Banks do much more than just hold (and repurpose) the money you give them. From mobile banking to international banks to bank alternatives, get a glimpse into the world of banking in our image gallery.
Most of us start out with a piggy bank as children, but our financial needs as adults usually require a more sophisticated type of banking.
At a bank, you can discuss your financial situation with an expert and choose the type of account that's best for you. See a typical counter transaction in the next photo.
The traditional counter transaction has grown less common as a variety of banking conveniences have become available in recent years. See one of the most popular ways to get cash when you need it, next.
ATM and debit cards let bank customers quickly and easily draw from the available funds in their account. Next, see an ATM kiosk.
Drive-up and walk-up ATM kiosks let you swipe your card, enter a PIN number and leave with cash. See another popular feature of bank accounts in the next image.
Many banks and credit unions offer free checking services as a membership perk. But if check-writing is too tedious for you, see another way to pay your bills next.
To eliminate paper pile-ups, many bank customers sign up for online banking. With online banking, paying bills and balancing your accounts is as easy as checking your email.
Some online banks, like E*Trade Financial, allow you to link your bank accounts to your investment accounts. Next, see what happens when a bank is in danger of failing.
A customer stands outside a branch of Superior Bank in Illinois in 2001. The Office of Thrift Supervision closed the bank because it was in danger of failing, and the FDIC took over operations. See a banking option widely considered to be secure, next.
Swiss banks offer a variety of services from lending to asset management. Learn about these banks in How Swiss Bank Accounts Work.