1 Slide 1 Banking The information provided in this e-course is intended for educational purposes only and does not constitute specific advice for you as an individual. When evaluating your particular needs, please contact your own tax or financial advisors. For many people the word banking conjures up images of stately buildings and intimidating services. I m here to show you how easy it can be to understand the financial services available to you. In this module, I ll help you understand how to choose a financial institution and the responsibility of having a checking account. You ll learn about electronic banking and compare different types of savings accounts. I ll help you navigate through these topics. Let s get started with choosing a financial institution.
2 Slide 2 PROPERTIES On passing, 'Finish' button: On failing, 'Finish' button: Allow user to leave quiz: User may view slides after quiz: User may attempt quiz: Goes to Next Slide Goes to Next Slide At any time At any time Unlimited times Before we look at your options for choosing a financial institution, let s consider why you would want to use one. Select the reasons why you think using a bank or credit union is a good idea, then click Submit. Theft, fire, convenience, and earning interest - these are all good reasons for using a bank or credit union. Most people use a bank, credit union, or other kind of financial institution, primarily for the security of their money and the convenience. If you left all of your money at home, you would risk losing some or all of it to theft or fire. If your money was stolen or destroyed, it couldn t be replaced.
3 Slide 3 Bank Services Banks and credit unions also provide their customers with tremendous convenience. Customers can access their accounts from almost anywhere. Checking accounts make it easier to pay bills by either paper or electronic check. Customers don t need to pay bills in person. Banks and credit unions can also offer a variety of services to their customers, such as home and auto loans, as well as opportunities for saving money, such as savings accounts and certificates of deposit.
4 Slide 4 Credit Union vs. Bank Which one of these do you think is a not-for-profit financial institution? Select your answer below. Bank Credit Union It s your turn to tell me what you think. Consumers often have a choice between becoming a member of a credit union or a customer of a bank. Which one of these financial institutions do you think is not-for-profit? Click on your answer.
5 Slide 5 Credit Union vs. Bank That s right! Credit unions are not-for-profit, cooperative financial institutions, while banks are for profit. This means that credit unions are typically able to offer services at a lower cost to their members than banks can. To provide these services, credit union membership is restricted on the basis of certain criteria, such as the applicant s residency or employer. Banks, however, are available to anyone who wants to be a customer. Because credit unions have restricted membership, they may not be able to provide all of the services that a bank can, especially those banks that have a national or international presence.
6 Slide 6 Credit Union vs. Bank Sorry, that s not right. Banks are for profit, while credit unions are not-for-profit, cooperative financial institutions. This means that credit unions are typically able to offer services at a lower cost to their members than banks can. To provide these services, credit union membership is restricted on the basis of certain criteria, such as the applicant s residency or employer. Banks, however, are available to anyone who wants to be a customer. Because credit unions have restricted membership, they may not be able to provide all of the services that a bank can, especially those banks that have a national or international presence.
7 Slide 7 Choosing a Financial Institution Convenience Security Services There can be great variety among banks and other financial institutions, so consider a few things before choosing one to do business with. Each of these buttons will tell you more about the convenience, security and services that financial institutions offer. Start by clicking on convenience.
8 Slide 8 Convenience Exit Convenience Security Services You may want to consider the location and hours of the financial institution s branches. Are they convenient to your home or work? Nobody wants to drive across town unnecessarily to conduct business. Do they have extended hours or are they open on Saturday in case you can t get there during the workday? To learn more, select one of the other buttons or click Exit when you're done.
9 Slide 9 Security Exit Convenience Security Services One of the first things you want to ensure is that the institution is legitimate. Large, well-known institutions are usually a good choice. It's important to determine if smaller institutions are insured by the either Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). These federal agencies protect your money up to $250,000. To learn more, select one of the other buttons or click Exit when you're done.
10 Slide 10 Services Exit Convenience Security Services The size of a financial institution may be a factor for you. Smaller banks or credit unions may offer more personalized service, but if you travel, you may need the convenience of a branch wherever you go. Fees are also a prime consideration in determining the financial institution that you choose. Some charge you little to nothing to be a customer, while others may charge for almost every service. These charges can add up! Be sure to read and understand the fee schedule before you make your decision to open an account. To learn more, select one of the other buttons or click Exit when you're done.
