How to Bank

From setting up online banking to voiding checks, this beginner's guide will give you the basics of consumer banking.
Why Does Compound Interest Matter? Compound interest equals interest earned on money that was previously earned as interest. Compound interest causes interest and account balances to grow. Good for savings and investments, but can work against you in playing interest on a loan. Frequency, time, interest rate, deposits, and the starting amount all make compound interest powerful.
Compound Interest
illustration has a heading "Bank Wire-Transfer Basics" followed by definition: "An electronic transfer of money; Goes from one bank or credit union to another using network such as SWIFT or Fedwire."
Wire Transfer
illustration with text that reads: "Is Paypal Safe? Tips for Buying, Selling, and Sending Online. 1. Keep software up-to-date on your computer or mobile device. 2. Avoid public Wi-Fi for financial transactions. 3. Use a credit card as your funding method instead of a debit card or direct bank transactions. 4. Be wary of links in emails.
Is PayPal Safe for Sellers and Buyers?
Image of what you need to open a bank account, including a social security card, cash deposit, forms filled out and ID.
A Step-by-Step Guide for How To Open a Bank Account
Businesswoman reaching for paperwork
how ABA numbers work
What Is an ABA Number?
Couple looking at paperwork together
The differences between ACH and wire transfers.
Compare and Contrast: Speed, Cost, Risk, and More
Image shows three panels: a man paying for something at a counter; a woman paying for her bill at a cafe; a woman paying for a movie ticket. Text reads: "Paypal's prepaid, debit, and credit cards. The prepaid mastercard–PROS: no credit check, FDIC insured. CONS: can't pull funds from your paypal account; a $4.95 monthly fee. The debit mastercard– PROS: Use funds from your paypal account; cash back rewards. CONS: Primarily for business accounts. The extras mastercard– PROS: no annual fee; earn points. CONS: required credit checks."
PayPal Debit and Credit Cards: Which Is Best?
A bank teller processes a transaction for a bank customer.
How (and Where) To Conduct an International Wire Transfer
Woman checking her bank account balance online for a ACH payment
ACH Payments Can Benefit Everybody. See How They Work.
A woman working at a computer using software to analyze qualitative data.
Annual Percentage Yield
Online Account Opening
Here's What You Need to Know to Open Bank Accounts Online
Image shows a house and a stack of money locked inside of a see through safe. Text reads: How to keep assets and payments private: Hire a family office: They manage the finances of the ultra-wealthy Create a trust: It’s an entity that holds assets and makes payments
Reducing Your Public Financial Information
Converting Percentages to Decimals Is Easy
Illustration of how and where to deposit cash
Learn How and Where To Deposit Cash to Get Your Money Into the Bank
What Is the Available Balance in Your Bank Account?
Young woman walking through a banking district
What Is the FDIC?
Diverse group of friends making a toast
Illustration of various ways to check bank balance
6 Easy Ways to Track Your Bank Balance
Mobile payments
Want to Pay With Your Mobile Phone? Here's How.
Young couple using laptop
Realtor showing new house to young couple
Ways to Use Escrow Accounts
Couple talking to bank employee about loan
Credit Union Customers: See How You Benefit From Co-op Shared Branches.
Bank Teller in Retail Bank Counter Serving Customer with Transaction
How Do You Send or Receive Money With a Wire Transfer?
quick facts: facebook messenger payments
Send and Receive Money With Facebook Messenger
Woman using digital tablet on sofa
Apps and Services to Send Money Online
Cropped shot of a handsome mature businessman reading the paper while sitting in the backseat of a car during his morning commute
Swiss Bank Accounts Provide Privacy and Other Benefits but Not Secrecy
Bank customers wait in line to see a representative
How to Switch Your Bank
Open bank vault
Fractional-Reserve Banking
Close up man paying using smart watch contactless payment
The Cheapest Ways to Send Money
Man paying bills online
Online Bill Pay
Female executive talking to business partners about choosing a bank.
Should You Bank Locally or Choose a National Bank?
How to calculate monthly interest that you may pay or earn on $2,000
How To Calculate Monthly Interest for Loans, Bank Accounts, and More
Map of world made of various currency
See How Easy It Is To Send Money Abroad
get to know your debit and credit cards
Get To Know Your Debit or Credit Card From Front to Back
Hundred dollar bills emerging from ATM
The Risks of Deposits at ATMs: What Could Go Wrong?
Brick and Mortar Bank
What Are Brick and Mortar Bank Branches?
Woman connecting to neobank with smartphone
A person checks bank account online
Real-Time Gross Settlement
Person using P2P payment system on smartphone to send money
Zelle Adds Options for P2P Payments, and You Probably Already Have It
Open Bank Vault Door
Understanding Funds Availability Policies at Your Bank
Portraits of U.S. presidents on dollar bills
The benefits of online banking—quicker, easier, and safer—outlined in an illustration
Online Banking
Young woman paying bills with a credit card
Online Banking: Pros and Cons
The outside of a bank with a large sign on the front
The Impact of a Bank Run on Banking Institutions
Two kids count coins laid out on a kitchen counter
The Best Places To Turn Your Coins Into Cash in 2021
Woman using calculator and laptop
Balance Your Checkbook With Templates and Spreadsheets
Woman sitting in front of laptop using a calculator to pay her bills online
How to Pay Your Bills Online
The pros and cons of moving to a cashless society
Cashless Society Pros and Cons
A 5-Step Guide to Fixing an Overdrawn Bank Account
Young woman withdrawing money from an ATM, other woman waiting in line behind her.
What Does It Mean to Nationalize Banks and Industries?
A couple looks at a computer.
Cleared Funds
A pile of ATM, debit and credit cards
Understanding ATM, Debit, and Credit Cards
Custom illustrations showing some of the Banking Benefits Offered to High-Net-Worth Customers. Including better interest rates, higher limits, and lower fees. Shows woman walking down red carpet into a door marked VIP banking
How Do Millionaires Bank?
a woman holding a smart phone and a credit card
Alternatives to Credit Card Wire Transfers for Sending Money
banking customer depositing check with a bank teller
How Do Banks and Credit Unions Make Money?
Businessman in a city using ATM
How To Fix Problems With ACH Payments
Money and data in a digital world
Are You Ready for a World Where Banks Share Your Data?
Woman attempting to take money out of the Atm but the screen reads error. The text above the woman asks, "Why isn't my money available yet?"
4 Reasons Your Deposit Isn't Showing Up As Planned