Banking Business Vocabulary

How's your English banking vocabulary? Here are 19 terms you should know whether you're a bank employee, customer or businessperson.

When it comes to business, there is a lot of specialized vocabulary that you need to know in order to be successful. This can be especially true in the world of banking. To help you out, we've put together a list of essential banking terms and their definitions.



abbreviation of Automated Teller Machine: a machine, usually in a wall outside a bank, from which you can take money out of your bank account using a special card.

bank balance

the amount of money in a bank account.

I'd like to check my bank balance, please.

bank charges

sums of money paid by a customer for a bank's services.

bank statement

a printed record of the money put into and removed from a bank account


when a check cannot be paid or accepted by a bank because of a lack of money in the account:

I had to pay a penalty fee when my check bounced.


(noun) money in the form of notes and coins, rather than checks or credit cards:

Do you have any cash on you?

cash a check/cheque

(verb) to exchange a check for cash:

Would you cash a check for me?

checkbook (US) / chequebook (UK)

a book of checks / cheques with your name printed on them which is given to you by your bank to make payments with.

check (US) / cheque (UK)

a printed form, used instead of money, to make payments from your bank account:

I wrote him a check for $100.


1. money in your bank account.

I was relieved to see from my statement that my account was in credit

2. a method of paying for goods or services at a later time, usually paying interest as well as the original money.

They decided to buy the car on credit.

credit card

a small plastic card which can be used as a method of payment, the money being taken from you at a later time.

checking account (US) / current account (UK)

a bank account that you can take money from at any time and which usually earns little or no interest.


(a record of) money taken out of a bank account.

The account was in debit at the end of the month (= more money had been spent than was in the account at that time).


money, which is owed to someone else, or the state of owing something:

He managed to pay off his debts in two years.

The firm ran up huge debts.

deposit (US) / pay in (UK)

to put money into a bank account.

If you go to the bank, will you deposit these checks for me?

direct debit

an arrangement for making payments, usually to an organization, in which your bank moves money from your account into the organization's account at regular times:

I pay my electricity bill by direct debit.


when you spend or use money.

Buying a bigger car has proved to be well worth the expense.

We've just had a new garage built at great expense.


an agreement in which you pay a company money and they pay your costs if you have an accident, injury, etc:

life/health/car/travel insurance


1. money which is charged by a bank or other financial organization for borrowing money.

I got a loan with an interest rate of 10%.

2. money that you earn from keeping your money in an account in a bank or other financial organization.

You should put the money in a savings account where it will earn interest.


a sum of money which is borrowed, often from a bank, and has to be paid back, usually together with an additional amount of money that you have to pay as a charge for borrowing.

She's trying to get a $100 000 loan to start her own business.


Non Sufficient Fund


The act of overdrawing a bank account.


a person who money is paid to or should be paid to.

savings account (US) / deposit account (UK)

a bank account in which you usually leave money for a long time and which pays you interest.

standing account (UK)

an instruction to a bank to pay a particular amount of money at regular times from a person's bank account to another bank account (compare direct debit)


(an amount of) money paid to the government, which is based on your income or of the cost of goods or services you have bought:

They're putting up the tax on cigarettes.

traveler's check

a piece of paper that you buy from a bank or a travel company and that you can use as money or exchange for the local money of the country you visit


to take money out of a bank account.


Now that you know some of the basics, you're on your way to becoming a banking expert!