mint to track my spending habits. Granted, this is not something that is necessary but it would be a nice perk!

    • 79

      Thanks for your feedback, Cameron! We’ll share this with our team. Be sure to stay connected with us on Facebook ( and Twitter (@AllyBank), as well as the Straight Talk blog for any updates!

  39. 80

    How about having the option to set up accounts under a larger account. Sort of like Child accounts under 1 Parent account. I would like to have My Savings as the parent then under it 1. New Car 2. House Down Payment 3. Misc.

    When I login I see the TOTAL SAVINGS and if I need to move money I will do out of the account designated account.

  40. 82

    I would like to be able to inquire on my account balance via text messaging also known as SMS.
    I have a wells fargo account and I can send BAL to a number, and it responds with my bank account balance.
    This is easier than signing into my Ally app, and much faster.

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