Money$ense

by Melissa Newton

Tips from the Teller Window

Since the invention of the ATM machine to present day online and mobile banking, technology has changed the way customers interact with their financial institution. In spite of the conveniences and quick access that technology provides, there are times when the traditional in-person bank experience is preferred. When you need to visit your brick and mortar branch to perform a Teller window transaction, there are some tips to keep in mind to ensure a more efficient and stress-free experience.

Confirm the Bank is FDIC Insured

The first order of business is to verify that your bank institution posts an official Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) sign at the Teller window. You are then assured that your bank is insured through this independent federal agency and your deposited funds are safe.

Prepare Paperwork Properly

Irene Chlebek, Head Teller at Evergreen Bank's Oak Brook branch, offers advice regarding how to handle your deposits. "Make certain your deposit forms and checks are completed correctly and legibly," Irene states. Also, she recommends that you "always have your account number written on your deposit slip, your check properly endorsed, and paperwork ready to go when you arrive at the bank." When your paperwork is in order, it streamlines and expedites your transaction. If you have questions about how you should fill out bank forms, Irene encourages customers to feel free to ask.

Identification at the Ready if Needed

If you are a customer who frequently visits the Teller window at your local bank, it is likely you will be met by familiar faces. But, if a staff member at another branch does not recognize you, there are procedures in place to protect your money. Gina Vincent, Senior Teller at Evergreen Bank's Evergreen Park office provides insight into some Teller window protocols. "Do not be offended if a teller asks for identification before cashing a check or giving out any information," Gina states. "We do this to protect the accounts of our customers. This is for the customer's benefit." Therefore, always have the proper identification (driver's license, state identification) at the ready should a teller request it. Safety of a customer's identity and monies is a priority to the bank.

Understand Your Bank's Fee Policy

It is always a good personal policy to understand your financial institution's fee policy. Verify if or when a fee may be charged for teller window transactions. The bank institution is required to provide a fee schedule to its customers. Ask for a copy of the fee schedule from either the teller or a personal banker.

Avoid Busy Fridays

Fridays can tend to be a busy banking day. One of the reasons is that some employees receive their paycheck on Friday and stop by their local bank to perform certain transactions. If you have the flexibility, avoid a potential wait in line by opting out on Friday as your banking day.

Know Your Days and Times

Periodically confirm the days and times your brick and mortar branch is open, particularly for holiday hours. You can organize your visits accordingly, saving yourself time, and potentially money in travel time. Bank representatives will certainly encourage customers to make online banking an integral part of their financial management. However, there are times when a branch visit to the Teller line is warranted. By employing money-smart choices when preparing for a branch visit, your Teller line transaction can be a positive, care-free experience.

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