EVALUATING BANKING SERVICES“Wow! My account balance is a little lower than I expected,” commented Melanie Harper as she reviewed her bank statement. “Wait a minute! There’s nearly $20 in fees for ATM withdrawals and other service charges.” “Oh no! I also went below the minimum balance required for my free checking account,” Melanie groaned. “That cost me $7.50!” Melanie is not alone in her frustration with fees paid for financial services. While careless money management caused many of these charges, others could have been reduced or eliminated by comparing costs at various financial institutions. Melanie has decided to investigate various alternatives to her current banking services. Her preliminary research provided the following: Mobile banking—allows faster access to account information, to quickly transfer funds, make payments and purchases. May include access to expanded financial services, such as low-cost, online investment trading and instant loan approval. Prepaid debit card—would prevent overspending, staying within the budgeted amount loaded on the card. Cards are usually accepted in most retail locations and online. A variety of fees might be associated with the card. Check-cashing outlet—would result in fees only when services are used, such as money orders, cashing a check, obtaining a prepaid cash card, or paying bills online. Many people do not realize the amount they pay each month for various bank fees. Some basic research can result in saving several hundred dollars a year.
1. What benefits and drawbacks might Melanie encounter when using each of these financial services? Mobile banking . . . Prepaid debit card . . . Check-cashing outlet
2. What factors should Melanie consider when selecting among these various banking services?
3. What actions might you take to better understand the concerns associated with using various banking services?
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