Opening a bank account online is simple and can be completed in minutes, without getting stuck in traffic or long queues. You can also consider opening an account in an online bank as premier online banks are insured by FDIC that offer higher rates with low or no fees in comparison to traditional banks.
What do you need to open a bank account?
You must keep your Social Security number or any other identification number for nonnatives; a government-issued ID, preferably a driver’s license before you open the browser for opening a bank account.
You will also need the debit card information or other account numbers if the new account needs an initial deposit. If you don’t know where to find them, it would be on a check or the account’s online banking dashboard.
Since you would be making online transactions on the internet, make sure you find a secure home internet connection. The application would require only basic personal information like name, date of birth, address, and phone number.
Sometimes, you would have to fax or email documents like a driver’s license for ID verification. Then, you must sign a signature card as proof of agreement. If you are not an adult, you would need a parent to cosign for you.
Before you start applying, you must have clarity on what kind of an account you need.
Single account and joint account
If you open a single account, you would be the exclusive owner. In a joint account, you would co-own with one more person, usually your family member.
Checking account and savings account
Decide the account’s predominant purpose. If you want an account just to pay everyday expenses, a checking account would work for you. Always, look out for the fees — see if they could be waived.
If you are opening an account to start saving, ensure the bank offers a savings account with a reasonable interest rate.
Most importantly, check if the institution is FDIC insured. Only when the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insures it, your money is safeguarded just in case the bank fails. Credit unions also have a separate government agency called National Credit Union Administration to protect your money.
Some banks would allow you to open multiple savings or checking accounts. You can compare their terms and conditions with your needs.
After you open an account online, you would be required to make an initial deposit. Generally, it would be a fund transfer from an existing account. You could fund with a check or money order in case it’s an online bank. You can also visit a nearby branch to deposit cash, if it’s a traditional bank with local branches.
Once you complete adding the necessary information, transfer the mandatory minimum balance or starting deposit. This deposit might take a few days to process; once the account is set up, you can make transactions using the new account.