Intro to Checking

Check out the advantages of checking accounts

A checking account is a great tool offered by banks to help you manage and protect your money.

Like a savings account, a checking account allows you to deposit money for use at a later time. A checking account, however, allows you to make more frequent withdrawals from your account to safely and conveniently pay for your daily and other expenses.

A checking account and a savings account make a great duo. NBT Bank suggests having both to help you manage your finances. The savings account will help you set money aside to plan for the future. The checking account will help you quickly access your money for immediate needs.

Safety matters

A checking account is a much safer place for you to keep your cash than a drawer or under your mattress. By keeping it in a bank account you can be assured that your money can’t be easily lost or misplaced. Each customer is also insured by the FDIC or Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation up to $250,000. That means, even if something happens to your bank, your money is protected up to a balance of $250,000.

How does a checking account work?

A checking account comes with a lot of advantages. Some of the benefits include:

  • More options to pay for your expenses than just cash or coins
  • More ways to make deposits to help your balance
  • Greater resources to help you better manage your budget with tools that make it easier to track and record your spending habits and income too.

NBT Bank offers different types of checking accounts to meet different types of needs. Depending on the types of services or features, some accounts may come with associated fees. So before selecting an account, it is important to make sure you talk to your NBT Banker to find the solution to best suit your needs.

Once you select the checking account that is right for you, make a deposit so that you can start to use your account. The amount of money in your checking account at any time is called your balance. It is important to monitor your balance so you know how much money you have in your account compared to what you want to spend.

How can you check the balance of your checking account?

If you have iStrive Checking, NBT Bank helps you check your balance anywhere at any time with Online Banking and eStatements.

Online Banking allows you to view and access your account through the internet. With Online Banking you can see your deposits and withdrawals as they occur allowing you to make more timely decisions about your budget and day-to-day finances. You can even make transactions through Online Banking by transferring money between accounts or use it to pay bills.

To help you keep track of your deposits and withdrawals, the bank provides a listing of all of your account activity that happens over a set period of time—called an eStatement or an electronic bank statement. The eStatement will also show you how much money you had at the beginning of the period and how much you had at the end of that period. You can then see how your actions affect the growth or reduction of your balance.

Your eStatement can be accessed through the bank’s secured website so your account information is accessible whenever you need it, but it’s also protected. At the end of every term or period, the bank typically sends you an e-mail to remind you that a new eStatement is available for your review.

You may also check your account balance at an Automated Teller Machine more commonly called an ATM or by calling the NBT Banker Line.

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How do you make a deposit into your checking account?

You can increase the amount of money you have in your checking account by making a deposit. A deposit can be made at your bank’s ATM or at any of your bank’s offices. If you make a deposit at your bank’s local office or branch, you must complete a deposit slip to record the amount of money in cash and checks you wish to put in your account.

A check is a written way some banks offer for a person to pay or give money to another person or company from their checking account. This method is not as common as it was in the past. If you receive a check as a gift or payment, you must endorse it or give the bank permission to deposit those funds into your account.

Once the bank teller completes the deposit, he / she will give you back a receipt for your records.

If you have a job with a paycheck, your employer can deposit your pay into your account. This process is known as direct deposit. This is a much more convenient way for you to be paid as it allows you quicker access to your funds and eliminates the need for you to go to the bank to deposit a paper check. Many banks waive fees or give added benefits if you have a direct deposit as part of your checking account.

You can also deposit funds in your account at an ATM or through Online Banking by transferring money from another account at the same bank.

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How do I access the money in my checking account?

Today there are many ways for you to access the funds in you checking account. In addition to going to the bank and making a withdrawal, there are many automated banking services that help you withdraw or use your money at anytime almost anywhere.

One of the most common ways to access the money in your account is by using your ATM or Debit Card.

An ATM Card is a plastic card with a magnetically coded strip that is matched specifically with your account. This card only allows you to check your balance, deposit or withdraw funds at an ATM or Automated Teller Machine. ATMs are located at most banks as well as high traffic areas such as malls and shopping centers.

A Debit Card has more capability than an ATM Card. In addition to the features of an ATM Card, Debit Cards allow you to make purchases or withdraw cash from a merchant. The amount of the purchase or withdrawal is immediately deducted from your bank account.

ATM and Debit Cards are assigned individual Personal Identification Numbers or PINs. A PIN is a series of numbers, selected by you the cardholder or randomly assigned by the card issuer. The PIN provides you and your account greater security to help prevent an unauthorized person from accessing your money.

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Remember: It’s important not to share your PIN with others. Select a combination of numbers that you can easily remember but can’t be easily guessed. If you need to write it down, be sure to store that information in a safe place. Do not write it on the card itself or on a piece of paper in your wallet because you’ll be putting your account at risk.

Thanks to technology, there are a lot of other ways to access your account too. You can conduct transactions over the phone, online and often through your mobile phone or device.

No matter how you access your account, it is important to do so safely and securely. To learn more about checking accounts such as iStrive Checking or other bank products that can help you manage your money safely, contact your local NBT Bank today.