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What Are the Best Tips for Retail Banking?

Article Details
  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 03 November 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Retail banking can offer a variety of services to customers beyond basic checking and savings accounts. Taking advantage of more services may allow customers to save money and consolidate their financial activities with one institution. It’s also important to be aware of consumer rights under the law in the event of a dispute with a bank. Banks often have brochures with information about their products and services for customers and representatives can provide more information. Regulatory agencies and consumer advocacy groups can provide information on consumer rights and protections.

Before doing business with a retail bank, it’s important to make sure the financial institution is legitimate and carries deposit insurance. Retail banking contact information, including the location of headquarters, should be available. Consumers can check with insuring organizations like the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in the United States to determine if their banks are listed and in good standing. If a bank is not legitimate, there is a risk of losing funds on deposit or running into problems with disputes.

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At a retail bank, customers may be able to access services like home and car loans, refinancing, time deposit accounts, and credit cards. These can come with additional products, like free car insurance on rental cars associated with the customer’s credit card, financial planning advice for bank customers, and identity theft protection. Bank customers should find out if bundled packages might save them money, as might be the case if they agree to automatic payments on a home loan made from a savings account. They may also want to find out about free services they are entitled to as retail banking customers so they can take advantage of them.

If a retail banking customer has a problem with a merchant, the bank may get involved in the dispute. Customers can ask to have charges reversed and may request that the bank negotiate with the merchant to resolve the issue. Conversely, people who have trouble with their banks and cannot resolve them at the bank level can report the problem to regulators and public officials who work with consumers. Being aware of consumer rights can help people identify and resolve problems quickly.

Consumers who want to take advantage of retail banking online can check the bank’s website to make sure it is secure. They should follow common sense safety precautions like always entering the bank’s address directly rather than clicking on links in email, never giving out user name or password information, and checking the address bar to make sure they haven’t been redirected before entering sensitive financial information. Bank cards, safety deposit box keys, and other important materials should be kept in a secure location so they will be less likely to be abused.

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