11 Slide 11 Checking Accounts A checking account differs from other accounts in that it allows for numerous withdrawals (via check) and unlimited deposits, whereas other types of accounts sometimes limit these transactions. Opening a checking account is easy! You ll need to deposit some money into the account in order to activate it. Financial institutions can have different required minimum amounts, so it s important to determine what that amount is before deciding on a bank or credit union.
12 Slide 12 Opening a Checking Account Driver s license Social Security number Contact information In order to open an account, you ll need to provide identification. This can be your driver s license, Social Security number, state-issued identification card or permanent resident card. In addition, you ll need to provide contact information, such as your address, phone number and address. The financial institution needs this information in order to comply with federal law, which requires that the institution obtains and verifies identifying information for anyone who opens an account.
13 Slide 13 Types of Checking Accounts When you open a personal checking account, you ll need to choose the type of account. An individual checking account is in one person s name, and no one else can access the funds in it. A joint account allows two or more people, such as a married couple, to combine their finances in one account. Joint accounts can allow couples to handle finances more easily. Both parties can access the funds in the account and both are held responsible for any fees or offenses. You ll also need to select between an interest bearing account, such as money market checking, or a non-interest bearing account. Interest bearing accounts often require a larger minimum balance than non-interest bearing accounts.
14 Slide 14 PROPERTIES Allow user to leave interaction: Show Next Slide Button: Completion Button Label: Anytime Show always Next Slide A bank or financial institution generally offers several types of checks which are used for different situations. Click each tab to learn more about the different types of checks that may be available to you. Personal Personal checks are written against your account. They are acceptable for paying bills and purchasing goods. There is no guarantee that there are funds in the account to cover the check amount. Money Order A money order is a payment order for a specific amount of money. Money orders are more likely to be accepted than personal checks. They are usually limited to a maximum amount, such as $500. Certified When using a certified check, the financial institution verifies that sufficient funds exist in the holder s account to cover the check at the time of issue. The money is set aside in the institution s internal account until the check is cashed. Travelers Travelers checks are pre-printed, fixed amount checks that are popular for people who travel, especially overseas. They are more trusted than a personal check and are widely accepted.
15 Slide 15 PROPERTIES Allow user to leave interaction: Show Next Slide Button: Completion Button Label: Anytime Show always Next Slide Instructions - After opening a checking account, you ll need to learn how to write a check. Click each red indicator to identify the parts of a check. Your address This is the name and address of the account holder. Date of check This indicates the date the check was written. Post-dating a check, or writing a date in the future, doesn t guarantee that the check won t be deposited at an earlier date. Recipient The name of the person or business to whom the check is payable. Amount of the check The amount of the check is written in numerical format here. Written amount of check The amount of the check is written here as a combination of words and numbers, in dollars and cents. Fractions of a dollar are written in 00/100 format. For example, $8.54 would be written Eight dollars and 54/100. Optional memo You can indicate what the check was written for in the optional memo. Later when you look at a copy of the check, it will help you determine why the check was written. Signature The person writing a check places his or her signature or endorsement here. Routing Number The routing number or Routing Transit Number is a nine digit number used in the United States to identify the financial institution the check was drawn from. The numbers are printed in magnetic ink and are read by machines to expedite processing. Account Number This number indicates the individual account number of the financial institution the check was written on. Check Number Checks are listed sequentially in your checkbook. This helps to identify checks at a later date.
