Having a bank account makes it easier to manage your money, but taking the time to drive to a bank branch and wait in line to open an account can be a hassle. Luckily, the answer to the question, “Can you open a bank account online?” is yes.
Many banks allow you to open a bank account online, which means you won’t have to step foot in a branch. In fact, some of the best banks are online-only institutions, which means you’ll get better rates because they have lower overhead costs. Read on to learn the steps you’ll need to take to open a bank account online, which include finding the very best bank for your hard-earned money.
How to Open a Bank Account Online
If you have a computer and an internet connection you can open a savings or checking account from your couch — but you must be at least 18 to take advantage of online account opening. Note that some banks might require you to create a profile with a username and password to open an account, but some will not. Follow these steps to open a bank account online:
1. Select Your Bank
Before you open an account, you must decide which bank to use. When you’re comparing different accounts in search of the best bank account, take into consideration the following features:
- FDIC insurance: FDIC insurance protects up to $250,000 of your deposits in the event the bank goes out of business.
- Interest rates: If you’re opening savings accounts to build your emergency fund, you’ll want to get the highest interest rate so your money can grow faster. An online-only checking account might pay more interest than a brick-and-mortar bank.
- Fees: Compare the fees the bank will charge for you to keep your account there, such as monthly maintenance, overdraft and ATM fees.
- Account minimums: Some banks have minimum deposit requirements or minimum account balances that enable you to avoid fees. Make sure you’ll be able to meet the minimums or you could end up paying monthly fees. For example, if you open a checking account online, you might qualify for a fee waiver if you schedule a direct deposit into your account each month.
- Promotions: Some banks offer you bonuses or other promotions when you open a new account.
- Eligibility requirements: If you want to open an account with a credit union, you might have to meet some eligibility requirements. For example, Mazuma Credit Union requires you to live or work in certain areas of Kansas, have a relative who’s a member, or be a federal employee or member of designated employer groups in in the city.
Related: 5 Best Banks for No Fees
2. Gather Your Required Information
You must provide the personal information your bank requires to open your account online. You’ll likely need to submit your name, address, contact information, driver’s license or other government-issued ID, email address, birthday and Social Security number.
You might also have to provide copies of your actual documents to the bank. If you have a co-applicant, he must supply the same information. For example, if you’re applying for an account with your spouse, you both have to enter your personal information.
3. Fund Your Account
Depending on the bank you choose, you can typically fund your account a few different ways. You can transfer money from an existing checking or savings account or pay with a credit or debit card.
To fund your new online bank account with a transfer from an existing account, you’ll need the routing number and the account number. A routing number is a nine-digit number specific to your bank. You can find both your routing number and your account number on the bottom of one of your checks, by logging into your online account or by contacting your bank. If you want to fund your new account with a credit or debit card, you can find all the information you need on the card.
If making a trip to a brick-and-mortar bank isn’t for you, consider using your comptuer to open a bank account from the comfort of your own home.