In Canada, you can choose to do your banking in person, by telephone, or online. Many Canadians use online banking services provided by their bank to pay bills, transfer money, or schedule automatic payments 24 hours per day. To track the amount in your account, you can have paper statements mailed to you each month or you can choose to view your statement electronically through online banking.
In Canada, credit comes in many forms: credit cards, lines of credit, mortgages, and loans. Credit cards are the most popular type of credit and are one of the best ways to establish credit history and to build a good credit rating in Canada. Using a credit card means that you buy items on credit and are billed for them within one month, plus interest. Interest is the amount charged for borrowing the money. Interest rates on credit cards are very high, so be careful how you use your credit card. If you pay back the full amount before the due date, you will not be charged any interest.
Credit cards are safer than cash and are convenient when shopping. Even if you already have a credit card issued from another country, it is good to have a Canadian credit card to establish a good credit score. Your credit score is affected by how you use your credit card and how you pay off the balance. This can have a positive or negative effect on your ability to get more credit, such as a house mortgage, or a loan to buy a car.
Cheques are another way of accessing your money. They are useful in situations when you don't want to use cash or a credit card, such as paying rent or paying bills. You can purchase cheques through your bank if they are not included in your bank account package. Cheques are necessary if you wish to set up automatic payments for utilities, or to receive direct deposit of your pay cheque from your place of employment.
Safety Deposit Boxes
A safety deposit box is a safe way to protect your valuables such as jewellery, family heirlooms, and identification papers. Safety deposit boxes are located inside the bank's vault, protecting your items from fire and theft. You can rent a safety deposit box from most banks and access the contents with your personal key during banking hours.
Sending Money Outside of Canada
When sending money to friends or family members in another country, do not send cash through the mail. Use a certified cheque or money order, but first make sure that the cheque can be cashed in the country you are sending it to. You can also wire money through your bank's international remittance service, private money transfer services, or the post office.
Some money transfer services allow you to transfer money over the internet, while others will require you to do it in person. If you have to go in person, you will be asked to show proper identification such as a driver's license, passport, or permanent resident card. The receiver of the money must go to the location where the transfer service is offered in their country. To receive the money, they will present their identification and fill out a form.
Using an ATM
When you open a bank account, you will receive a bank card. This card allows you to access your money through a bank machine instead of going to the bank. These bank machines are called Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). You can use ATMs to deposit money, withdrawal money, and to pay bills 24 hours per day.
ATMs are accessed using your bank or "debit" card. You must create a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to access your accounts using an ATM. To keep your money safe, do not let anyone see your PIN number when you enter it in the bank machine.
If you use an ATM that is not associated with your bank, you will have to pay a fee. Private ATMs located in stores and restaurants charge a higher fee, so it is best to use machines that are owned by your bank.
Note that some banks set a daily limit on the amount of money you can withdraw using electronic channels such as an ATM, online banking, or debit transactions.