1. Choosing a Bank Banks offer different products and services. People look for the ones that suit their needs. These include convenience, availability of ATMs, personal assistance, free checking, Internet options, and more.
2. Choosing a Checking Account Bank offers many different types of checking accounts. A free checking account should have no minimum balance, no monthly service charge, unlimited check writing, free checks at opening, and a fee-free debit card.
3. Writing Checks Viewers learn the standard procedures for writing checks, recording checks in the check register, and keeping receipts.
4. Electronic Banking Technology allows people to do their banking business at their convenience. Financial institutions should provide firewall and encryption security. Review bank statements. Never use a public wireless network for banking or personal business.
5. Balancing a Checkbook Always reconcile bank statements with the check register. Verify each transaction. Bank statements include a form to help balance a checking account.
6. ATMs: Pros & Cons Open 24 hours a day, ATMs offer quick cash and a printed receipt. ATMs take deposits, loan payments, provide account balances, and facilitate funds transfer. Concerns about ATMs include fees and safety. Safety tips are provided.
7. Foreign Exchange Rates Many ATM networks offer international service with favorable exchange rates. This is the safest way to obtain foreign currency. Avoid withdrawing small amounts to avoid mounting fees. Do not exchange money at airports.
8. Alternative Forms of Currency Alternate forms of currency include travelers checks, money orders, wire transfers, merchant gift cards, and bank gift cards The FTC website provides extensive information on gift cards. Do not buy gift cards from online auctions.