Telephone banking is a service provided by a bank or other financial institution, that enables customers to perform a range of financial transactions over the telephone, without the need to visit a bank branch or automated teller machine. Telephone banking times are usually longer than branch opening times, and some financial institutions offer the service on a 24-hour basis. Most financial institutions have restrictions on which accounts may be accessed through telephone banking, as well as a limit on the amount that can be transacted.
The types of financial transactions which a customer may transact through telephone banking include obtaining account balances and list of latest transactions, electronic bill payments, and funds transfers between a customer's or another's accounts.
From the bank's point of view, telephone banking minimises the cost of handling transactions by reducing the need for customers to visit a bank branch for non-cash withdrawal and deposit transactions. Transactions involving cash or documents (such as cheques) are not able to be handled using telephone banking, and a customer needs to visit an ATM or bank branch for cash withdrawals and cash or cheque deposits.