Even if you conduct 99 percent of your banking transactions online, you're likely using the services of a commercial bank. Such banks not only provide services to businesses, but to individuals. As of 2014, there were 5,643 commercial banking institutions in the United States, with 82,613 branches, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. However, that number has decreased by approximately 3,000 since the end of the 20th century.
The other types of "depository institutions" in the United States are credit unions and thrifts. The latter includes savings banks and savings-and-loan associations. The focus of the commercial bank is making money for its shareholders.
Commercial banks offer various types of personal and business accounts. These include:
- checking accounts
- money market accounts
- certificates of deposit
- savings accounts.
Branches have set business hours to give customers the opportunity to conduct their transactions in person. In addition, banks have ATMs available 24/7and offer online account access as well.
Money deposited in your commercial bank accounts is protected by FDIC insurance up to $250,000 per bank. This does not include non-deposit accounts, such as mutual funds, bonds or stocks.
Commercial banks provide loans, as well as lines of credit, for businesses and consumers. Although savings-and-loan corporation exist primarily for real estate lending, commercial banks also offer home and commercial mortgages. Other types of bank loans available include those intended for:
Credit/Debit Cards and Merchant Services
While you can open a personal or business credit or debit card account with a commercial bank -- MasterCard or Visa -- these institutions also provide credit card services for merchants. A banking professional will work with your company to devise the most appropriate ways to service the business, whether that includes offering in-store, mobile or web-based ways to accept payments.
Other services provided by commercial banks include:
National and State Banks
A national commercial bank operates under a charter issued by the Treasury Department's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. A state commercial bank operates under the charter of the particular state, although should the institution fail, both state and federal laws apply.