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How to Open a Bank Account Online

Opening a bank account online is quick, easy and convenient. Whether you’re new to your bank or credit union or you’re ready to open another account at your financial institution and you’d prefer to do it remotely, this blog post contains a clear, step-by-step guide for how to open a bank account online.

Opening a bank account online is incredibly convenient. The process just takes a few minutes and you won’t even have to leave your living room! It’s important to learn about the process, the choices you’ll need to make and the information to have handy before getting started. Here’s what to expect when you open an account virtually at a bank or credit union.

1. Choose Your Bank or Credit Union

First, you’ll need to choose the bank or credit union that will house your account. Ask yourself these questions about each financial institution you consider to help guide your choice:

  • What interest rates and fees will I need to pay at this bank or credit union?
  • What level of customer service can I expect here?
  • What products and services does this financial institution offer?
  • Are there any rewards and perks tied to the products and services?
  • What kind of banking technology does this bank or credit union offer?
  • Is this institution committed to giving back to the community?

2. Choose What Kind of Account(s) You Want to Open

You’ll likely have the option of choosing to open a standard checking, savings and/or money market account online. Determining the account’s primary purpose will help you choose which kind of account to open. Will you be using this account to cover your day-to-day expenses or to store your rainy-day fund? A checking account will offer greater accessibility, and thus be the logical choice for funds you need to access regularly, while a savings account will typically pay you interest on money you don’t need right now. A money market account blends the best of checking and savings, though it may come with restrictions and requirements such as a minimum balance or maximum number of transactions per month.

You’ll also need to decide whether you want to open a single or joint account. You’ll be the sole owner of a single account, while a joint account is co-owned with another person, such as your partner.

3. Gather the Information You’ll Need

You’ll need to provide some information if you’re opening an account at a new bank or credit union. Before getting started, make sure to have the following information and documents handy:

  • Contact info you’d like to link to the account, including a residential address, phone number and email
  • Social Security number or tax ID number
  • Driver’s license or state-issued ID
  • Routing number and account number of another account (if applicable) for your initial deposit

4. Open Your Account

On your bank or credit union’s website, click on “open an account” or “become a member.” If you don’t see these options, click on the link for a checking or savings account and look for the “open account” option there.

5. Follow the Prompts

Follow the instructions for setting up your account. If you’ve made your decisions and gathered your information before getting started, this should take just a few minutes.

6. Fund Your Account

Some accounts require an initial minimum deposit and/or balance. Fund your account now to get it up and running.

You’re all set! Your online account is ready to be managed and utilized anywhere and at any time. Setting up an account online is easy, but it’s best to do your research and know what to expect before getting started. Follow our six-step guide to get your account up and running quickly.

Ready for a change?

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The material presented here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as financial, investment or legal advice.