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Banking in Canada

Banks in Canada charge different fees for the same type of service.  You should research which bank best matches the services that you need.  Things to ask about are: monthly service charges, telephone and computer banking options, transaction charges, and interest.

What should I take with me to open a bank account?

  1. Your Passport or Birth Certificate
  2. A second piece of identification (e.g. Study Permit)
  3. Money to deposit
Note: Banks have staff available to help when you apply for an account.  Ask about student rates and plans. 

Automatic banking machines (ABM) or automatic teller machines (ATM)

  • When you open an account, you receive a plastic ATM/Debit/Bank card. You choose a password (called a Personal Identification Number or PIN).
  • Bank machines are open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
  • You can do all of your routine banking e.g. withdraw cash, deposit cash or cheques, pay bills, check transactions.
  • There is an extra charge for using an ATM that does not belong to your bank (up to $3). 

Telephone banking and internet banking (On-line /PC Banking)

  • You can go online or telephone to pay bills, get your current account balance, hear or see your last 5 or 10 transactions and transfer money between accounts.
  • You need your Bank Card and to choose a different password for telephone banking and internet banking. Talk to your bank for assistance. 

Interac direct payment

  • You can pay for your purchases using your plastic bank card in stores. You withdraw funds from your account and transfer them directly to the retailer using your Bank Card and password.

Pre-authorized payments

  • You can choose to have your bills paid by "Pre-Authorized Debit": money is automatically transferred from your bank account to pay your bills. Ask your bank about this option. 

Where can I get help with handling money?

  • Prepare a BUDGET and follow it as closely as possible. Include allowances for all possible expenses in your budget, such as dental emergencies and travelling home.
  • For help preparing a budget and questions about expenses, talk to an International Student Advisor.


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