Banks provide a wide variety of financial transactions that allow individuals and businesses to conveniently manage their money. There are numerous types of banking transactions that customers can conduct to make deposits, withdrawals, payments, transfers, and more.
In this guide, we’ll explore the major categories of banking transactions and provide specific examples of the many transaction options you may encounter.
• Deposit transactions allow you to securely grow your funds by putting money into your accounts through means like cash deposits, check deposits, and electronic transfers.
• Withdrawal transactions provide access to your money when needed by letting you take cash out, make purchases, pay bills, or transfer funds externally.
• Account management transactions allow you to open new accounts, modify existing accounts, link accounts together, and close unwanted accounts as your needs change.
• Loan transactions help you access credit products like personal loans, mortgages, student loans, and business lines of credit through applications and payments.
• Online and mobile banking transactions facilitate digital account management, payments, transfers, check deposits, and accessing account data from your devices.
• Business banking transactions include specialized options like payroll, accounts payable/receivable, cash management, merchant services, and business loans.
Deposit transactions allow you to put money into your bank accounts and grow your funds securely. Banks offer several ways to make deposits:
• Over-the-counter cash deposits at a teller window are a straightforward way to deposit paper bills directly into your account. This increases your account balance immediately.
• ATM cash deposits allow you to insert cash into an ATM affiliated with your bank. Feed the bills into the designated slot to credit your account. Some ATMs have limits on the volume of cash that can be deposited this way.
• Night drop bags can be used to deposit cash after branch hours. Place the sealed bag containing your deposit slip and cash into the secured night slot at your bank. The funds are credited the next business day.
• Mobile cash deposits are possible on many banking apps by endorsing physical cash to your account and then scanning the bills through your smartphone camera for deposit.
• Bank teller deposits allow you to endorse paper checks to your account with an in-person visit. Generally safer than mailing checks yourself.
• ATM check deposits let you insert checks into an ATM to be scanned and credited to your account, though ATM limits may apply.
• Mobile check deposit is a popular option, allowing you to endorse checks and use your banking app to take photos of the front and back to submit for deposit.
• Mail-in check deposits can be sent to your bank’s processing center in provided envelopes to have the checks scanned and deposited without visiting a branch.
• Remote desktop deposit uses a scanner connected to your home computer to digitize checks for deposit via an online banking portal.
Direct & Electronic Deposits
• Payroll direct deposit automatically sends your paycheck to your designated bank account instead of issuing a paper check. This provides convenient access right when you need it.
• Government direct deposits issue your Social Security, veterans’ benefits, or other federal payments electronically into your account for reliable delivery each month.
• Tax refund direct deposits allow you to have your annual tax refund sent directly to your bank account by providing account and routing numbers when you file.
• Online transfer deposits let you securely transfer money from accounts at other banks into your accounts by linking external accounts.
• Wire transfer deposits receive domestic or international wire transfers initiated from other parties directly into your account in near real-time. Useful for large transfers.
• ACH deposits use the Automated Clearing House Network for electronic funds transfers. These are commonly used for online payments and transfers.
• Merchant account deposits credit businesses for payments and credit card transactions from their customers via electronic bank transfers.
• Stock sale deposits can transfer the proceeds from investment account sales directly into your associated banking account.
• Account transfer deposits move funds from another account at the same bank, like shifting from savings into checking.
Withdrawal transactions let you take money out of your accounts to access your funds. The main options include:
• Teller withdrawals allow you to take out cash over the counter at a bank branch by filling out a withdrawal slip. Larger amounts may need advance notice.
• ATM withdrawals use your debit card and PIN to withdraw cash from ATMs affiliated with your bank, up to daily ATM cash withdrawal limits.
• Cashback withdrawals are available for purchases made with a debit card or ATM card at many retailers. Select to take out additional cash up to a limit along with your purchase.
• Cash advances use your credit card and PIN to withdraw cash from an ATM. This often incurs fees and immediate interest charges.
• Debit card payments deduct funds immediately from your checking account when making purchases in stores, online, over the phone, or anywhere debit cards are accepted.
