When you think of a bank, you probably think of the place you put your money for safekeeping or the company you use to finance your car or mortgage. While these services help the bank make money by charging interest and loan origination fees, banks also rely on ancillary services to provide value for their customers and earn income from other sources.
Ancillary services are helpful for you as the customer, providing both convenience and time-saving. You probably already are aware of some of these services and even use them regularly. Here are a few of the most common ones.
Having a debit card as a part of your checking account is practically a given these days. Nearly every bank account comes with its own debit card, which you can use to make purchases almost anywhere in-person or online. Having a card linked directly to your checking account helps you save time since you don’t have to write out a paper check for every transaction.
This is another service that most of us use to access our bank accounts through our computer or even our phone. This service allows you to make transfers, pay bills, and keep up with your bank accounts daily. Banks often design apps to ensure security and user satisfaction to make this a smoother process. Banking online instead of making a phone call or showing up at the bank in person is incredibly convenient and something that many of us expect our bank to provide.
Your bank may offer several different insurance products. These could include life insurance, homeowners insurance, disability insurance, and vehicle insurance. They may also offer additional insurance for unique items such as boats or airplanes. Sometimes this is provided through a partnership with an insurance company or a particular person, but either way, this type of service can add value for customers.
Investment and financial advising
Financial advising is an important part of estate planning. Some banks can advise you on steps to take to reach your goals, including different investment strategies and products offered by the bank itself. You may be able to simplify your life by keeping your investments and advising at the same bank you keep the rest of your financial accounts.
Safe deposit boxes
For an annual or monthly fee, banks can keep your valuables such as jewelry, antiques, or family heirlooms locked away until you need them. Many people also use safe deposit boxes to store documents such as wills, stock certificates, marriage, and birth certificates. Besides the additional security of being located in a bank, a safe deposit box provides a place safe from fires, floods, or theft.
A notary helps screen the signers of a document to ensure they are who they say they are. Notaries also confirm that the people signing the document are signing of their own free will. Many documents such as business agreements, power of attorney forms, and even marriage applications need to be signed in front of a notary. Having a notary available at your bank makes signing these important documents a little bit less stressful.
Wire transfers are a common way to send money between banks, whether the banks are across the country or on the other side of the world. While banks usually charge a fee to process the request, the ability to quickly send money where it needs to go can be beneficial in times of need. Since your bank already has all of your financial information on hand, sending a wire transfer from your bank can be a little easier than using a wire transfer company.
Other ancillary services
This is not an exclusive list of all the various services banks provide. Some banks offer a courier service to help you get important items from one place to the other. This may include picking up deposits from businesses for commercial clients. Most banks offer the ability to buy checks to use with your checking accounts.
Banks do a lot more than just lend money and handle deposit accounts. All the services that they provide can benefit their customers by saving them time, money, and by keeping their financial services under one roof. One way you can find the best bank for your needs is to look into their ancillary services to see if they offer anything that might benefit you.