Westamerica Bank is a regional community bank providing consumer and commercial financing with branches throughout Northern and Central California. First chartered in 1884, they've grown into one of the largest commercial banks headquartered in California, and one of the most stable community banks in the nation. As one of the leading ?nancial institutions in... show more
Westamerica Bank Reviews
The WalletHub rating is comprised of reviews from both WalletHub users and ratings on other reputable websites. The rating was last updated on 06/21/2022.
from WalletHub and across the web
15 reviews from WalletHub and across the web
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1 Star Rating
This bank has horrible customer service. Both the bank and phone service have no idea what they are doing. Very poorly trained staff that can’t find a way to print, email, or fax a ten day pay off so simple yet has been about three weeks and can’t get resolved. Worst bank I’ve ever done business with!
Pay offs not reported monthly as immediately paid off completely within a week. Never reported correctly & timely when the account is paid to zero which damages my credit score whenever this account is used. I owe zero on this account and have owed zero for awhile. My dislike is strong and their failure to report is misleading.
3 Star Rating
I hate that I can’t pay my car bill using my debit card. I’m forced to get cash and going to west America to pay my bill or I fork up extra cash to pay online. So BOO!
My overall customer experience with west america bank has been a fairly good one, surprisingly. The process for applying was quick and easy. They went over all the terms and guidelines and answered any questions I had. They even remembered my name when I went in a few weeks later. Another thing I appreciated was that when I've been overdrawn or close they gave me a call in the morning to let me know and see what time I would be able to come in and correct it to prevent future continuous over draft fees. I don't really have too much to complain about at all. The online service is good and over the phone. the only negative thing I can say is there are just limited locations.
A close relative of mine just moved to California and he needed to open an account with a new bank. We drove around the area he lived and we saw a Westamerica Bank and decided to check it out. The yearly maintenance fees were pretty low, depending on how much money you had in your account, and you received a free debit card to go along with your account. They issued him a temporary card right away and he received one with his name on it a few days later. As far as I know my cousin is quite happy with Westamerica and he never has anything bad to say when I ask him about his finances.
Prior to switching to Westamerica, I was a customer and huge fan of ING Direct for the majority of my personal banking. However, when I learned that ING Direct was being acquired by Capital One - a bank that I'm not a huge fan of at all - I elected to start searching for a new establishment to house my money. Many of my friends suggested that I find a local credit union, but to my disappointment all of the credit unions in my areas had sub-par online functionality and reviews that made me weary of using them. Finally, a friend recommended that I look into Westamerica; a community-bank that exclusively serves the Northern California region. Because of his positive experiences, I made the leap and moved my money from ING Direct over to Westamerica.
Setting up the account wasn't a hassle at all. Sure, Westamerica doesn't offer online account opening given that they're a smaller bank, but truth be told I actually enjoyed sitting face-to-face with someone to open an account. The lady that helped me spent the time to go over all of the various account offerings, determine what type of needs I had, and ultimately found the right banking solution for me. In a world where banks tend to be sneaky and deceptive I was pleased that the Westamerica banker that I worked with explained every single fee and service charge to me and even did the math to determine that for my specific needs an account with a HIGHER monthly service fee made sense for me because it would cost LESS than a lower-tiered account that had more per-transaction and miscellaneous fees.
Within a few days I got my first box of checks in the mail and started moving money over from ING Direct. The staff couldn't have been more helpful.
More recently, I got a call from the bank to confirm a few checks that I had written on the account that the bank questioned the validity of. As it turns out their red flag was really a false-positive and I was really the person who wrote the checks, but it truly felt good that they took the time to proactively investigate potential fraud and protect me. After said experience, I couldn't feel any more secure or confident in Westamerica.
Westamerica is a more traditional bank, and I have personally found that it has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, while their face-to-face customer service has been second-to-none, I am a bit disappointed that their online service offerings are SEVERAL years behind most of the larger banks. For example, the posting of transactions into online banking can sometimes take a day or longer, and the combined use of different online banking platforms ("eStatements" and their regular "StarConnect Plus" banking) make things a tad confusing.
Another thing that I find somewhat disappointing about Westamerica is the fact that their ATM's are extremely outdated with all deposits having to be made with an envelope. And unlike the ATM's at other banks, cash deposited at an ATM doesn't clear instantly because it has to be verified by a banker.
That said, though, Westamerica's advantages MORE than make up for its shortcomings, and I couldn't be happier with the level of customer service and quality of product.