We wanted to know the best way to make the most out of your checking account, so we reached out to the staff at Check Issuing and asked them to send us some pointers.
Checking accounts are a part of the everyday life of most Americans. A majority of people already know how to use all the basic, obvious benefits that come with owning a checking account, but there are many common features many users aren’t aware of. There are also some things you can do on your own, that might help you get a better experience.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important features and options you might be overlooking.
- Automatic options
Whenever possible, automate. Most checking accounts come with a bill pay feature and it is easy to set it up. This way you will manage all of your monthly expenses and pay the bills on time, thus avoid late fees. Also, this option tracks your payment history so you can keep track of everything and manage your budget accordingly.
- Direct deposits
The point of direct deposit is saving time. It enables you to completely skip standing in endless lines at the bank so you can deposit a check. Instead, funds are placed directly to your checking account. If you have your payments automatically deposited to your account each payday, you can easily avoid going to the bank at all. Talk to your employer about direct deposit and if they offer it, sign up as soon as possible.
Direct deposits can also help you save up some money. You can always have a portion of your payment deposited directly to your savings account.
- Use a Mobile Banking App
Mobile banking apps are created to make things go easier and faster. They enable you to access your account anytime, from any place – all you need is your mobile phone. Most of these apps feature a number of handy options, aside from checking the balance: transferring funds between accounts, locating ATMs nearby, or paying bills. Some of them have a great option that allows you to deposit checks by taking a photo of them with your phone’s camera.
- Checkbook balance
Keep a record of all deposits, debit card payments and transactions and all of your checks. Always keep a running balance so you know at all times just how much money you have left on your account at any given moment. Each month, after the statement arrives, compare the bank’s records with your own records. Fraud and identity theft are two major concerns nowadays, and with a good reason. Create a habit of checking your balance on a regular basis.A majority of banks have sophisticated systems in place and these systems can detect unusual activity on your account. But yet, better safe than sorry – keep your own record as well.
- Use a debit card
Debit cards are a super – convenient way of securely accessing your checking account, without ever needing to bother with checks or even cash. Numerous locations worldwide accept debit card payments, including most places that don’t accept checks (e.g. online shops). You may use debits cards at ATMs for withdrawals or deposits, and even transferring funds from one account to another. When you use a debit card, all purchases are deducted from the checking account directly. They usually come with theft and fraud protection and offer stabile security.
- Secure your account
Banks tend to invest a lot in customer protection and most of them have made it very easy to keep your information private, as well as keeping your funds secured. However, there is little they can do if you use online shops that aren’t fully trusted, or if you save your account or debit card information online. Always triple-check the site you plan on buying from and never ever save your information anywhere online.