Steps to open an online bank account | Banking advice

We’re used to using online banking to do things like pay bills and transfer funds, but you can even set up your accounts online without visiting a branch or making a phone call.

With just a few clicks and the right documentation, you can open checking, savings, money market, and other types of bank accounts online. And it doesn’t just have to be with online banking only – traditional banks also allow online account opening. Here’s how you can open bank accounts by going online.

Step by step to open a bank account online

1. Choose your bank

Decide which bank or credit union you want to do business with. Start with a list of factors that are important to you in determining whether an online-only bank or a bank that has physical branches is best for you. Some factors to consider include fees, availability of ATMs, whether you only want a basic account or a suite of services, and whether you prefer a national, regional or community bank.

2. Choose your account or accounts

Checking, savings, and money market accounts are the most common types of bank accounts, but their terms and conditions vary. That’s why you’ll want to carefully consider the features of each account, including whether there are monthly fees or what the interest rate is, to find the best option for your needs. The good news is that if you want to open more than one type of account with the same bank, you can save time by opening them in the same session so that you only have to provide your information and documents once. time.

3. Gather your documentation

To open an online banking account, you’ll need to provide a photo of your driver’s license or passport or other government-issued ID, your US mailing address, and your phone number. If you are under 18, you will need someone older to register with you as a co-owner of the account, so that person’s documentation will also be required.

“Make sure your ID is up to date because expired IDs won’t be accepted,” says Rodney Shepard, director of customer experience at Arvest Bank, which has branches in Arkansas. Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas.

4. Complete the online application

You should be able to find an “Apply Now” button on any bank’s website, which will take you to the online application form page. This is where you will provide your personal and contact information (including mailing address, phone number, date of birth, and email), as well as your social security number or ID number. Tax identification.

“Not only is it important that the bank has this information in case they need to contact you about your account, but you will also be able to take advantage of digital banking services such as Zelle, mobile wallet and account alerts if you have that on file with your bank,” Shepard says.

5. Fund your account

Most banks require you to add funds to open an account online, but this is not always the case. For example, hunting bank gives new customers the option to add funds at a later date.

However, if you need to make a minimum opening deposit, setting up funding is simple, says Claudia Tabacinic, Senior Vice President, Consumer, Business and Affiliate Deposit Products and Pricing at TIAA Bank. . “With just a few clicks, you can log into an existing account and transfer money.”

You just need to provide the routing and account numbers of your other bank. You may also be given the option of providing a debit card or credit card account number. Or you may be able to make a mobile check deposit from another bank account.

Will you still have to visit a branch or send documents by post?

Although not as common a practice as it used to be, some banks with branches may require you to show up with a paper copy of your ID for certain types of accounts, such as a joint account with a minor. Or if you have had a negative banking history, such as unresolved overdrafts or NSF checks, or no bank/credit history, you may need to apply in person.

But generally, as long as you’re 18 or older with the proper credentials, you should be able to fully open your new account online, Shepard says.

As for signature cards, Tabacinic says many banks, including TIAA Bank, have stopped requiring physical cards in recent years. “Previously, customers had to sign an actual piece of paper, but now electronic and digital signatures are usually enough,” she says.

However, policies may vary. For example, Bank of America asks online customers to print, sign and send their signature form.

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