Banks offer a number of services to help you manage your finances.
Cheque book - You can use a cheque book to make payments from your bank account. Remember that there is a charge if you write a cheque when there is not enough money in your account to pay the amount so the cheque bounces.
Standing orders - This facility enables you to make payments of a set amount to the same person or company on a regular basis (weekly, monthly etc). The date and amount can be changed anytime.
Direct debits - Direct debits are usually used for paying bills. Similar to a standing order, they allow you to make regular payments but the amount may change depending on the value of the bill.
Credit cards - A credit card is a means of obtaining credit. All banks offer credit cards but you do not have to apply for a card with your bank. You can shop around to find the best option for you. Find out more
Debit Cards - A debit card is issued in connection with a bank account. It can be used almost everywhere and the amount charged will be debited directly from your account. You are usually asked if you want one when you open an account. Find out more
Bank statements - The bank will send you statements of all the transactions on your account. This is usually done once a month, but you can request statements more or less frequently (there may be a charge). It is important to check your statement each month to ensure that nobody else is trying to use your account. It will also help you budget.
Overdraft facilities - The bank may allow you to "overdraw" your account and use more than you have. The amount by which you overdraw is called an "overdraft". There may be a charge and interest for this facility.
Foreign payments - This is a transfer of money between you and someone in a different country. Banks charge a commission on the transaction, and there is always a minimum charge.
Telephone and internet banking - Most banks offer these services, which allow you to carry out practically all your transactions by telephone or over the internet. Internet banking can be particularly useful in monitoring your account and statements regularly as this can be done online whenever.