Bank Services

Banks provide their customers with a number of services.

With a checking account you can pay your bills. A check is a slip of paper that tells the bank how much money it should withdraw from your account and pay to someone else. Today, more and more people use the internet, also a banking service, to pay their bills. Banks also give their customers plastic cards with which they can get money from their account everywhere and whenever they want. They can also use them to pay without cash at shops, gas stations and other stores. Checking accounts are a comfortable way for customers to handle their money.

Bank statement for a checking account

Sergio Ortega, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

For people who want to save money banks offer savings accounts. Usually, banks pay more interest for savings accounts than they do for checking accounts. They hope that the customers will leave their money in the bank for a long time, which is why the bank can work with this money and offer it as loans. Banks, however, cannot give all of their money as loans. In most countries the government limits the amount of money that banks can use as loans. They must always keep back a certain percentage in the form of cash.

People who need money for certain things like buying a house or a car need a lot of money quickly. The money they borrow from a bank is called a loan. In most cases they do not pay back all of the money at once but a small part of it, with interest, every month. If someone cannot pay back a loan the bank usually can take away valuable objects like cars or houses.

Modern banks offer their customers many other services as well. They tell them how they can make money with investments in stocks and bonds. Credit cards are given to customers as a cash-free way of buying things. Almost all banks have automatic teller machines (ATM) at which customers receive money from their account. Some banks even deal with insurance.

ATM in New Orleans

Infrogmation of New Orleans, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons