Banking is old, very old. The first banks were probably the religious temples of the ancient world, as long as 5,000 years ago. Banks probably predated the invention of money. The current modern western financial products and services can be traced back to the coffee houses of London. Even that was a long time ago. The London Royal Exchange was built in the 16th centuary!
Although North American and Northern European banking share a similar beginning, as you would expect, down through the years, differences in certain practices have emerged. The most obvious difference is the spelling of Cheque. While the rest of the planet uses the term Check, the Common Wealth Nations, and Ireland, use the less ambiguous spelling.
Another notable difference between banking practices on opposite sides of the Atlantic is the use of checks. The use of checks in Europe have been in decline over the past 20 years. Only Ireland, Britain and France use checks to any significant degree. With the advent of debit cards and electronic funds transfers the checkbook has all but disappeared. I’m certain there are people working in German banks that have never seen a EuroCheque.
One of the things I liked about banking in the US, when I was living in Boston, was the range of personalised checkbooks available. The use of personalised checkbooks, for regular retail customers, is one of the nice touches to banking in North America which one does not get in Europe.
Not only can a customer be issued personlised checkbooks, but they can print their own! The use of computer checks is steadily growing particularly by sole traders & small businesses which would not normally qualify for big business perks with their banks. Computer checks are cost effective and make a really powerful, professional impression. Many of the accounting and money management software packages in use today support the printing of checks. There are also preprinted paper stock available for use with them, such as QuickBooks Checks and Quicken Checks.
Infact, there is a huge business built up around the humble check in the USA. Perhaps this is the reason the check has not disappeared from the North American banking system to the extent it has in Europe.