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What is a Direct Deposit Checking Account?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 February 2020
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A direct deposit checking account is a personal or business checking account that is structured to allow for electronic deposits to be made to the account on a recurring basis. Financial institutions benefit from this type of account arrangement as it minimizes the amount of effort that must take place in order to post deposits to the account in a timely manner. Individuals often utilize accounts of this type as a means of minimizing the necessity of a trip to the bank in order to make deposits by authorizing employers to automatically deposit paychecks on a specified date.

With most direct checking accounts, banks offer services such as online banking and bill payment services at no additional charge. It is not unusual for any type of automatic teller fees to also be waived by the institution when the checking account is structured with a direct deposit option. Banks sometimes provide free checks with a direct deposit checking account, and may waive any type of monthly maintenance fee if the account is set to provide electronic rather than hard copy bank statements to the account holder.

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There are several benefits to the use of a direct deposit checking account. One advantage has to do with security. Since the deposits are electronically transmitted, there is no opportunity to lose cash or checks due to theft. Depositors also have the benefit of having access to the funds from the direct deposits much faster. In some cases, the direct method may provide that access as much as one business day in advance.

Employers also benefit from when employees choose to establish a direct deposit checking account. The ability to electronically deposit the paycheck into the employee account eliminates the need to cut physical checks and spend time mailing or distributing them. Increasingly, employers also benefit from being able to supply withholding statements to the employee in an electronic format, completely eliminating the printing expenses associated with each payroll.

To start a direct deposit checking account, consumers should compare various accounts offered locally as well as with online banks. Some of these accounts do include the potential to earn interest, if the balance is maintained over a minimum level. There may also be some variance in what type of discounts are applied to different bank services. Taking the time to compare account plans and options increases the chances of securing a direct account that will meet the needs of the account holder, and make the banking process much easier in general.

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