Checking Account

There are two types of bank accounts offered by Canadian banks: a checking account, also called a chequing account, and a savings account. The first type of account, checking account, allows holders to write checks against funds they have on deposit.

What is a Checking Account?

A checking account is a financial service offered by banks to allow businesses or individuals make payments on a daily basis. This type of bank account offers lower transaction and monthly fees compared to the savings account, but it also pays less interest. Access to a checking account is secured through a debit card or an ABM card.


Checking accounts can be used to pay debts, personal purchases, payroll, and payment for services. Since this type of bank account offers smaller transaction fees, it is the best option to use when paying for a variety of services. Savings accounts are meant to be used for deposits intended to earn interest. However, checking accounts do not earn interest or little at all because they are designed for use, with cash withdrawn on a regular basis. An account holder can make use of the account to pay for debts, purchases or services by writing a cheque or using a debit card. When using this type of account for payroll, it is recommended that the owner regularly checks if there is enough balance to cover all the paychecks. Once the account is zeroed, the cheques will bounce. A bouncing check will hurt the owner's financial situation since banks usually charge high fees in such instances.

Opening a Checking Account

The banking system in Canada is highly rated all over the world so opening an account is a good investment, especially when working in the area. Opening an account in a bank is easy for anyone with proper identification. Before opening an account, there are some things to consider.

First of all, there are 5 major banks in Canada. These are the TD Bank, the Bank of Nova Scotia, CIBC, the Bank of Montreal, and Royal Bank of Canada. Information on these banks can be accessed online or via the phone. Before opening a bank account, check out the websites of each bank and compare the checking account deals. There are some accounts that require higher minimum balance. For convenience, choose banks that are close to your residence.

In order to have an account approved, banks usually require 2 identification forms, e.g. SIN Number, driver's license, etc. Proof of address will also be required – utility bills can be used for this purpose. Typically, an initial deposit will be required to make the account active. The amount of initial deposit will vary from bank to bank so make sure to request this information from the bank.

How to Check the Balance

Checking the balance on an account can be done in many ways. Some banks offer printed monthly statements mailed to the owner. The account balance can also be checked through an ATM using a debit card. In addition, banks also offer real time checking via the phone or over the Internet.