How to Use a Canadian Bank Account

Find out how the Canadian banking services operate...

Banks in Canada are easy to use and it is simple to access money and perform transactions. For all the banks listed above, it is possible to withdraw money and make transactions at:

  • A branch
  • An ATM (automated teller machine)
  • Online
  • By telephone
  • By cheque

It is normal to pay by debit card for services and commodities in shops, restaurants and other service providers in Canada. A PIN (personal identification number) number is normally required to carry out these transactions.

Cheques and credit cards operate in the same way as most Western countries. Post-dated cheques are frequently used for payment of rent. Credit cards are commonplace in Canada, and are often needed to get mobile phone contracts, rent a car and make online purchases.

There are a number of different credit card accounts available at different rates, which offer different incentives; check with a banking representative for details. It is normally possible and unproblematic for newcomers to Canada to get a credit card and to start building a credit history. To get a good credit rating it is advised to pay off a credit card in full each month.

Bank Statements

It is normal in Canada to have electronic or eStatements, where all account information is easily accessible online. It is also possible to carry out transactions online, for example pay utility bills. Paper statements are available and are normally mailed to the client on a monthly basis.

Banking Hours

Normal banking hours in cities and major towns are Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 17:00 and do not normally close at lunch time. Opening hours may vary depending on where the branch is located. Information about opening hours can be found online, when searching for a Branch and ATM locator on most major bank's websites.

Further Information

  • For information from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada department on banking: Click here