• Checks can be written against your account funds to make payments from your checking account, either handed directly to payees or mailed.
• Online bill payments set up payees to securely deliver digital payments from your account on a scheduled or one-time basis.
• Automatic payments deduct fixed amounts for utilities, subscriptions, or other recurring expenses directly from your account automatically each billing cycle.
• Wire transfers send funds domestically or internationally to others’ accounts as directed. This allows secure large-dollar transfers in near real-time.
• External transfers move funds from your bank accounts to accounts held at other unaffiliated banks, often using the ACH networks. Useful for providing account access to your fiduciaries or accountants.
• Internal transfers shift money between your accounts at the same bank, commonly done between checking and savings.
• Overdraft transfers draw from linked savings accounts or lines of credit to cover insufficient checking account balances for withdrawals or payments.
• Cashier’s checks allow you to have the bank withdraw funds from your account to issue a check made out to a designated third-party payee for payments.
• Teller’s checks work similarly to cashier’s checks, but you pick up the check made out to your specified payee directly at the teller window.
• ATM withdrawals use your ATM or debit card to withdraw funds directly from the machine, up to your daily cash withdrawal limit.
Account Management Transactions
You can conduct transactions to open, modify, or close bank accounts as your needs change over time:
• Open new accounts by applying at a bank branch or online to establish checking, savings, CD, money market, or other accounts.
• Close unwanted accounts by submitting requests to shut down accounts you no longer use or need. Make sure all funds are withdrawn first.
• Convert account types to change existing accounts to other options at that bank, like switching from a student checking to a premium checking.
• Add joint account users to grant others access to accounts by adding them as authorized signers on the account.
• Remove account users that need to be taken off joint accounts in the case of divorce or other situations via bank requests.
• Update account details like your name, address, phone number, email, or other personal information associated with the account as needed.
• Link accounts together so they are associated at the bank. This allows easy transfers between your accounts.
• Certify account ownership annually or if requested by the bank periodically reconfirm your identity as the legitimate account holder.
• Issuing account statements in paper, electronic, or both formats based on your chosen delivery preferences.
• Grant account access to trusted third parties like financial advisors for managing your accounts and transactions via powers of attorney agreements.
Banks facilitate a variety of lending products to give you access to credit when needed:
• Apply for loans by completing loan applications for mortgages, personal loans, lines of credit, student loans, auto financing, business credit products, and other types of bank loans.
• Draw loan advances to take additional funds off existing credit lines or credit cards up to your available credit limit.
• Make loan payments regularly for any loans with the bank to pay down principal loan balances and associated interest.
• Pay off loans entirely by making a final principal and interest payment to close out installment loans like mortgages, autos, and personal loans.
• Obtain cash advances by using your credit card and PIN to withdraw cash against your credit line from ATMs or banks. Much higher interest rates apply.
• Transfer balances to move outstanding balances owed on credit cards from other banks over to new credit cards from your bank.
• Refinance loans at lower interest rates or different terms by taking out new loans from your bank and using the funds to pay off existing loans.
• Apply loan payments to direct how extra payments are applied – either toward future payments, principal balances, etc. per your instructions.
• Inquire about current loan details like outstanding balances, due dates, interest accrued, next payment amounts, and payoff figures.
Online & Mobile Banking Transactions
In addition to in-person banking, transactions can be managed digitally for convenience:
• Access online accounts by logging into your bank’s website to check balances, review transactions, transfer funds, set up payments, deposit checks, and manage accounts.
• Download account statements to retrieve PDF copies of your account statements to save on your computer or print physical copies.
• Export transaction data into financial management programs like Quicken or Excel to analyze spending patterns and budgets.
• Initiate individual or recurring online bill payments to pay utilities, loans, or other bills directly from your account on the dates you specify.
• Set up account alerts to receive notifications by email or text when certain account conditions are met, like low balances or large transactions.
Mobile Banking App Transactions
• Review mobile account balances instantly by logging into your bank’s smartphone app to check available funds.
• Deposit checks through the app by endorsing the check, taking photos of the front and back, and submitting the images for deposit.
• Transfer money between accounts right from your phone by moving funds between linked accounts.
