What Services Do Modern Banks Offer, Beyond Storing Money Safely?

What services do modern banks offer, beyond storing money safely? Modern banks offer many services to attract a loyal clientele. Banks have grown from simply being a place to keep your money to corporate giants with offerings across the board.

Modern banks offer many services to attract a loyal clientele. Banks have grown from simply being a place to keep your money to corporate giants with offerings across the board. Checking accounts are just the beginning of the services. They come with a variety of options from ATM and debit cards, low or no minimum balances, direct deposit, unlimited check writing and various methods of overdraft protections. "Banks serve as custodians for Individual Retirement Accounts. They often also operate trust departments, which provide useful fiduciary services to customers, such as acting as trustee. Banks own and operate ATM networks that provide convenient access to cash," says Sharon Lee, the Executive Vice President and Director of Client Services of American National Bank, who has thirty years in the banking industry.

Savings accounts range from simple student and passbook accounts to money market and bonds. Enough variable interest rates and maturation dates exist for certificates of deposit so you can find the perfect one for your situation. Almost every bank has lobby hours where you can schedule meetings with bank employees to discuss any situation from retirement to college savings. Some banking business, such as deposits or withdrawals can be done from your automobile by using the drive thru services.

"For businesses, banks offer many cash management services that make the daily management of their business easier and less expensive. Some of these basic cash management products include bill paying, automatic clearing house items (ACH electronic funds) for collection of payment of bills, account reconciliation, and cash concentration accounts. More advance cash management services such as lock boxes and treasury sweep accounts allows the business to earn more money on their funds," said Sharon Lee.

Banks offer many types of loans to help their customers. Automobile loans are a common type. Banks have different auto loans depending on whether the automobile is new or used, a lease or if the purchase price is over a certain dollar figure. Length of the loan is also dependent on the type. Be sure to have your paperwork lined up before purchasing to have a smooth transaction. One type of loan usually offered is a signature or unsecured loan. This loan type may have a higher interest rate because it is riskier for the bank. Home equity loans have been very popular in the last few years. They allow a person to borrow against the equity in their house. Some banks can offer this type because they also offer mortgage loans.

For those persons who are on the go, banks today offer online or Internet banking. Many services are available over the computer, making it easy to check balances, make online bill payments and balance your checkbook. Someone can apply for a loan or even purchase savings bonds from your bank through your home computer. With the large network of automated teller machines or ATMs available, you are never very far from your money. For certain types of accounts, some banks even waive their fees for using an ATM from a different bank.

"Some banks also make insurance and investment services available to their customers through the use of subsidiary or affiliated companies. Banks offer information and advice to help their customers achieve their financial aspirations. They also provide other services such as safe deposit boxes, bill pay, wire transfers, money orders, cashier's checks, traveler's checks, etc." said Lee.

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