- They store and protect your money.
- They give you ways to access your money between towns.
- They can store items for you and in some cases will transfer them between branches.
Most banks do not lend money, nor provide interest on accounts. Branches usually have limited amounts of money on-hand (especially small branches), and may refuse or delay service for large transactions.
The most common banking method is the use of bank notes. When a person deposits money to the bank, they receive bank notes with various amounts written on them. Each bank note is redeemable at any branch of the guild for the specified amount of money. Sometimes guilds will take the bank notes of other guilds.
Bank notes are typically just pieces of parchment inscribed with magical runes. The runes help protect against counterfeiting as each guild checks and verifies the bank notes they accept. Bank notes for large sums are typically also magically enhanced to help protect the parchment.
Most merchants throughout the world will not accept bank notes unless they really trust the buyer. Actual coin (of copper, silver, gold, and platinum) are the primary currency. This is because merchants can’t verify the magical runes. Thus bank notes are mostly valuable for people to store money and access money between towns.
Adventurers, merchants, and others who travel often make use of bank notes because they are much easier to carry than actual coins.
AccountsMost banking guilds allow people to create accounts for storing money and for item transfers. The account holder must be able to prove his identity to access the account. The two most common methods of authentication are:
- Blood – the user must submit to a small prick to draw blood for magical authentication.
- Runes – the user must present a magical rune. The rune is usually inscribed on an object, but is sometimes tattooed to the account holder (on the hand for example).
Account holders can withdraw money from bank branches without having to carry bank notes (which can be stolen), but they must wait for the branch to verify how much money is available in the account. This is often accomplished via magical means so the account holder need not wait more than a day to receive their money. But small or remote branches may require the account holder to wait longer.
Most banking guilds allow account holders to transfer items between branches. They can request items in storage at one branch be moved to another branch. If a branch is too small and/or remote, transfer of items may be unavailable or take longer.
Usually items are transferred by shipping (over land or sea) and thus can take days, weeks, or months depending on the distance. Some guilds also have the ability to teleport items between branches.