Banking can be confusing! To make it easier, Higher One has compiled this list of common banking terms and definitions along with common terminology associated with Higher One and your OneAccount.
General Banking Terms:
ACH: an abbreviation for Automated Clearing House; an electronic network for financial transactions in the United States. ACH is responsible for processing large volumes of both credit and debit transactions between financial institutions. Its rules and regulations are governed by The Electronic Payments Association and the Federal Reserve.
Electronic payments on utilities, loans, and other types of bills are all examples of ACH debit transactions. Specific to Higher One, a student who opts to have their refund deposited directly into an existing bank account would constitute an ACH.
In accordance with the rules and regulations governing ACH, no financial institution may simply issue an ACH transaction (whether it be debit or credit) towards an account without prior authorization from the account holder known as the Receiver.
Automated Teller Machine (ATM): A machine that allows the customer to get cash withdrawals, check balances and transfer funds. ATMs are generally accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Bank Routing Number: Your bank's unique identification number. Also known as a "routing transit number" or RTN. Your routing number is the nine numbers preceding your account number at the bottom left of your check.
Check: A negotiable instrument instructing a financial institution to pay a specific amount of currency from an account.
Bank Statement: A record of all transactions and debit/credit entries in the form of cash, check, or transfer.
Cashiers Check: A check guaranteed by a bank. Cashiers checks are usually treated like cash since most banks clear them instantly.
Credit Card: A plastic card that can be used by the holder to make purchases or obtain cash advances using a line of credit from the card-issuing financial institution.
Debit Card: A plastic card designed to allow a customer access to funds in his/her checking account to purchase goods, obtain cash, or transfer funds from one account to another. Debit cards are accepted wherever you see the Visa or MasterCard logo.
Direct Deposit: A pre-authorized payment automatically deposited to a customer's checking account.
EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer): The computer-based systems used to perform financial transactions electronically. The term EFT is used to describe a number of different concepts including:
FDIC-Insured: Federally insured deposits protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for up to $100,000 per person.
Fee Schedule: List of fees charged for various banking services including: wire transfers, overdrafts and foreign ATM activity.
Insufficient Funds: Account status when the accountholder's available balance is lower than an amount being debited against the account.
Overdraft: When withdrawals from a bank account exceed the available balance, giving the account a negative balance.
Personal Identification Number (PIN): A code used by the account holder to authorize a transaction or obtain information regarding his or her account.
Stop Payment: A customer's legal right to give instruction to the bank for stopping payment of a check before it has been presented for payment. A fee may be charged for this service.
Uncollected Funds: Funds deposited or cashed against an account with a check that has not yet cleared. Financial Institutions typically place a temporary hold on customers' uncollected funds, making those funds unavailable for withdrawal until the time period of the hold expires.
Wire Transfer: The electronic transfer of funds from one financial institution to another.
Higher One Specific Terms:
Add Money: The transferring of funds from an outside bank account to your OneAccount.
Available Balance: The amount of funds available minus any amount on hold. This includes all activity-deposits, credits, withdrawals or debits. Note: A temporary hold is placed on your account almost immediately to prevent overdrafts.
Example: The beginning balance on your OneAccount is $2000. After purchasing two computer monitors online for $500, your available balance is now $1500.
Automatic Bill Pay: An electronic payment scheduled by the cardholder with a service provider or merchant (also known as the "Payee") that accepts Debit MasterCard®.
CIP (customer identification program): Verification process that must be completed after an account is created. Federal banking regulations require all financial institutions to obtain, verify and record the identity of their account holders. Higher One complies with this federal directive by requesting a legible copy of any government issued identification. Note: In all cases, Higher One pledges the protection and confidentiality of your personal information.
EasyHelpSM: OneAccount online help available through Higher One 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Easy RefundSM: Any refund owed to you from your school deposited directly into the OneAccount (Higher One checking account). Easy Refund is the fastest refund option, with funds available the same day they are released from the school.
Funding Account: The bank account used to add money or "fund' your OneAccount. The funding account is directly linked to your OneAccount.
OneAccount: The checking account linked to your Higher One Debit MasterCard® (actual card name is specific to the school you attend). The OneAccount offers free checking with no minimum balance or monthly fees.
Online Bill Pay: The ability for an account holder to pay bills online. Note: This feature is set up through your OneAccount.
Payee/Payer: Payee-the party at the receiving end of a payment. Payer-the individual or entity making the payment.
Pending Transaction: Once your card is swiped at a merchant's card terminal, the transaction total is "held" for three (3) business days, allowing the merchant enough time to debit your OneAccount.
Refund Preference: The selection of how you'd like to receive any refund owed to you from your school.
Send Money: The transferring of funds from your OneAccount or outside bank account to another OneAccount.
Sign for it: Phrases used to promote signature based transactions with the OneAccount. When using your card for purchases, you can authorize a purchase by using your PIN or by signing the receipt. Note: signing the receipt means you may be better protected. Higher One offers you peace of mind by providing the MasterCard® Zero Liability policy when you make signature based purchases with your Debit MasterCard. Zero Liability means you are eligible for protection against fraudulent purchases made with your card. Be sure to always safeguard your card and report a card theft promptly. Learn more about terms and details of the Zero Liability policy provided by Higher One.
Basic training: What is a checking account?
A checking account, or demand account is an account held at a bank or other financial institution for the purpose of securely and quickly providing access to funds "on demand." Money in a checking account is insured up to 100 thousand dollars through the FDIC. Money can be easily withdrawn by writing checks, using a debit card, or visiting an ATM.
What are the Rules?
How to Write a Check
Here's a sample check with an explanation of each field.
Here's a sample check register:
Check #: Track the check numbers in this column.
Date: The date of the transaction or the date the check was written.
Description: A brief description of the transaction is recorded here.
Amount: The amount of the debit (money out) to the account goes here.
Deposit: The amount of any deposit (money in) is in this column.
Balance: The current available account balance, adjusted for any debits or deposits, is logged here.
Best practices for writing checks
Make sure your signature is the last thing you fill out on any check. If you lose a check that's already signed, anyone can fill in your name and cash it. Never make a check out to "Cash," this allows anyone to cash it if it's lost or stolen. Instead, always name a specific person or business on the pay to the order of section of the check.
By: Blythe Terrell
For many students, college is the first major landmark on the path to independence. Moving away from home means no more curfews, no asking for permission and no parents looking over their shoulders. It also means that the liberty-seeking college kid is now free to make his or her own mistakes.
In such an environment, money management often becomes an issue. Knowing how to avoid these problems is the key to beating them. Here are ten common mistakes students make, and how you can avoid them.