a Bank in the Palm of Your Hand
One thing customers of banks and other financial institutions have in common Is the desire to get to their funds when they need to - without having to travel too far or stand too long in line.
Automated banking machines have played a major role in bringing the bank to the customer. Now, we're about to reach another plateau in the pursuit of convenience. It's called Direct Payment and, while it will be used at present, solely for withdrawals from an account, it is almost like having the bank in your hand...
When a retailer offers Direct Payment,you are able to get directly through to funds in your account from wherever you're making a purchase. You do it by using the same card you use at an automated banking machine. If you're buying your weekly groceries at the supermarket for instance, you simply give the cashier your bank card. He or she will pass the card through a terminal and enter the amount of your purchase.
Then you'll be given a keypad similar to a hand-held calculator. The amount of your purchase will be displayed on the keypad. To complete the payment transaction, you'll simply press OK and indicate whether the withdrawal is to be made from your main chequing account or savings account. Then, you'll enter your personal identification number (PIN) and the money will be transferred automatically to the merchant's account to complete the transaction.
You might call Direct Payment an "electronic cheque". It authorizes payment from your account and the cost will be similar to the cost of a cheque. You'll probably be able to save on that though, by looking into a package of banking services that bundles the cost of transactions including Direct Payment on a monthly basis to give you economy.
And what will you do about the proof of payment that a cheque can provide? The receipt you receive from the cashier for each Direct Payment transaction will be your official proof of payment.
Direct Payment will be available in most parts of Canada by the end of April. The Atlantic provinces will be seeing it by September of 1994. You will see it advertised as lnterac Direct Payment. lnterac represents the majority of financial institutions in the country who will be offering this electronic access to their customers. When it comes, give it a try. It will give you instant access to your account wherever Direct Payment is accepted. You won't have to worry about carrying cash and better still, for withdrawals, it will be like having your own bank - in the palm of your hand...
Infrequent users of bank access cards who need to have their personal identification numbers re-issued need only ask at most financial institutions to select a new number.
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