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Introduction to Banking Services

When first opening a bank account, there can be a number of choices and factors to consider that can make the process seem daunting. However, the basics are actually fairly simple. A bank, in short, is a place to store one’s money, while offering access to it through a number of channels and from a variety of locations. Described below are some of the different account types and services offered by banks. Institutions may offer slightly different services, so the descriptions below are general summaries. It is important to research all of the financial institutions in your area to determine which offer the services that best fit how you bank.

Checking Account

The primary purpose of a checking account is for paying bills and making purchases. There are a number of different types of checking accounts, offering different features and services. When choosing an account, look at the services offered and not just the benefits offered at account opening.

Savings Account

The main function of a savings account is to save money for the future. There are different types of savings accounts, which offer a variety of interest rates. The interest rate may vary depending on the amount of time money kept in the account. Savings accounts may have limits on withdrawals, so talk to a personal banker to make sure the terms fit your savings goals.

Certificate of Deposit (CD)

A CD is a long-term bank account. This type of account offers higher interest rates then a normal savings account, but will change fees if funds are withdrawn before an agreed upon time. CD terms can vary from a few months to multiple years. The length of CD often correlates to how much interest is offered.

Safe Deposit Box

Safe deposit boxes are offered as a secure storage option at many bank locations. For a fee, a variety of sizes are available to store items such as vital paperwork, family heirlooms, or other valuables. The boxes often are accessible during bank lobby hours.

Check Card

Debit Cards offer convenient, 24-hour access to your checking account through ATMs, point-of-sale purchases, cash advances and online purchases. Debit cards often have daily spending and withdrawal limits to protect against fraud. Many banks are now offering debit cards with a secure EMV chip to further protect against fraud.

Credit Card

A credit card functions much like a check card, except instead of withdrawing money from your account immediately, it allows one to pay off the expenses at a later date. If managed efficiently, a credit card can be a safe and secure way of handling money, and can help build one’s credit rating. One must be cautious to stay up to date on credit card payments however. If funds are allowed to accumulate and left on the card for long periods of time large interest rates may apply and end up costing you even more.

Online and Mobile Banking

With Internet access available almost anywhere today, online banking is offered in order for people to bank on their own schedule. It can sometimes be hard to make it to the bank during business hours, so many services are offered online, including paying bills, reordering checks, viewing account balances, transferring money between accounts, and many others.

Copyright ©2015. Sterling State Bank in Minnesota provides personal and business banking solutions, including checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, and certificates of deposit.

For a complete list of Deposit Account features and fees please contact your Sterling State Bank personal banker today!


*Consumer deposit account fee schedule