Using your account and ways of banking
Once you have opened an account, you have many options on how to use it to do your banking.
1.Banking At Your Branch
- Making Deposits
- Making cash withdrawals
- Cashing cheques
- Cashing government cheques
- Writing cheques
- Holds on cheques you deposit
- Do not sign a blank cheque or write a cheque payable to cash before you go to the bank branch or ABM. If it is lost or stolen, it may be cashed by anyone who presents it.
- Never lend anyone a cheque or deposit slip from your cheque book.
- Never sign the back of a cheque (endorse) until you give it to the customer service representative. If it is lost, anyone could cash it.
- If your cheques are lost or stolen, notify your branch immediately.
Direct deposit means that money that is owed to you (like paycheques and government cheques) is electronically put into your account. Direct deposit ensures that you have instant access to your funds, and there is no hold on them because the funds are guaranteed. Clients expecting to receive money from federal, provincial or municipal governments can ask for payment by direct deposit? As well, many companies arrange to pay their employees through direct deposit.
3.Automated Banking Machines
Most banks today offer self-service banking through ABMs. You can find ABMs in banks, shopping malls, gas stations, convenience stores, supermarkets, airports, train stations, etc. In most cases, ABMs can be used 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Full-service ABMs can be used to:
- withdraw cash
- deposit cash or cheques
- pay bills
- transfer money from one account to another
- get your account balance
- some allow you to update your passbook or obtain an account statement
- machines with an Interac logo allow you to access your account from another financial institution's ABM
The cost of using an ABM depends on your bank. Most banks charge a transaction fee which is deducted from the account. To save on these service charges, you can sign up for a monthly service plan which allows you to conduct a certain number of transactions for a set fee. Plans vary according to your financial institution.
| TIP: When choosing your Personal Identification Number (PIN), make sure it is not obvious. Don't pick your address, telephone number or birth date.
4.Interac Direct Payment
When you have a debit card, you can also use it to pay for purchases in a store. This is called Interac Direct Payment (IDP). This way of paying for things has become very popular over the past few years. Many stores, gas stations, supermarkets and movie theatres have a small machine called a point-of-sale terminal.
When you swipe your card through this machine and key in your PIN, money is automatically transferred from your account to the store's account. You have now paid.
This is a safe and convenient way of shopping because you no longer need to carry large amounts of cash or a cheque book.
ABM and Direct Payment security tips
- Your debit card is the key to your account(s). It is for your personal use only. Keep your card in a safe place and never let anyone else use it.
- Protect your Personal Identification Number (PIN). It is your electronic signature. Never write it down to memorize it.
- When you decide on a PIN, avoid the obvious your telephone number, date of birth, address, etc.
- Never tell anyone your PIN. You are the only person who should know it.
- Always conduct your ABM transactions when and where you feel most secure. If you are uncomfortable about using the machine for any reason, do it later or go to another location.
- To ensure privacy when conducting an ABM or debit transaction, use your hand or body as a shield to prevent others from watching you enter your PIN.
After finishing an ABM or debit transaction, remember to take your card and, if provided, your transaction record.
- When making a withdrawal from an ABM, count the cash received and put it away immediately before leaving the machine.
- If your card is lost, stolen or not returned by an ABM, call your financial institution immediately. Most institutions have 1-800 telephone numbers and/or 24-hour service for lost or stolen cards.
- Each customer has their own daily limit for withdrawals, and you have the choice of lowering your daily withdrawal limit. Contact your bank to request this change.
- Review your bank statements or passbook regularly. Report any unusual transactions immediately to your bank. If you are the victim of debit card fraud, the matter will be investigated immediately by your bank. If fraud has occurred, your money will be returned to you by your bank.
- ABM robberies are not common, but if it should happen, remember that your safety comes first. Report the incident to the police and to your bank.
This is a quick, easy and convenient way to do your banking 24-hours a day, seven days a week. You can bank from home, work or even when you are out of town using a telephone.
For telephone banking you need an account and a debit card. To get started, just visit a branch or call your bank's 1-800 telephone number for more information on how to register. You choose a personal password or access number that you use every time you phone the telephone banking number. Do not share this information with anyone. You can register your bank account(s) and the account number of each bill you will be paying, for example, your phone bill, credit card, hydro bill, tax bill, etc.
Service charges vary depending on how much you use telephone banking. Some banks may include this as part of a service plan or may offer the service free if you maintain a minimum monthly balance.
6.Banking by computer
Now you can also do your banking through the Internet on your computer.
- transfer money between your accounts
- pay bills
- make postdated bill payments
- check on your account balance or activity
- download your transactions to financial software (Quicken, Money)
There are two ways you can do your banking by computer: through a special computer connection to your bank using its software or through your bank's Web site. Either way, if you are interested in doing some of your banking activities through your computer, ask for more information at your bank. What you cannot do with computer banking is deposit or withdraw cash.
Canada's Internet banking systems are very secure and customers can safely do their banking online. You can help to protect yourself from online fraud by taking a few simple precautions:
- Change your password often and use a combination of letters and numbers in your password
- Never share your password
- Always look for the closed lock or unbroken key symbols on your computer when entering private information. This means your transactions will be securely transmitted across the Internet.
- Always be careful when receiving or responding to unknown e-mails, especially if you are being asked for your password, SIN or other private information.