Banks act as
payment agents by conducting checking or current accounts for customers,
paying cheques drawn by customers on the bank, and collecting cheques
deposited to customers' current accounts. Banks also enable customer
payments via other payment methods such as telegraphic transfer, EFTPOS, and
automated teller machine (ATM).
Banks borrow money by accepting funds deposited on current accounts, by
accepting term deposits, and by issuing debt securities such as banknotes
and bonds. Banks lend money by making advances to customers on current
accounts, by making installment loans, and by investing in marketable debt
securities and other forms of money lending.
Banks provide almost all payment services, and a bank account is considered
indispensable by most businesses, individuals and governments. Non-banks
that provide payment services such as remittance companies are not normally
considered an adequate substitute for having a bank account.
Banks borrow most funds from households and non-financial businesses, and
lend most funds to households and non-financial businesses, but non-bank
lenders provide a significant and in many cases adequate substitute for bank
loans, and money market funds, cash management trusts and other non-bank
financial institutions in many cases provide an adequate substitute to banks
for lending savings too.
Banks offer many different
channels to access their banking and other services:
• ATM is a machine that dispenses cash and sometimes takes deposits without
the need for a human bank teller.
• A branch is a retail location
• Call center
• Mail, most banks accept check deposits via mail and use mail to
communicate to their customers, e.g. by sending out statements
• Mobile banking is a method of using one's mobile phone to conduct banking
• Online banking is a term used for performing transactions, payments etc.
over the Internet
• Relationship Managers, mostly for private banking or business banking,
often visiting customers at their homes or businesses
• Telephone banking is a service which allows its customers to perform
transactions over the telephone without speaking to a human
• Video banking is a term used for performing banking transactions or
professional banking consultations via a remote video and audio connection.