Types of Services — Other Bank Services

Other Bank Services

Banks offer a variety of money management services beyond those associated specifically with your checking and savings accounts. Safe deposit boxes, wire transfers, money orders and cashier’s checks can be purchased at many banks.

Safe deposit boxes

Safe deposit boxes are often used to secure valuable possessions that need protection from theft, fire, flood and tampering. For example, people often keep gemstones, precious metals, stock certificates, or important documents such as property deeds and birth certificates in a safe deposit box.

You pay the bank a rental fee for the use of the box, which can only be opened with a key that is given to you. Items in a safe deposit box are not covered by FDIC insurance, so if you’re keeping valuables like jewelry or other items in your box—get those items insured!

Wire transfers

A wire transfer is a way to move funds directly between banks and bank accounts. Wire transfers can be made domestically (inside the United States) or internationally. Most banks offer wire transfers as an additional service to their customers. Terms and fees for wire transfers vary, so be sure to check with your bank for the information you need about wire transfers.

To make a wire transfer from your account, you will need to know the receiving bank’s routing number, and the account number of the party who you are sending money to. Be sure to request proof of the transaction (a receipt and/or a confirmation number).

Money orders

A money order is a form of payment that has been guaranteed by a bank or other financial institution.

Money orders are used to pay merchants who do not accept personal checks. They are often used in mail order transactions.

Money orders must be purchased with cash. You can purchase money orders at your bank, and also from the United States Postal Service, Western Union and Moneygram. Any amount up to $1,000 may be purchased in the form of a money order. For amounts more than $1,000, you will need to purchase a certified check from a bank.

To purchase a money order, there is generally a fee that runs between $1 and $2, depending on the amount of the money order. If you purchase a money order, be sure to keep the stub or receipt in case of loss or theft.

Cashier’s checks

A cashier's check is issued by a bank on your behalf for a specified sum of money. It differs from a personal check in that the bank certifies it when it is issued.

Cashier's checks display the name of the bank in a prominent location as well as the words "cashier's check." They are embossed with security features such as watermarks. One or two bank employees or officers typically sign them.

Because a bank guarantees them, the recipient usually treats cashier’s checks like cash. This makes them beneficial for large financial transactions.

Some banks might not always accept a cashier’s check immediately. Because of increased security measures, some banks might wait for them to clear before honoring them. There are many scams involving fraudulent cashier's checks. If you receive one, contact the issuing bank to verify its authenticity before accepting it.


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