Linking external accounts vs. adding transfer accounts

Why you should consider both linking and adding external accounts to Southland Digital Banking

From credit cards to checking and savings accounts, many choose to have accounts at more than one bank. While you may prefer to stay loyal to your local credit union or bank for your primary checking account, it’s increasingly common to have another loan or deposit account elsewhere. With this in mind, connecting and syncing all your bank accounts with one online and mobile banking experience can simplify your daily account management.

First, let’s discuss the difference between linking and adding external accounts in Southland’s Digital Banking.

Linking External Accounts

To keep track of your balances and transactions from accounts at other financial institutions, you can link your accounts in the Southland mobile app or online. In short, linking allows you to view the details of your external accounts, but does not allow transfers. However, there’s so much more you can do with a linked account in Digital Banking.

Linked accounts will be displayed on your accounts dashboard right under your Southland accounts.  You’ll be able to not only view your external account balances, but also expand the account to view your recent transaction history. You will also see an aggregate balance of all your external accounts.

If you have account Snapshot enabled, your linked external account balances will be displayed along with your Southland accounts. Account Snapshot provides a quick view of your balances before you log in.

You can also use your external accounts to manage and track your spending in the Budgets widget. When you create a budget on the desktop version of Digital Banking, you’ll be able to select any external accounts you have previously linked. In budgets, you can create spending categories, track income and categorize all your transactions, even your external checking account transactions.

Adding External Transfer Accounts

To move money between a Southland account and an account at another financial institution, you can add an external transfer account in the Transfers widget. Once you complete the account details form and confirm the trial deposits in your external account, you will be able to schedule transfers to and from your external account.

While adding an external transfer account allows you to conveniently move money between financial institutions, you will not be able to view balances or transactions.

Feature Comparison: Linking Accounts vs. Adding Transfer Accounts


Linking AccountsAdding Transfer Accounts
View Balances


View Transactions

Move Money In

Move Money Out

View Balances in Snapshot

Manage Budgets

Is it safe?

Keeping your account information secure is critical, whether you decide to link your accounts or not. When you link an external account to view balances and transactions, you will enter your credentials from your other financial institution. By entering your credentials, you establish a secure connection with your financial institution. We use the latest encryption and security technology to ensure no one has access to your personal information or funds. There are more steps you should take to keep your accounts secure.

  1. Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA). While MFA adds an additional step every time you log in, this feature will protect you from attempted account takeovers. To learn how to enable MFA, read our Multi-Factor Authentication Guide.  
  2. Use a strong password. Choose a unique and complex password comprised of a variety of letters, numbers and special characters. For tips on how to create a strong password, reach our Creating a Strong Password Guide.
  3. Turn notifications on. There are a variety of notifications you can enable in Digital Banking to keep you informed when activity takes place on your account. You can receive an alert any time your online account is accessed, and you can receive alerts when certain actions occur on your accounts. To learn more, check out our Alerts & Notifications Guide.
  4. Never share passwords or access codes. Southland will never contact you to ask you for your account username, password or verification code. Do not respond to calls, emails or text messages if you are note certain of the source.

For more information on steps you can take to keep your account secure, check out Southland’s Security Center.

Why you should both link and add your external accounts

When you take steps to both link your external accounts and add your external transfer accounts, you’ll be able to take advantage of all the benefits of managing your accounts in one place. By linking and adding all your accounts in Digital Banking, you can achieve a 360 degree view of your financials to help you make daily spending and budget decisions, without the need to log in to multiple accounts.

To learn more about Digital Banking at Southland Credit Union, check out our comprehensive library of FAQs, videos and how-to articles.