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How to Open a Bank Account Online

Prepare your contact information and proof of identity, as well as funds for your new account.

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It is simple and fast to open a bank account online. It just takes a few minutes and saves you a ride to the bank. It may also be your only choice if you're opening an account with an online bank. The best online banks are FDIC-insured and offer better rates than conventional brick-and-mortar banks, with minimal to no fees.

What information do you need before opening a bank account online? 

To open an online bank account, you'll need the following documents:
  • Social Security number or, for noncitizens, another identification number.
  • Valid driver’s license or other government-issued ID.
  • If your new account needs a deposit, you'll also need the debit card details, as well as the routing and account numbers for another bank account you own. These can be found on a search or by viewing your account's online dashboard.

Do you want a checking or savings account?

You must make two main decisions before you begin the application:
  • Do you want a single or joint account? You are the sole owner of a single account. A joint account is one in which you share ownership with someone else, normally a family member or significant other.
  • Do you have a checking, savings, or other account? Determine the primary goal of this new account. If you need money to cover daily bills, open a checking account and make sure it doesn't charge unreasonable fees (or that you can get them waived). If the money is going into a savings account, make sure the account has a decent interest rate.

Compare the terms and features of the different savings or checking accounts provided by the financial institution to see which ones work better for you.

Also, make sure the account is FDIC protected, which means the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. can cover the money if the bank goes bankrupt. Credit union accounts are similarly covered by the National Credit Union Administration, a separate government entity.

What other information do you need to open a bank account?

Fill out the application with your personal information using a safe home internet connection or another reliable network, which would most likely include:
  • Name.
  • Date of birth.
  • Address.
  • Contact information.

While you can submit this information online in most cases, you might be asked to fax or email additional documents to help verify your identity, such as a copy of your driver's license. You may be required to sign a signature card so that your bank may check your identity, or you may be required to consent to accept statements and other messages online. You'll still need the details of a parent co-signer if you're not a legal adult.

How can you fund your account?

An initial deposit is normally a switch from an existing account when you open an account online. You may be able to fund with a check or money order if your bank is entirely online. You can even deposit cash at one of your bank's nearby branches if your bank has them.

Choose a sum that meets any minimum balance or starting deposit requirements once you've entered the transfer information. It normally takes a few days for the funds to be processed, after which you can begin handling your new account.

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