If you're a Provident Credit Union member, then you've already got a Provident Savings account with at least $5 in it. Read on, for why you should also have a checking account, especially one from Provident.
People without checking accounts tend to carry around much larger amounts of cash, making them prime targets for being assaulted and robbed. Checks and Check Cards on the other hand include several security features to protect you from unauthorized use.
If you have a checking account you can write checks to pay bills without having to go the Credit Union branch or post office to buy a money order or cashier's check.
Even better, you don't even have to write checks to take advantage of a checking account. With Provident Credit Union checking, you can have your bills paid automatically, either through Provident's free online "Bill Payments", or by allowing certain companies to electronically deduct the funds from your account via "ACH". For your other transactions, your Provident Credit Union Visa Check Card does it all. This one card in your wallet gives you free access to your checking account for buying groceries or gas, or using anywhere that a Visa or ATM card could be used.
The canceled check (indicating that the check has gone to Provident Credit Union and the funds have been drawn out of your account) is proof of payment. If a creditor believes he has not been paid, and you have paid him with a check, you can prove this by sending a copy of the cancelled check (both front and back) to the creditor. Cancelled checks can be viewed any time online--and printed--for up to 3 months after they were written, or copies can be requested from Provident to be sent to you for a small fee.
When you use online banking, you don't even need to keep physical copies of your monthly checking statements, as they are available online, along with histories of all your transactions. That information is also available via Provident's automated telephone service called "Telephone Banking". This is very helpful if you ever need to know when a check was cashed, or if a certain amount was debited or credited to your account.
With online bill paying through Bill Payments, there are several ways to look at your payments, such as viewing all the payments for a particular biller (and the bills themselves, if available) for any specific range of time.
Checking accounts at Provident Credit Union are free when minimum requirements are met (such as by having Direct Deposit or a minimum balance). Even without those minimum requirements, a Regular or Premier Checking account at Provident is only $5.00 per month, less than most banks charge. Considering that all Provident Credit Union checking accounts include free 24/7 online and telephone access, free online bill paying, a free Visa Check Card, and an initial 50 paper checks free, a Provident checking account offers you a great value.