By Gagan Batra
“ … I’m thinking of switching to Bank B because I think Bank A overcharges way too much. If I go over a certain amount of transactions a month, I get charged an amount of money afterwards for each transaction. It’s unrealistic to think that people will only need access to their money a certain number of times each month.”
“ … “I’ve always banked with Bank A since my parents made an account for me there.”
“ … The Rebate Rewards card is especially beneficial because it gives the users a certain percentage of their total spending throughout the year as a rebate, essentially we’re getting free money…”
Technology plays a bigger role in people’s everyday lives now more than it has ever before. People no longer rely on books as sources of information when they have the Internet. They do not need face to face contact with others to communicate as they have texting or email. Interestingly, they are also no longer required to carry cash on their person when they have their bank cards handy.
There are advantages and disadvantages to accessing money through a bank card rather than the paper and coins one would normally carry around with him/her. Firstly, one’s wallet is not weighed down with all of the change that accumulates when they don’t pay for something with the exact amount of cash. Debit and credit cards are more convenient as they allow people to access large sums of money without having to carry it around and worry about losing it. A downside of using a bank card is that they are not accepted at all places, like some many outdoor and campus locations.
Regardless of whether or not one uses a bank card to make purchases, a large proportion of the Canadian population does still make use of a bank account in some way. Whether they have chequing accounts that provide them with access to their money quickly and securely, or a savings account where they add money to gather interest, bank accounts do serve important purposes.
In general, students tend to have different reasons for using their bank accounts than do working adults. Bhaven Kapadia, recent graduate fromMcMasterUniversityhas both a savings and a chequing Account. “I never carry cash on me. I think it’s so much easier to just use my card so I put a lot of my money in my chequing account.” Kapadia explained that he uses his savings account very rarely. “I don’t deposit anything into my savings, any time I make a transaction from my chequing account, it automatically gets transferred there.”
Kajal Briah, second year student at theUniversityofGuelphexplains that she uses mostly her savings account. “I’ve been banking with Bank A for a while because that’s the place my parents started my account when I was younger. I usually just take money out of my savings account and don’t use my debit card all that often.” When asked about the benefits of her banking institution Briah stated, “There aren’t any. I’m thinking of switching to Bank B because I think Bank A overcharges way too much. If I go over a certain amount of transactions a month, I get charged an amount of money afterwards for each transaction. It’s unrealistic to think that people will only need access to their money a certain number of times each month. You can’t put a cap on that.”
Third year student at the University of Guelph, Harsirat Kaur, talked about the benefits of having a bank account as a student. “I’ve always banked with Bank A since my parents made an account for me there. I have both accounts but I use my chequing way more than my savings.”
Like Kapadia, Kaur explained that having both accounts is beneficial as one can be used for purchases while the other one is used for accumulating interest. “Bank accounts allow students to become more responsible with their spending; they can see what’s going in and what’s coming out,” stated Kaur.
Kapadia thinks that the credit card system with Bank A is one that is very convenient for students. “You don’t need any sort of income or assets to get a credit card, which is ideal for students. They initially offer a $500 limit, which can be raised if you have good credit. The Rebate Rewards card is especially beneficial because it gives the users a certain percentage of their total spending throughout the year as a rebate, essentially we’re getting free money. I think it helps with students a lot since there are no limits to the number of transactions one can make in any given time, and besides the maximum credit, they don’t need to worry about not having access to a certain amount of money.” Kapadia vouched for the usefulness of the Rebate Rewards Credit Card from Bank A, especially when making one’s initial purchases at school, such as textbooks and furniture.
Kaur also outlined the advantages of having a credit card from Bank A in terms of them being very flexible. “There are minimum payments that can be made per month which means that students won’t be required to make the whole payments at once. Bank A makes it very easy to manage money. You can use online banking and if you see that your Visa payment is close to being due, you can directly deposit money from your other accounts, all while sitting at home.”
Asides from the accounts available, Kaur pointed out that there are many locations for this banking institution, and their hours are more flexible than other banks. “Bank A is the only bank I know of that has such great hours. Which other bank is open until eight o’clock and on Sundays?”
Kapadia explained that although he does not personally bank with Bank B, he understands why many students do. “I know people that switch from Bank A to Bank B just because of the Scene Card. All you get are a couple of points every time you make a transaction going towards free movie tickets and other stuff at the theatres.”
From the perspectives of these three students, it seems like students stick to the bank accounts they’ve had opened for them by their parents. While most do have a general understanding of how banking with different accounts works, they don’t make active efforts to ensure that they get the quality of service they want.
Like Briah, some students may be unhappy with their banking situations and not have enough information on how to make the switch, while others like Kaur have actual reasons for sticking to their bank. Either way, the differences in banking policies among different institutions will inevitably have advantages and disadvantages for various people, but it is inarguable that having a bank account as a student is beneficial.