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The History of the Checking Account

February 7, 2018 by Space Coast Credit Union



If you lived in Ancient Rome and you needed a loan for your new chariot or home, you couldn’t just go to the nearest credit union. Instead, you would trek to a forum where the “money lenders used to hang out” by sitting on benches, according to TheGuardian.com. If a particular lender was “bankrupted,” you’d know it because his bench would literally be broken so he could no longer sit at the forum.
 
If you wanted to earn interest on your money, you’d need to choose the most trustworthy-looking guy on a bench, and then hope he would judge credit risks well and not lose your hard-earned money.
 
An article in InfoPlease.com suggests that the earliest checks were invented as part of this Roman savings and lending system, around 352 B.C. The notion didn’t catch on, though, and it wasn’t until the early 1500s in Holland—a major international center for shipping and trading—that people began using a checking system in any volume. When customers deposited money by giving it to a Dutch cashier, there was a fee attached to the action to pay for the cashier’s safekeeping services. When a customer needed to pay a debt, he would write an order or “note” for the cashier to pay the bill, which was an early form of a checking account.
 
In the United States, the earliest checking account system appears to have started in 1681 in Boston when businessmen mortgaged their land and could write checks out of the funds available, a system tied to their mortgage note.
  
Fortunately, writing checks has gotten a whole lot easier since then—and, at SCCU, you don’t have to pay any fees at all to have a checking account at our credit union.
 

Free Checking Accounts at SCCU

If you’re busy and you need a checking account that is both affordable and convenient, then you’ll appreciate our free checking account with e-Statements. You can open this account with just $25, opening it online from anywhere around the world where you have an internet connection. There are no hidden requirements or fees, either. For example, there is no monthly minimum balance to maintain and you aren’t required to direct deposit funds into the account.
 
No transaction fees. No monthly fees. No limits on monthly check writing. No limits on monthly teller transactions. No need to travel to a Roman forum to hunt down a guy on a bench to make a deposit or get some cash. When we say our free checking accounts are convenient as well as affordable, we really mean it.
 
Additional benefits include:
 
  • free e-Statements
  • free Visa debit card with fraud protection (again, with unlimited transactions)
  • free online banking with bill pay
  • free mobile banking with mobile deposit
  • free direct deposits
  • free ATM transactions at more than 100 convenient locations
  • free account alerts
 
If you prefer paper statements, that’s no problem, and they’re available for a fee that’s determined by your Member Rewards level. Plus, here is information about overdraft services. Overdraft Privilege (ODP) covers you when you make an honest mistake balancing your account. It happens. There is no cost when you sign up for ODP, and no monthly or annual fee. The only time you are ever charged an ODP fee is when you actually need to have funds covered. If you’d like to have ODP also cover ATM transactions or one-time debit card purchase transactions, be sure to opt in for that service.
 
Questions? Call the branch nearest you:
 
  • Brevard: 321-752-2222
  • Broward: 954-704-5000
  • Miami-Dade: 305-882-5000
  • All Other Areas: 800-447-7228

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Space Coast Credit Union membership is open to all who work or live in Brevard, Broward, Flagler, Indian River, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, or Volusia Counties in Florida.

  • Brevard: 321-752-2222
  • Broward: 954-704-5000
  • Miami-Dade: 305-882-5000
  • All Other Areas: 800-447-7228

*APR = Annual Percentage Rate. ^APY = Annual Percentage Yield.

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Member Rewards is an exclusive Space Coast Credit Union program that provides benefits such as free or discounted services based on your level of participation in the credit union.

  • Gold members may order one FREE box of SCCU logo checks per year.
  • Platinum members may order unlimited FREE boxes of SCCU Exclusive Style checks (one box at a time).
Learn more about the Member Rewards program.