The primary benefit of getting a checking account is the ability to write checks.  Checks can be used to pay bills at a store, give a person a check if you are short of cash, or send a check through the mail or electronically.  Checks allow you to pay for things without having to carry large amounts of cash.  But writing a check or receiving a check does not guarantee the money is the bank, unlike an ATM or Check Card.  Most people will want some basic information if you are using a check, such as your address and phone number, and most will also require you to show a photo ID and some will even take down your driver’s license number.  A growing trend with most banks is allowing their checking account customers to pay online.  The benefit to the merchant or person receiving a check directly from the bank is that before the bank issues “your” check, it makes sure you have the money in the account and deducts it immediately from your available funds.