How to Choose a Bank or Financial Institution

Instructor: LeRon Haire
During this lesson, we will discuss several factors which help individuals determine how to choose the bank or financial institution that is best for them including the various services offered by each.

A person thinking about just how to choose a bank or financial institution.

Decisions, Decisions

Have you ever asked yourself why are there so many banking and financial institutions to choose from? Have you ever thought to yourself that all banking and financial institutions are the same? If your answer to the last question was yes, then this lesson is for you. We will now take a look at several services and how they will help you with choosing the most appropriate financial institution.

Which Bank is Right for me?

When choosing a bank or financial institution, it's important that you first examine your current life or financial situation. By doing so, it will help to determine which type of account or services are best for you. Let's take a look at two types of banking services, which are individual banking and business banking. We will also take a look at the different services available for each which will help to choose the one that is best for you.

Individual Banking

For those that are seeking personal banking needs, then an institution that offers individual banking would be best suited for them. Individual banking services are in place to assist individuals with personal banking needs. For example, those people that may be contemplating retirement and want to plan for their future may consider an institution that deals with asset management.

Asset management can be defined as a service that is designed to educate and help people on how to best manage their current investments. For those individuals that are looking ahead towards the finish line of their career, asset management should definitely be a consideration when selecting a bank or financial institution.

Here are a few other services offered through individual banking:

  • Checking and Savings Accounts

These accounts, which are two of the most common individual banking services, are designed to help users by acting as a holding place of sorts for their personal money. Unlike a checking account, which is considered a daily account that may be used every day, a savings account is designed to provide savings for a rainy day, for the future, or emergencies.

  • Debit Cards

Individual banking allows users that have an account with a specific bank or financial institution to be issued a debit card. This debit card is often linked to a checking account. The debit card is very useful because it allows users to access money from their checking (or other) account directly from the debit card. The card can also be used in many places and outlets, which makes it an attractive choice because the user does not have to carry actual cash with them.

  • Notary

In many instances, banking or financial institutions that offer individual banking will have notaries available for use. A notary is a person that has been authorized or given permission to complete specific governmental and other duties, such as being a witness for particular document signings. In many banks, the service for a notary may be free or at a reduced rate if the user has an account with them.

  • Personal Loans

There are several different types of loans available at banks and financial institutions. Individual banking offers personal loans that differ in things such as the amount borrowed, the interest, and the life of the loan. Individual banking often offers personal loans that require less paperwork as opposed to other types of banking, which we will dive into in just a moment.

Professionals and business people from all walks of life may be interested in learning about business banking.

Business Banking

Unlike individual banking, which places an emphasis on personal use for the customer, business banking can be defined as services that are provided with an emphasis on business and other organizations. With each of these types of banking being focused on one particular set of people, it is obvious that their services will differ. Here are some of the services that are available for business banking:

  • Merchant Services

Merchant services are services that actually cover a wide scope of options. However, most of these services are centered around the payment processing. An example would be credit card processing or check collection. These are services that an individual may not be interested in. Due to the scope of their industry, this would indeed be of interest to a business or organization.

  • Business Loans

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