16 Slide 16 PROPERTIES Allow user to leave interaction: Show Next Slide Button: Completion Button Label: Anytime Show always Next Slide Intro Even though you may have plenty of checks, that doesn t mean you have enough money to cover them. You have to maintain your account. When your account goes into a negative balance due to your expenditures, you are generally charged an overdraft fee. The best way to avoid this fee is to know how much money you have and spend less. Financial institutions tend to process the larger checks, debits, and credit charges first, making it more likely that you will have smaller charges overdraft. Click the numbers at the bottom of the screen to learn about ways to reduce overdrafts. Balance your checkbook - If you know exactly how much money you have, you are more likely to pay attention to how much you spend, reducing the chance of fees. Watch out for automatic bill payments; they re easy to overlook. Don t trust your Available Balance - You may think that the available balance on your ATM receipt shows how much money you have to spend, but it doesn't. Often checks and credit transactions have not been fully processed and are still moving through the system, only to appear days later, reducing your available balance. Keep a minimum balance Make a commitment that once your balance falls to a predetermined amount, such as $100, you will stop spending. Many banks provide an on-line balance alert which sends an notifying you that you ve reached your predetermined amount. This type of discipline can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in fees.
17 Consider overdraft protection Overdraft protection allows you to access one of your other accounts, such as a savings account, and withdraw enough money to cover any potential overdraft. Keep in mind that although most financial institutions charge a fee for doing this, it s still less than the typical overdraft fee. You will need to have enough money in the other account to make this method work. Opt out of overdraft fees Did you know that overdraft fees prevent the embarrassment of being declined when you purchase things? Instead, the bank pays the amount and you get charged a fee. You can opt out of this service at your bank. Join a credit union Credit unions generally have fewer or less expensive fees than banks. Know your fees - Do you really understand the fees you're charged each month? Have someone explain every item to ensure that you aren t paying hidden charges. Avoiding unnecessary fees can prevent surprises in your account at the end of the month.
18 Slide 17 Electronic Banking But what if you don't want the hassle of using a paper check and balancing your account? Of course, you still need to maintain your account so you know how much money you have available, but you may want use something faster than a paper check...something electronic. There are a number of types of electronic banking. Let's learn more.
19 Slide 18 PROPERTIES Allow user to leave interaction: Show Next Slide Button: Completion Button Label: Anytime Show always Next Slide Intro - You may have heard about electronic banking, but what is it? Electronic banking, or electronic fund transfer (EFT), uses computer technology as a substitute for checks and other paper transactions. Many financial institutions use ATM or debit cards and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) for this purpose. Click on each of the tabs to learn about the different ways you can bank electronically. Pay by Phone Pay by Phone systems allow you to call your financial institution with instructions to pay certain bills or to transfer funds between accounts. You must have an agreement with the institution to make such transfers. Electronic Check Electronic checks are paper checks that are converted into an electronic payment in a store or when a company receives a check in the mail. If used in a store, the check is scanned and handed back to the customer. It is voided or marked by the merchant so that it can t be used again. There is usually no delay between when your check is converted and when the money is withdrawn from your account. Debit Card A debit card allows you to make purchases like a credit card. Your purchase could be at a store, on-line, or by phone. It s important to have the funds in your account to cover the purchase, as your account will be accessed quickly. Keep accurate records of the dates and amounts of purchases and withdrawals. Your debit card is often the card you use at the ATM. ATM ATMs, or Automated Teller Machines, are electronic terminals that allow you to access your account at any time. To withdraw cash, make deposits, or transfer funds between accounts, you generally insert an ATM card and enter your PIN. Some financial institutions and ATM owners charge a fee, especially to consumers who don t have accounts with them or on
20 transactions at remote locations. Be aware that your available balance may not reflect all of your recent transactions, so your balance may appear to be more than it actually is. Direct Deposit Direct deposit lets you authorize specific deposits, such as paychecks and Social Security benefits, to your account on a regular basis. You also may pre-authorize direct withdrawals so that bills, such as insurance premiums, utilities and mortgages are paid automatically. On-line banking On-line banking lets you handle many banking transactions via your personal computer. For instance, you may use your computer to view your account balance and any fees that may have been assessed, request transfers between accounts, and pay bills electronically. On-line banking also allows you to download transaction information into budgeting and tax preparation software. Internet and Phone Transactions Legitimate merchants should post information about the purchase process on their websites or explain the process over the telephone. Merchants should also request permission to electronically debit your bank account for the purchased item. It s better to be cautious when dealing with sellers you can t see. Pre-paid Cards Some financial institutions and merchants issue cards with cash value stored electronically on the card. Examples include pre-paid telephone cards and some gift cards. These cards, as well as transactions using them, may not be covered by the EFT Act. This means you may not be covered for the loss or misuse of the card.
