Mobile banking and check-writing tips for millennials

Millennials are entering adulthood as we move further into the information era. With new technology readily available, it seems that almost every industry is undergoing change and banking is no exception. Personal banking and wealth management strategies tend to remain generally the same, however, and millennials will do well to gain a fundamental understanding of these as they take on more of life's responsibilities.

Get to know your checking account
Whether you've just opened your first college checking account, or simply need a second one, you'll want to learn the ins and outs of how yours works. Each bank offers checking accounts that operate differently, and often involve unique savings plans, withdrawal limits and fees. Depending on the checking account you sign up for, you may even have up to five ATM fees waived per month. Always be sure to check which specific benefits are offered by banks, and compare before committing to one account over another. 

"Landmark Bank offers checking accounts that waive your ATM withdrawal fees nationwide."

MintLife recommends manually keeping track of the transactions you make. It can be easy to leave this task to digital records of your bank alone, but tracking it yourself has a number of benefits. Monitoring your finances will not only force you to keep track of your personal checking account balance, it will also help you keep spending in check. This process of repeated self-monitoring will keep you aware of any irregularities quickly after they occur, thus buying you more time to manage a possibly time-sensitive issue.

The more you strive to manage and immerse yourself in the world of your finances and personal banking, the more successful you will ultimately become at managing wealth later in life. This is key to any millennial seeking a comfortable and potentially early retirement.

Learn to write checks
According to a survey from Western Union, a full 21 percent of Gen Yers have never written a check. For millennials, this method of monetary transaction is becoming a thing of the past. Many already consider check writing to be an outdated or an unnecessary process. It may come as a surprise to some, though, that this couldn't be further from the truth.

Whether for use in paying rent, sending your brother some birthday money, or simply paying for a semester at school, at some point in your life you will need to know how to handle and write paper checks. Check writing is a skill necessary to function smoothly in today's society. 

In case you're among the 21 percent of non-check-writing millennials, here is a breakdown of the process:

  1. Input the date - This will be the section in the top right-hand corner of the note. Styling does not matter - just ensure that you clearly include the date, month and year. 
  2. Pay to the order of ... - This field indicates who the check is for. Spell out their name legibly and completely.
  3. $ box - Write the amount payable to the check's receiver. Use numerical values, with two decimal places. 
  4. "__ Dollars" line - Below the line where you've indicated who will receive payment, you will find a blank line with "dollars" written at the end. This is where you will write out the amount of money fully. For example, if your "$ box" amount is 300.78, write "Three Hundred and 78/100." 
  5. Memo - The bottom left line is for the required memo. For example "For last night."
  6. Signature - The bottom right-hand line is left blank for your signature. The check is not live until the account holder signs on this line. An important note: Never sign a check before all other boxes on the note have been filled in. Leaving blank monetary amounts but signing a check could give the receiver free reign to your checking account, allowing them to take out as much as they want. 

Manage your banking security
In a world going fully digital, online banking is conducted more now than ever before - especially among younger generations.

The rise of mobile banking is the industry's latest trend, giving checking as well as savings account holders the ability to view their balances, deposit checks and make digital transfers conveniently through their smartphones. According to Western Union, millennials beat all other mobile-user demographics in terms of how they use mobile apps to make bill payments or transactions. As reported by the study, 43 percent of millennials view their bills and keep track of their transaction history via mobile apps - a significant increase from their parents' generation.

"In a world going digital, online banking is conducted more now than ever."

U.S. News & World Report Money highly recommends doing your personal banking from secure access points only. With mobile banking, it is easier than ever before to display and expose your most sensitive information to the general public, so it's wise to do so with a secure connection. These include your carrier's mobile network, or an encrypted Wi-Fi access point. Public Wi-Fi is generally unencrypted, making it far easier for the wrong eyes to access your information.

In addition, it can be easy for millennials to be lulled into a false sense of security when it comes to banking online. Some additional tips include monitoring your accounts regularly, keeping antivirus software and mobile banking apps up to date and changing your account passwords periodically - every few months or so - according to U.S. News & World Report Money.

For more tips and updates on the latest in banking technology, contact Landmark Bank.

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