Lesson 2 – Using English at The Bank

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Welcome to this lesson on “Bank Vocabulary”. Today, we’re going to talk about going to the bank, and the different things you can do, and the different verbs associated and nouns associated with this very common experience.

So, first, when you enter the bank, you have to “get in line” or “get in the queue”. Now, specifically, in the United States, even in Canada, we use the word “line” when you’re waiting to see someone at the bank. If you are in other parts of the world, specifically England, you can also call a line a “queue”, so you get in the queue or get in line.

Next, once it’s your turn to, you know, do your business at the bank, you see a “bank teller”. So, the name of the person who helps you at the bank is the teller. And after you see the bank teller, if you already have an account with the bank, you have to use your bank card and put in your “PIN”. Your “PIN” is your personal identification number, your code, your password. Right?

Now, once this is done, you’re ready, the bank teller can see your account. Or maybe it’s your first time and you didn’t put in a PIN, there are different things you can do and ask for when you’re at the bank.

Number one, you can say: “Hi. I’d like to open an account”, or “close an account”. Now, again the two most
common types of accounts at a bank are a checking account and a savings account. So your checking is your everyday spending. This is what you use your debit card for. Right? Your debit card is your bank card, and this is what you use to make payments when you go out to restaurants, movie theaters, etc.

Okay, you can also transfer money when you are at the bank. So if you’d like to move some money from your checking account, for example, to one of your other accounts, such as a savings account or maybe a joint account
that you have with your partner, husband, wife, etc., you can ask to do that.

You can say: “Hi. I’d like to transfer $200 from my checking account to my savings account.” And again, this is if you
don’t do online banking, which solves a lot of these issues. Now, instead of transferring money, you can also “deposit” money or “make a deposit”. This means you are putting money into your accounts.

So if you receive a check from the government, for example, or maybe your workplace still gives checks (it still happens, it does), you can deposit that check. And “deposit it” means put that money into your account. You can “withdraw”. Now, “to withdraw” is to take out money. So, these two are really the most common verbs when you’re talking about exchanging money with the bank, whether you’re in the bank or at
an ATM machine.

So you “deposit”, which means you put money in;” withdraw” means you take money out. So you can withdraw or take out money. And the term we can also use is you can make a “withdrawal”. And you’ll see the “al” here, this means that, again, this is a noun in this case. The verb, there’s no “al” at the end; it’s just “withdraw”. Withdraw money.

You can “pay a bill”. So, again, bills are our favourite things in the world, like pay for your electricity at your house, or your television, internet, etc. Now, again, this doesn’t only have to be for those common things, because most people today, you have an automatic withdraw happens when you pay for a bill. But again, sometimes you get something where you have to go to the bank to pay the bill. If you get something from the Ministry of Transportation or something from the government, and it’s unclear what you have to do to pay something online, you can go to the
bank and you can pay that bill.

Also, you can “exchange currency”. So if you are travelling somewhere and you only have money from your country, you can change that money. And again, the name for “money” in this case is “currency”, like the dollar is
one type of currency, the yen is another type of currency.

And you can ask the bank: “What’s your rate?” because different places, exchange offices, banks, will have different rates for your currency. So, for example, the bank might say, if I’m travelling from Canada to the United States, they might say: “95 cents per dollar.” Okay? So for every dollar that I have Canadian, I receive 95 cents American.

Also, you can get everyone’s favourite thing, which is a “credit card”. So you can get a credit card from the bank. You can say: “I’d like to get a credit card”, or “open a credit account”. If there are more specific things that a teller
can’t help you with, you need to see a specialist at the bank about certain things, these are three very common things that people talk about at the… At the bank or ask to see someone at the bank for. You can say: “I’d like to talk to someone, talk to someone about a mortgage.”

Now, a “mortgage” is what you have when you purchase a house. When you buy a home, you also get a mortgage. And, again, this means the money that you have to pay for your house, this is your mortgage. You can talk to someone about “investments”. So, again, these are ways to make more money, or mutual funds is one example where you give money to the bank, and someone puts that money somewhere, and you hope that they make you more money for you.

And, finally: “I’d like to talk to someone about retirement savings.” “Retirement” means that you’re not going to work anymore. In many countries, the retirement age is different, it’s 65, or 67, or 68, or 60. But if you’d like to save for the time when you are no longer working, you can ask to speak to someone about retirement savings.

Whew, that’s a lot of information. Just to quickly review, when you go to the bank, you get in the line/get in the queue. You see the bank teller, put in your PIN. You can ask and say: “I’d like to open an account.”, “I’d like to close an account.”, “I’d like to open a checking account”, or “a savings account”, “I’d like to transfer money or funds.”, “I’d like to deposit something”, “make a deposit”, “withdraw”, “take out money”, “pay a bill”, “exchange currency”, “get a credit card”, or talk to someone about a mortgage, investments, or retirement savings.

So, again, this is a very common experience, which is why these words, this type of vocabulary is really key if you are going to be in anywhere where you are speaking to someone in English at the bank.


Source: Learn English with Alex [engVid] Channel on Youtube

1 Comment

  1. we must choose the right time, so as not to get caught in a long queue.
    Never forget your ATM pin.
    Don’t forget to take your ATM card back.

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