“Should I get a passbook account or an ATM account instead?”
You may have asked this question to yourself at least once in your life. We understand completely, adulting is no easy feat.
So, what is a passbook savings account and what are its advantages and disadvantages versus ATM cards and accounts?
A passbook savings account is a basic or regular savings account where all the transactions you enter into are recorded in a passbook that looks like a small booklet or ledger.
These passbook accounts are intended for those who prefer personal bank transactions. An ATM card or ATM savings account on the other hand provides you with a card (which we know all too well) that is often provided by your employer, which makes withdrawal quite accessible.
Passbook vs. ATM
If we speak of passbook vs. ATM, it all boils down to what is your main purpose in opening an account. So here’s a list of a comparison between the advantages and disadvantages of a passbook savings account and an ATM savings account which will hopefully lead you to an informed decision in the future.
1. Transaction safety
A lot of people, especially those with experience with passbook type of banking, prefer the safety provided by personal transactions with a passbook. Going to the bank to do your own deposits and withdrawals is straightforward and you can see where your money goes. Since a passbook is a ledger, the list of all transactions is in your small booklet. It is quite more transparent than the withdrawal slips that the ATM machine provides.
If you are quite wary of technology and fear the possibility of ATM skimming, then maybe ATM cards and banking accounts are not your cup of tea.
Passbook savings accounts are not as convenient as transacting using an ATM card. Those who prefer ATM savings account and online management accounts may find having a passbook as quite burdensome as it requires a personal or face-to-face transaction. You also have to fill out a deposit or withdrawal slip in the bank and may have to face quite a queue.
There are also savings accounts that have both an ATM and a passbook. You may ask your bank about this. However, in your transactions, especially in making big withdrawals, you are required to bring both the ATM and the passbook.
Accessibility of ATM banking is also a plus. There are branches of these banks that are open even during the weekends and transacting can be done in the day or at night. Cashless shopping and bills payment becomes easier when you use an ATM card since most ATM cards now double as debit cards.
However, this may also be a disadvantage. Too much access to your funds might tempt you to simply withdraw right at the next ATM and purchase that milk tea or cappuccino within the vicinity.
Passbook savings accounts are intended for personal transactions, and so, focusing on saving your money is easier and your funds are less susceptible to one-swipe purchases that you might regret a few hours later.
4. Maintaining balances and interest rates
Although not always the case, some passbooks savings accounts tend to have very minimal or no maintaining balance required. However, this usually results in lower interest rates. In addition, some banks have higher maintaining balances for accounts that have both an ATM and a passbook.
So whether your plan is to save money or to have easier shopping and bills payment transactions, then the best tip is to research and study what works for you. Go to the nearest bank and surely, representatives are more than eager to welcome you and your inquiries. Making informed decisions take time, but these are crucial decisions to make. So, be introspective also to avoid unnecessary spending and promote a better and healthier financial condition.