21 Slide 19 Electronic Check Conversion Cindy makes a purchase at her local grocery store. After her purchase, the cashier hands her back her check and asks her to sign a receipt. Select the answer that you think explains why. The store rejected her check The store processed her check using electronic banking Now it s your turn to make a choice. Cindy makes a purchase at her local grocery store. After her purchase, the cashier hands her back her check and asks her to sign a receipt. Select the answer that you think explains why.
22 Slide 20 Electronic Check Conversion Information is captured Check is voided Information is sent electronically Funds are transferred If you answered that Cindy s check was processed electronically, you re right. More merchants and companies are using electronic check conversion, which converts information from your paper check into an electronic payment from your bank. 1 When you give your check to a store cashier, the check is run through an electronic system which captures your bank account information and the amount of the check. You re asked to sign a receipt and you get a copy for your records. 2 When your check information has been processed and the check has been handed back to you, it should be voided or marked by the merchant so that it can t be used again. 3 - The merchant electronically sends information from the check (but not the check itself) to your bank or other financial institution. 4 - The funds are transferred into the merchant s account. Electronic check conversion may also be used for checks you mail to pay for a purchase or to pay on an account. The merchant electronically sends information from your check (but not the physical check) through the system, and the funds are transferred into the merchant s account.
23 Slide 21 PROPERTIES Allow user to leave interaction: Show Next Slide Button: Completion Button Label: Anytime Show always Next Slide So what does electronic banking mean for you? Click on each of the questions below to find out. How will I know if companies use electronic check conversion? By law, you must receive notice if your check information will be processed electronically. Notice may be given in different ways: In a store, a merchant might post a sign at the register or give you written notice. For a mailed check, the company might include the notice on your monthly statement or under its terms and conditions. The notice should state whether the merchant will electronically collect a fee from your account if you have insufficient funds to cover the transactions. Will I get my checks back? Your financial institution may be unable to give you a duplicate copy of your checks, so it s important to keep your checks and receipts when the payment has been processed electronically in a store, especially if you need proof of payment. In the case of merchants and companies that use electronic check conversion for your mailed checks, you won t get your check back because the information was transmitted through the process electronically. However, if you need a copy of the check, you can always ask the merchant or company if they ll provide it to you. You could also consider using duplicate checks, where you keep a copy of every check you write. There may be an extra charge for duplicate checks whether you buy them from your financial institution or a check printing company. Will the payment be shown on my monthly statement? Yes. Your statement must show any electronic transactions. It should include the name of the merchant or company, the payment
24 amount, the date the payment was transferred electronically from your account, and the transfer location. This information may be included in an area other than where your paper checks are listed, so you should review the entire statement carefully. It s important to keep your statements; they can be used as proof of payment for your transactions. What does electronic check conversion mean to me? There may be no delay between when you write a check and when it s processed, which means that whenever you write a check, you need to have the funds in your account to cover it. If you don t, your check may bounce and you may be charged a fee by the merchant, your financial institution, or both. Bounced checks can blemish your credit record. If you re concerned about bounced checks, you may want to consider overdraft protection or a backup line of credit for your account. Your financial institution may charge for these services. What if I find an error on my account? Promptly review your statement for errors. For example, were two payments processed instead of one? Were you charged the wrong amount for the purchased item? You usually have 60 days from the date your statement was sent to notify your financial institution of any errors, but you should check with your bank or credit union for their timeframe. If it ll take more than 10 business days for your financial institution to investigate the situation, the institution must credit your account until a resolution is reached. What if I find unauthorized transactions on my account?-if you find an unauthorized electronic check conversion on your account or someone has fraudulently obtained your account information, notify your financial institution immediately. Your level of loss depends on how quickly you report the problem. Under federal law, you have 60 days after your statement has been sent to report the issue. If you fail to report the unauthorized transfers during this time period, you risk the loss of money in your account.
