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Commercial bank

the most common banking organization, offering checking accounts, savings accounts, loans to individuals and businesses, and other services

Credit union

a user-owned, not-for-profit, cooperative financial institution

Bank reconciliation

the document created to show how the two balances (your own record of your checking account and the bank's record of your account) were brought into agreement

Bank statement

a report on the status of a bank account

Check register

a separate book, usually the same size as the checkbook, for recording account activities

Debit card

a card issued by your bank and used for ATM transactions and spending money from your account

Depository institution

Financial institution that obtains its funds mainly through deposits from the public; this includes commercial banks, savings and loan associations, savings banks, and credit unions.

Discount rate

the rate financial institutions are charged to borrow funds from the Federal Reserve banks


the bank or other financial institution that pays the check


the owner of the account who signs the check

Electronic funds transfer (EFT)

the use of computers and other technology for banking activities, including the use of ATM, point of sale transactions, direct deposit and automatic bill payment


written evidence that a person received payment or transferred the right to receive payment to someone else

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

the federal agency that helps to regulate banks and other financial institutions

Federal Reserve System (FED)

a system set up by the federal government to supervise and regulate member banks and to help banks serve the public efficiently

Joint account

when two or more people have a bank account together

Non-depository institutions

financial institutions that do not take or help customer deposits, and they earn their money selling specific services or policies

Outstanding checks

checks that have not been deducted from the bank statement balance


the person to whom the check is written

Reserve requirement

Percentage of deposits that depository institutions must keep on reserve in their cash vaults or on deposit at a Federal Reserve Bank

Signature card

a document used by your bank to verify your signature

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