• Pay bills through the mobile app by adding payees and scheduling one-time or recurring payments from your account.
• Locate ATMs and branches close to your location by using the app’s maps and directories to find in-network branches and ATMs when needed.
• Receive mobile banking alerts for account activity notifications, payment reminders, balance info, and other account updates.
• Temporarily lock debit cards if misplaced right through the mobile app to prevent fraudulent transactions until found.
• Manage cardless ATM access by initiating ATM withdrawals directly from the mobile app instead of using a physical card.
Other Digital Transactions
• ATM transactions allow you to go to ATMs affiliated with your bank brand to make deposits, withdrawals, balance checks, and transfers.
• eStatements provides digital, paperless account statements you can access anytime through online or mobile banking instead of mailed paper statements.
• Secure chat customer service is available on many banking sites to get live help with transactions and account questions from bankers without having to call or visit a branch.
• Apple Pay/Google Pay links debit and credit cards to those mobile wallets to make fast contactless payments from mobile devices at retailers that accept such payments.
• Account aggregation services connect all your accounts across banks into a centralized dashboard or app so you can monitor the big picture of your finances in one place.
Business Banking Transactions
Businesses utilize specialized banking transactions tailored to their needs:
• Process payroll to pay employees by submitting an ACH file containing all employee direct deposit instructions to process payments on payday.
• Pay suppliers by initiating electronic ACH or wire transfers to pay outstanding invoices owed to vendors and contractors.
• Receive customer payments via ACH or incoming wires as customers pay invoices owed to your business. The funds are credited directly to your accounts receivable.
• Accept customer payments through merchant services by setting up debit/credit card processing from your bank for in-store or online customer checkouts.
• Make remote check deposits to scan checks from clients or customers from remote locations for faster deposit availability.
• Set up account sweeps to automatically shift excess funds overnight between your business checking and savings accounts to maximize interest earnings.
• Obtain commercial loans like lines of credit or equipment financing as needed for business operations, expansions, cash flow, or other needs.
• Send international wires to pay overseas suppliers by transmitting USD internationally through the banking wire system in foreign currencies.
• Exchange currencies by converting between USD, EUR, CAD, GBP, and other major currencies needed for international transactions.
• Issue certified checks or cashier’s checks to make payments from your business account via checks guaranteed by the bank. Useful for large purchases or down payments.
• Transmit tax payments electronically from your accounts to remit payroll taxes, sales tax, estimated quarterly business taxes, and other tax obligations.
Bank Transaction Security Tips
When conducting any banking transactions, keep these security best practices in mind:
• Check your surroundings at ATMs or bank branches before accessing your accounts to avoid scams or thefts.
• Never share sensitive information like account numbers, Social Security numbers, or online account passwords with anyone.
• Create complex passwords and change them frequently to prevent unauthorized access to your accounts.
• Enable multifactor authentication through text codes or biometric logins for extra login security on top of passwords.
• Carefully review all account transactions and statements regularly to identify any unauthorized activity as soon as possible.
• Only make online purchases through secured websites starting with “https” and look for the lock icon indicating encryption is active.
• Do not click suspicious links or provide personal details if contacted by phone, email, or text asking for such information to avoid phishing scams.
• Consider using credit cards instead of debit cards for online shopping and transactions to leverage the additional fraud protections and benefits.
• Set up transaction alerts through your bank to receive notifications when certain activity takes place so you can stay informed of account changes.
• Monitor your credit reports at least annually for any sign of suspicious new accounts or loans opened without your authorization.
• Shred unused checks, bank statements, or other sensitive documents before disposal to prevent account information from getting into the wrong hands.
Managing money conveniently yet securely is crucial for consumers and businesses alike. Banks provide a diverse array of transactions that enable customers to deposit funds, withdraw cash, pay bills, apply for credit, transfer money, and handle many other financial needs. Understanding the specific types of banking transactions available through your accounts empowers you to utilize these services most effectively for your unique situation. With proper precautions, these transactions facilitate access to your money while helping protect sensitive financial data. Leveraging the right options allows you to take control of your finances and achieve your monetary goals.