25 Slide 22 Savings You learned about the different types of checking, but is that all there is to it? What about saving money? What s the best way to save and how do you get the best interest rate? Let s take a look.
26 Slide 23 Savings Target It's important to have a savings target and put away money every month that isn't needed for daily expenses. While you may not be setting aside money for a specific reason, it's wise to have a reserve that you can easily access in case you have an unexpected large expense, such as a major car or home repair. You'll be less likely to need a loan or use a credit card if you have the money saved. Savings accounts and money market accounts are two of the easiest ways of reaching your savings goals.
27 Slide 24 Savings Account vs. Money Market Savings Account Money Market Minimum Balance Easy Access Secured Investment Higher Interest Rates Write checks Secured Investment Now let s compare savings accounts to money markets, so you can decide which offers the right services for you. Minimum Balance Savings accounts usually win here. Money market accounts generally require a higher minimum balance. In return, you're usually able to get a higher rate of return. Higher Interest Rates Money Market accounts have the advantage here. Financial institutions are generally able to offer a higher interest rate on returns because of your substantial investments. Easy Access Savings accounts have a bit of a lead here. Most savings accounts can be accessed with a bank debit card. Money Market accounts can often be accessed with a check, but generally there is a limit on the number of checks that can be written monthly. Some banks will charge a fee for more than a nominal number of withdrawals in a month. Write checks Money Market accounts win here. Most of them allow you to write 2-3 checks each month. Savings accounts do not allow you to write checks. Secured Investment It s a tie! Both savings and many Money Market accounts are insured up to $250,000 by the FDIC or NCUA. While both savings and money market accounts have advantages, consider your specific needs when choosing the right type of account for you.
28 Slide 25 Certificates of Deposit Certificates of deposit, or CDs, are essentially accounts in which you deposit money for a specific period of time and receive a pre-determined, non-fluctuating interest rate. CDs pay a higher rate of interest than savings or money market accounts because you are agreeing to leave the money in the account for the predetermined period of time. CDs are available with maturities of several months to several years. The longer the term, the higher the interest rate. If you do access the money before the maturity date, you will pay a penalty fee. CDs may make sense if you have funds that you won't need to use for an extended period of time, but don't want to risk. You won't have the same level of accessibility to the money as you would with a money market account or savings account. If interest rates on new CDs increase, you'll continue to retain the lower rate until your CD matures.
29 Slide 26 PROPERTIES Allow user to leave interaction: Show Next Slide Button: Completion Button Label: Anytime Show always Next Slide Financial institutions use the money you deposit with them to lend to other borrowers. In return, you are paid interest. Depending upon what type of account you have, your interest rates can vary. Interest rates also vary according to the economy. Click each of the tabs to learn the type of interest rate you can earn. Checking Regular interest checking accounts bring in less than 1% interest. New rules that reduce the amount of income banks receive from fees promise to further reduce the benefits of free checking. Account holders will need to carry higher balances and use less face-to-face banking. Savings Savings accounts earn a bit more than regular checking, but not much more. Current economic times can affect the advantages of savings accounts. Most people would be better served with higher interest-earning accounts. Money Market Money Market accounts earn more than savings or regular checking accounts. In exchange for the higher interest, you are usually required to carry a higher balance and only write 2-3 checks a month. You may have access to funds through a debit card. CD - A Certificate of Deposit (CD) earns more money the longer you keep your funds in it. A 1 year CD earns a bit more than a typical Money Market account. There are also 2, 3, 4 and 5 year CDs. Typically, the longer the term of the CD, the higher the interest rate. There are penalties for drawing money out of a CD before the maturity date.
30 Slide 27 Banking On the Web Financial Literacy You ve done it! You ve taken the mystery out of choosing the financial services that are right for you. You ve learned about the different types of financial institutions and checking accounts. You ve walked through the features of electronic banking and even compared savings products and interest rates. You re well on your way to financial literacy. Keep learning! For more information on this topic, select On The Web to visit Bankrate.com where you ll find resources and tools to help you decide what banking services will benefit you the most. To view our other Financial Literacy presentations, select the Financial Literacy link.