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Why you still need a checking account.

From peer-to-peer payment apps like Zelle® and Venmo to prepaid cards, digital wallets, money orders and even cryptocurrency, it seems there are more ways than ever to manage your money. But there are still important reasons to have a checking account — namely, a checking account is a safe place to store and save money. And many banks, including Commerce Bank, offer free checking accounts.

According to recent data from the FDIC, about 5% of American households are unbanked — meaning no one in the household has a savings or checking account at a bank or credit union, and another 14% of households are underbanked, meaning they are relying on non-banking tools such as a money order or payday loan. In other words, nearly 1 in 5 households may be missing out on the multiple benefits checking accounts provide. We’ll walk you through those benefits below.

Your money is safe.

  • Most traditional banks pay for FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) insurance, which means that in the unlikely event of a bank failure, your money is insured at no cost to you, to at least $250,000 per depositor per FDIC-insured bank.
  • Some banks provide fraud protection services for unauthorized transactions, offering an added layer of security compared to cash and peer-to-peer app transactions.
  • Unlike a prepaid card or cash stashed in your freezer, you can’t lose your checking account.
  • You can add overdraft protection to ensure that you never bounce a check or miss an important payment.
  • You can also add identity protection measures to reduce the likelihood of identity theft.

You can skip transaction fees.

  • Some small businesses and government sites prefer being paid by check, so they charge a transaction fee of between 1.5% and 3.5% if you use a credit card.
  • Some small businesses may not accept online payments at all, and writing a check ensures you have an official record of the transaction, rather than paying in cash.

Get instant access to your paycheck using direct deposit.

  • Many employers prefer to pay their employees using direct deposit, which ensures you get paid the day the funds are made available, with no need for a paper check or a visit to the bank.

Take advantage of other free tools like online banking and bill pay, a free debit card, ATM transactions and more.

  • Checking accounts can provide both a digital and paper trail for all transactions, allowing you to track expenses, withdrawals and deposits to the penny.
  • You can set up automated bill pay to ensure that important bills get paid on time, every time, or set up email and text alerts so you know when your balance gets below a certain threshold.
  • Commerce Bank accounts come with full online access when you activate Online Banking — as well as a free debit card, allowing you to manage your finances from anywhere.

No monthly service fees and no minimum balance.

  • Commerce Free Checking requires only a $25 deposit to open an account and there is no monthly service fee. In addition, there is no required minimum balance.

Build a brighter financial future.

  • Having a checking account is often a prerequisite for applying for credit, loans and other financial products. It’s the foundation upon which you can access additional services your bank provides.

Finally, it’s important to build a relationship with a bank and establish yourself as a responsible financial citizen. It means that when you’re ready to make a big financial decision like buying a home or starting a business, you already have someone on your side.

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