How To Open A Bank Account Online

If you are short on time and don’t feel like visiting the local branch of a bank, then opening a bank account online can be a very convenient and time saving option for you to look into. It saves you a drive and can be done in a matter of minutes. There are a few things you’ll need to have. Bring your personal information, how much money you have and a way to deposit your money into the new bank account. Once you see how to open a bank account online, you will wonder why you didn’t do it much sooner. Most banks now have an online platform that allows current as well as new customers to access them on their phones and tablets via the Play Store and Apple Store. Banks have seamlessly made the transfer from being a brick and mortar building to doing business on the World Wide Web. They are one of the few businesses left where what you can do as much online as the actual business location. Banks will always be a leader in the business world. Learn how to open a brand new account online in just a few short steps.

First Things First

You are going to want to start researching the Banks you are thinking about using. Talk to your friends and family members about their banking experiences and get reviews on them from them. Word-of-mouth is not a lost form. You want to remember that the type of account that you wish to open needs to be considered. Some banks have better savings plans while others have better checking plans. Consider whether you want to use a credit union or not. There is a lot of questions that you need to ask yourself before you settle on one bank. If you tend to overdraft a lot, you will need a place that has a great overdraft protection plan. It is no fun getting a surprise withdrawal for $37 on your bill for going $.25 over on your checking account. Opening a bank account online can be quite easy if you are prepared and have all of your questions ready to ask. You want somewhere that has competitive rates as well as all the features you desire. If the bank requires an initial deposit, you may only be able to do it from another account of yours. Otherwise you may have to use cash to open up a bank account in person. It depends on the bank. They do certainly want the online business so they will do whatever it takes to make it easy for you to access their services.

Watch For Hidden Fees

Banking online is great when you have all of your account information in front of you and can pay all your bills with a touch of a button. You do need to find out however if any fees are being charged for paying your bills online or depositing your check from your cell phone. Because of the high level of convenience, there can be hidden fees that you are not aware of. You will want to make sure to ask a representative, or read over the disclosures to find out. Some banks have a chat assistance feature. Those are great. It is when you can talk live one on one to a representative of a company in live time. A lot of businesses are now adding this feature to their websites for convenience.

Dealing With Banks in Other Countries

If you are interested in doing business with a bank that is in another country, some will offer you the opportunity to open a bank account online. Others do not because of the lack of acceptable forms of identification and security threats while opening an account. You will want to make sure that the foreign bank you want to do business with has this feature available if you’re not able to get to the country. To add extra security and make sure it is a legitimate account, some banks will have you fill in documentation by hand and send it back to them via post office. They will ask you questions like:

  • Where do you currently live?
  • Your entire full name including your first middle and last
  • They will want your passport or social security number if you are a citizen of the United States.
  • Be prepared to take a phone call. They may want to hear your voice and make sure you pass verification of your identity. They will want to ask you questions like, why do you want to open a bank account in our country? It is harder to lie on the phone than online.

Figure out What Type of Bank Account You Want to Open Online

You will want to figure out the type of account you want to open before you start the application process. What kind of accounts are there?

  • There are accounts that you can open by yourself known as a single bank account or an account you open with another person, is a joint account. With a single account, you are the only owner. If you have a joint account, you share rights to that money equally. You can both deposit and withdrawal paychecks and other funds.
  • Do you want a checking account, savings account, or another type of payment account?

Checking Accounts and Savings Accounts

The purpose of a checking account is to have the money whenever you want it, and it be accessible. It is generally the money that you pay your rent with, your bills and other daily purchases. You get a debit card and a checkbook with this type of account. Sometimes there is a monthly fee that you have to pay if you don’t keep a minimum balance that your bank asks for. A savings account usually is for making a small amount of interest on each month. You have to go to the bank and withdraw it or to an ATM. You cannot access it at home to buy goods online unless you transfer the money to your checking account first. It is supposed to be less accessible, so it’s not as easy to take out. You have to work a little bit, so you have time to think about whether what you want to buy is something that you really need to buy. You will want to compare the different interest rates available at different institutions. You will want to compare the different interest rates available at different banks and other important matters like:

  • What is their overdraft policy? You will also want to know about any fees that may be charged for use of your debit card.

Ensuring its Insured

The most important thing you will want to look for is making sure that the FDIC has your banks’s back in the event that the bank goes bankrupt. Your money is still insured by this company, and you will get it back. This is for regular banks; credit union has a different way of insuring your money that is equivalent.

Documentation That You Will Need

After you have done your research and it picked out what type of account you want to get up, get your paperwork around. You need all sorts of information when opening a bank account online:

  • You will need your number from Social Security if you are a United States citizen. If you are not, they will need another form of identification.
  • Bring your driver’s license and make sure that it is not expired. If you do not have one then it has to be another government ID.
  • The information to other bank account that you may own and the routing number. This is to make your first deposit.
  • If you are under 18 years of age and would like a bank account, you were going to need your parent’s signature and information to cosign for you.
  • Have it in case they ask, your job information, how much do you make a year, and information about any other accounts you may have at another banking institution.

Last-minute tips

Don’t use an open network to fill out your application. You don’t want to be doing it at Starbucks where 1000 other laptops are hooked up. Make sure to fill out your paperwork at home where you have a password-protected network. Check all of your spelling and personal details to make sure they are correct. Some of this may seem common sense, but when learning how to open a bank account online, you don’t want to leave anything out. Make sure you read all the disclosures and terms of agreement. Too many people to get through this part and just sign everything. You will most likely need to sign an agreement to do paperless statements. This means that you are agreeing to documentation that comes through online and not in the mailbox.

Depositing For the First Time

You can transfer money from another bank account that you have or use your credit or debit card to send the money for the initial deposit. It will ask you what to put in and tell you how much the minimum balance needs to be. Depending on the bank or credit union, it can take a few days to process funds. It depends largely on the time of day that you deposited the money and if it is closer to a weekend. If you deposit money on a Friday evening it is going to take until Monday at the earliest to get it in the bank account. If you deposit on a Monday or Tuesday, it should take much less time.

Concluding The Process

By opening a bank account online, you will notice how much time you will save immediately. It is nice to not have to drive all the way to the bank to deposit money. You can also put your checks in that you get from working in the bank through a process known as direct deposit. This cuts out the need for paper checks that come in the mail or you pick up from the office. When you get paid, your check is immediately deposited into your account. There is no hassle or finding a place to cash it. The process is easy as you see and you can start handling your financial business at home when you need to.

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