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Banking Services in Canada: Understanding Your Financial Options


Everyone gets nervous and excited while trying out new things. Opening a bank account for the first time can be quite intimidating.

However, opening a bank account is the first step towards managing your finances. If you are new to the world of financial transactions, you must get acquainted with the fundamentals of banking to make the most out of it. 

About Banking in Canada 

Bank accounts are a safe and convenient way to save your money. Let us look at the top banks having branches in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). 

Central Bank of Canada 

The Bank of Canada is a Canadian central bank. Being one of the crown corporations in Canada, it exercises sole authority to issue Canadian currency and banknotes. As an advisory, it helps the government make monetary policy decisions as well. It also decides whether or not to lend money to Canadian financial institutions when required.  

While the Bank of Canada reserves the right to issue Canadian currency and banknotes, the Royal Canadian Mint handles the coin department. 

The bank’s four primary responsibilities are:

  • Monetary policy: The Bank uses its monetary policy mechanism to regulate the amount of money that is being circulated in the economy. This prevents inflation. 
  •  Financial system: The Bank supports stable, sound, and effective financial structures in Canada and around the world. It also performs financial transactions to support these goals. 
  •  Currency: The Bank of Canada oversees the designing, issuing, and disseminating of Canada’s banknotes. 
  •  Funds Management: The Bank acts as the government of Canada’s “fiscal agents, ” handling the country’s public debt and foreign exchange reserves. 

What are the major banks in the GTA?

There are 5 top banks (the “Big Five”) and smaller second-tier banks in Canada. these include-

  1. Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
  2.  Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD)
  3.  Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)
  4.  Bank of Montreal (BMO)
  5.  Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) 

Canadian Western Bank, National Bank of Canada, Laurentian Bank, HSBC Bank Canada, and Tangerine Bank are second-tier banks. 

What are the services offered by these banks?

Most Canadian banks provide all banking services, including online net banking and mobile phone banking. The banks have their mobile banking applications, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), debit and credit cards, and bank loans to offer convenient and high-quality services to their customers. 

Let us find out more about the various banking services you can avail of in Canada.  

Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) / Automated Business Machines (ABMs)Source: Pexels

Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) offer the convenience of doing most banking transactions without having to visit the bank. These are self-service devices that use a debit or credit card to enable users to perform fundamental banking tasks. 

Bank customers can deposit and withdraw money, transfer funds between the same bank and other bank accounts, generate account statements, change PIN, etc. 

  1. Cheques 

Cheques can help customers to pay bills by sending them to the payee via post. You may use the Cheques to pay a large sum of money, and for the payee who does not accept credit cards or unavailability of direct electronic payment transfers (EFT). 

One must ensure that they have enough funds available in their current account while writing cheques. If not, the cheque will bounce, which is reflected in the credit report and includes penal/bounce charges from the bank. 

  1. Debit Card

Source: Pexels

At every point of sale, online or offline merchants accept debit cards for their payments. There are usually no add-on fees for debit card payments. The money is instantly transferred from the holder’s account to pay for the purchase.

  1. Interac

The Interac system helps you transfer money online from your Canadian bank account to another Canadian bank account. You can leverage Interac email transfer facilities using email addresses. 

  1. Credit Card 

A credit card offers instant credit to its holder. It is a high-cost unsecured loan without collateral. You can take out money to buy now and pay it back later with interest. 

If you do not pay off the entire outstanding amount on your account you spent by the due date, the issuer will charge you interest on your total outstanding which includes the interest. However, if you pay on time, there will not be an interest in most cases. 

Many banks offer rewards programs on many transactions to attract more usage of credit cards. You can use the reward points as credit for future transactions on the card as well. 

  1. Loans from a bank 

Banks in Canada offer a range of loans, including personal and business loans. Personal bank loans are highly beneficial and will assist you in making large purchases, such as post-secondary schooling, automobiles, home repairs, and more. 

The borrower takes a loan of a fixed sum and agrees to repay the entire amount in equated monthly installments with interest for a set period. 

Banking these days has become a lot easier and more convenient. Banks keep on promoting various offers for new customers.

Knowing more about banking fundamentals will help you grab the offers and reap maximum benefit from your banking transactions. If you want to know more about banking, leverage our next article “What are the different services banks offer?” 


In the evolving landscape of banking services, understanding the fundamental offerings is crucial to leverage their benefits. From basic services like ATMs and cheques to the intricacies of credit cards and loans, an informed approach empowers individuals to make smarter financial choices. Embracing the convenience of modern technology while safeguarding assets through insurance signifies a well-rounded financial strategy. This knowledge equips you to maximize the advantages of banking services and ensures a secure and efficient approach to managing your finances.

Banking Services in Canada: Understanding Your Financial Options

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