The relationship between the patient and the doctor, the client and the lawyer, and finally the account holder and the bank are examples of intimate yet professional exchange. The exact nature of an individual's relationship with their bank is extremely personal, where the latter is an accountant, adviser, mentor and friend all in one for the customer. The proliferation of online banking has not changed the core of personal banking services. In fact, with speed and technology, this relationship has become stronger. Let us understand the many facets of personal banking and help you realize in what ways you can improve your finances.
At a basic level, personal banking encompasses every banking service a retail customer can ask for. Accounts, cards, loans, investments and online services. Banking staff deliver these gamut of services offline i.e. bank branch or customer's home, or customers can themselves use the online personal banking channel to get the same.
Online services are a customer expectation today. They no longer are a need but are expected to be there. Personal banking services are incomplete with online services. Banks offers multiple ways to engage, transact and communicate. The internet services and the mobile services are two important component of online services. Anytime anywhere access, single view for all accounts and blazing fast transaction speeds are among the many benefits of utilising online personal banking services.
The number one component of personal banking are accounts. Customers forge an ever-lasting relationship with their banks with the help of bank accounts.
A savings account is where you keep money, which may be used or withdrawn soon. A salary account allows you to get your salary credited every month and use it for your financial needs. Age-specific accounts like senior citizen's account and minor accounts are designed to serve the needs of such customers. There are also no-frills accounts, which provide the basic banking services at extremely low costs. A bank account is the starting point of your financial journey, and hence do a bit of research before you open one.
Visiting the bank branch for cash withdrawal is passe. In fact, very few people do it. Writing a cheque is not a great help too since there is always a time-lag. This is where cards come in handy. They allow the bank account holder to visit an ATM machine, point of sale or online portals to withdraw and spend money. Cards are a response to customer's personal banking needs.
There are debit cards, credit cards and prepaid cards. A debit card is linked to your savings account or deposit in the bank. It allows you to spend only as much as you have. Debit cards also come loaded with many features, which help you secure your transactions both offline and online and save money. Credit cards are much like a loan, but the card acts as the enabler. Depending on your creditworthiness, the bank gives you a pre-defined credit limit and you can swipe the card or withdraw cash when you want to borrow. When you repay, you do so along with interest. Lastly, prepaid cards are preloaded with money. They are designed to be gifted and act like rewards, or be used for overseas travel needs. Walk up to any personal banking executive at a bank branch to know how to get such prepaid cards.
A critical component of personal banking services is loans. While customers regularly keep money at their banks, often the total money they may have saved is not enough for their needs like buying a home, a medical emergency, purchasing an automobile, starting a micro-enterprise, or even a full-fledged business. At times like these, loans are the saviour.
Banks assess your borrowing credentials and repayment capacity to give loans. There are short term, medium term and long term tenures for loans. While some loans require you to pledge or hypothecate your assets especially if the borrowed amount is large, others do not have such requirements but ask for a higher interest. Depending upon your cash flow situation and money needs, you should select the right product. Online personal banking channels allow you to apply for loans with a few clicks from anywhere in the world.