Five Considerations When Shopping for a Checking Account

Once upon a time, when you became an adult, you opened a checking account. No one really gave much thought to their choice of bank, other than location. Now there are so many more options. So. Many. More. Options.

Like Goldilocks, how do you know which check account will work the best for you? It’s time to take a look at your lifestyle and ask some basic questions to help you decide.

  1. Are your deposit and spending habits consistent, or do you need flexibility?
    At times, are your spending habits a little… chaotic? Or do you make a budget and stick to it? Before you dive into a checking account, look first at your habits so you can see which account offers flexibility, should you need it. Some banks offer very restrictive accounts and some are more relaxed—know which you need before you shop.

    Have you ever heard of a bank trying to save you fees? Guess what? We do! Our Navigator Checking account is one of the most flexible accounts in the market because it offers several levels of banking options and will automatically recalibrate to the level that matches your habits for the month. We feel our customers should have the option to spend more or deposit less in any given month. So to avoid fees (that other banks are so rigid on), we simply recalibrate your account level. Your perks may change slightly, but it’s a peace of mind for our customers who need some flexibility.

  2. Do you write actual paper checks? 
    Fewer and fewer people are writing checks and banks are meeting the needs of customers who want to optimize their digital banking experience. Some accounts may limit checks and some accounts may provide you with an endless free check supply. Try to have a number in mind of how many checks you tend to write and how important that feature is to you going forward.

    Don’t worry if you are attached to using checks regularly, we won’t judge. We’ll just give you a complimentary pen and point you towards one of our accounts that don’t limit check writing and/or provide you with free checks. If you don’t write many checks, we also have a very simple Green Checking account that keeps your experience primarily digital. We’ve had a lot of customers prefer digital records and paperless bills so they can bank efficiently and remotely.

  3. How much do you use a debit card?
    This is a big one, especially at Standard Bank. Research shows that consumers are most likely to use debit cards for their everyday purchases. Do you? Make sure you opt for a banking account that meets your debit card demands and rewards you for using it. Truth be told, banks make interchange income with every swipe of your card. Is your bank giving you a cut of the profit? We do.

    In fact, Standard Bank offers cash rewards tied to debit usage with every checking account we offer. This is our way of thanking our customers for their loyalty and showing them we appreciate their business. It’s another way our community banking mission affects the wallets of our customers.

  4. Technology/Mobility  
    Online banking, mobile banking, P2P payments….we could go on and on. Our technology-based product line grows by the day and most of it enhances your checking account experience. As you shop for a checking account, be sure to peruse the auxiliary services that make your banking more efficient—like technology. Does it meet your expectations and needs? Is the bank constantly upgrading the platforms and security?

    One of our popular tech options is built right into our app: Card Controls. Every debit card is subject to external fraud, but at Standard Bank, we’re proactive and quick to react. Security is a top priority, and we strive to catch fraud as it happens. We text you. We call you. But what if you can help prevent fraud before it even happens? Or turn your card on/off as needed? Card Controls is the solution. It allows you to fully customize your debit card (how, when, where it can be used) to prevent criminals from using your card.

  5. The security of brick and mortar
    Even though many of our customers bank remotely, they find comfort in a physical local office where they can talk, in-person, with a personal representative who can help and guide them. We believe in great customer service in addition to technology, but not all banks have the same priority. So while some checking accounts may look attractive, be sure the account/bank can meet your customer service expectations. Accessibility is a must for day-to-day transactions, but when you have changes or problems—research who you’ll be calling for help.

    In addition to our locations in Western Pennsylvania and Western Maryland, we staff a local Customer Care Center that you can call during regular business hours. A friendly, live person will pick up the phone and get you the answers you need.


These five considerations can help you narrow your search as you find a checking account that meets your needs and expectations. And just as Goldilocks tried several options before finding her match, it’s possible you have had to as well. You may have even been burned, we understand. Switching to a new bank or checking account may seem daunting, but at Standard Bank, we promise you a great banking experience.

Want to chat more with us about what feels just right for you? Come in to a location near you, call us at 1-866-856-Bank (2265), or check us out online… we’ll help you be just as satisfied with your banking experience as Goldilocks was with her porridge.