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Why Banks Value Your Checking Account

By admin • February 15th, 2010

Checking account customers are very valuable to banks because the “primary family checking account” is typically the main account for the family.   Other banking relationships will typically follow the checking account.  Certificates of Deposits, Safe Deposit Boxes, Consumer loans, and home mortgage loans.  Your bank would like to have multiple account relationships, to also include business banking relationships. 

The checking account also offers many opportunities for fee income and typically carries a lower interest rate than what is paid on other deposit accounts, such as money market accounts, and certificates of deposit.   NSF fees are perhaps the most profitable aspect of a checking account.  Fees that range from $25 to $35 are common, and are charged for each check that is returned by the bank.  If a checking account customer “bounces” a check, it is probable that they will bounce several checks, with a separate service charge being charged on each check.   Banks do offer overdraft protection plans that are advisable for those customers who are prone to overdraw their account. 

There are many checking accounts that are “Free”.  These accounts are only profitable to your bank if you maintain a large enough balance, or incur other service charges.   Many banks will charge you for ATM transactions, although many community banks offer free ATM transactions at either their machine or another bank’s teller machine.  This is a great advantage for the consumer and should be considered when choosing a checking account. 

Some checking accounts pay interest on “collected”  balances.   When checks are deposited, the Federal Reserve assigns a certain time period before the check can be considered “collected” or “good”.  This allows the bank that the check is written on to return the check if there are insufficient funds to pay the check.  Checks are processed very quickly these days, in typically one to two days.  Therefore, holds are typically only placed on check deposits for one to two days.  Banks can apply longer holds if the account is new or there is reason to believe that the check might be returned, or it is from a Federal Reserve District that is located far away. 

Checking accounts are a great benefit to both the customer and the bank.  They offer the customer the flexibility to purchase goods and services at local merchants.  They also provide a stable source of deposit account balances for the bank, that they can in turn either invest or make loans at a profit margin.  Both the consumer and the bank win!!

There are many types of checking accounts that are targeted to specific groups.  Checking for Seniors, Checking for Students, Online Checking.  These checking accounts offer specific benefits that the targeted group will value.


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