Opening a checking account is a great idea and a nice first step toward financial success. Are you looking to open a checking account but can’t get to a physical location?
“Can I open a checking account online?” may be a question that you have asked yourself. The short answer is—yes! You can open a checking account online without even having to leave your home. Plus, it only takes a few minutes, making it a quick and easy process.
Most financial institutions have an option right on their websites for you to open a checking account online. All it takes is a few clicks and entering some information.
But there are some things you should know before you go ahead and open a checking account online. Additionally, there are some things you’ll need to provide to the bank while opening this account.
So, if you’re asking yourself, “How can I open a checking account online?” we’re here to answer that question for you. Here’s how.
Things You Need Before Opening a Checking Account
Just like there are forms of identification you would need to bring to a financial institution to open a new account, there are some documents you’ll need to have in front of you while opening a checking account online.
If you’re a US citizen, you need to know your Social Security number. If you’re a noncitizen, you can use another identification number, such as a passport number or an ITIN number.
In addition to knowing your Social Security/identification number, you need to have a valid driver’s license or other government-issued ID in front of you. You have to provide this information during the application process, just as if you were opening the account in-person.
Debit Card/Other Bank Account Information
Some checking accounts require an initial deposit upon opening so you can have some money in there from the get-go. If you need to make an initial deposit, be sure to have a debit card with you so you can provide that number or have your routing and account numbers from another bank account. Just make sure that whichever account you take money out of has enough money in it so you don’t overdraw.
Things to Decide Before Opening a Checking Account
Single or Joint Account?
Are you opening a checking account on your own or in partnership with someone else? Is it just your money going into this account or someone else’s? These are questions you should know the answer to before opening a checking account, as they’ll affect the type of checking account you open.
If you’re planning on being the sole owner of the account, meaning you’re the only one with access to it, you should open an individual account. If this isn’t the case and you want someone else to be able to access the account, you should open a joint account. Commonly, people open joint accounts if they’re family members, significant others, or business partners.
Make Sure It’s Federally Insured
Regardless of whether you’re opening an individual or joint account, be sure to confirm the account will be federally insured. This means that a federal company protects your money in case anything happens to the financial intuition.
For most banks, the institution is the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC), and for most credit unions, the institution is the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). It’s so important to make sure you open an account that’s federally protected, as you don’t want to lose your money if the financial institution fails. Funds up to $250,000 are generally covered by the FDIC or NCUA.
While Opening Your Checking Account Online
It’s critical that you use an internet connection that’s secure, such as your personal home internet. This is because you’ll be sharing a lot of personal information that you don’t want anyone else to be able to access.
Once you have visited the financial intuition’s page and clicked on the link to the account application, you’ll be prompted to fill in your personal details, including your name, date of birth, address, and contact information. You’ll also be asked for a copy of your driver’s license or other government-issued documentation—or at least your ID numbers. The last thing you want is to risk this information being available to the wrong person.
If you need to provide copies during the application process, you should be able to scan each document and upload it to your application, or the institution might provide instructions for how to email the document separately from the application.
Some places ask that you sign a signature card so they can further verify your identity. This may seem excessive, but security is important. It also helps the financial institution to send you messages and other documents online that you can simply sign with this signature without having to stop by in-person..
It’s That Easy
As you can see, opening a checking account online is fairly simple and extremely convenient. To add to that, just have the information you need in front of you during the application process.
At Rivermark Community Credit Union, we provide the option for our members to open a checking account online. Most credit unions have the same process:
If you’re a new member of the credit union, you’ll be prompted to provide your email address and set up an account for this application. If you’re already an existing member, you just need to log into your online banking portal and then choose the option to open an account. If there are any technical issues during the online application process, there’s always contact information available.
There’s no need to ask, “How can I open a checking account online?” any longer. You can get started with the process right away.