Do you want a more flexible, accessible, and innovative banking experience?
Opening an online bank account is an extremely easy process that can save a lot of your time as the entire process only takes a few minutes.
There were nearly 1.9 billion active online bank users in 2020, and the number is expected to reach 2.25 billion by 2024.
This figure highlights how popular online and mobile banking has become compared to traditional brick-and-mortar banks and how the use of online banking is significantly increasing.
To benefit from such a smooth online banking experience, you will need to decide beforehand and gather all the required personal information.
Step 1: Decide Which Bank is Right For You
The first thing you need to do is explore all the options around you.
It would be best if you took your time to research and compare different features and characteristics such as the monthly fees, overdraft fees, interest rates, ATM fees, and annual percentage yield.
Online banks also offer other discounted features such as travel and mobile insurance.
One of the most crucial factors when choosing a bank is security. You need to ensure that your money is safe.
Therefore, you should choose a bank with good customer reviews and strong fraud prevention techniques.
It would be best if you also chose a bank that is Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation protected.
This way, you are protected if someone ever steals money from your account by getting access to your bank details.
Another important aspect to consider is whether your bank offers any incentives for joining.
You should also compare interest rates, overdraft fees, and annual fees to other banks to ensure that you pay the right amount and not any excessive or hidden fees.
Step 2: Choose The Type of Account You Want To Open
Before completing your application, you will have to decide between opening a checking or a savings account or a single or joint account.
A single bank account is in the name of one person and is operated by that individual who has complete control of the funds in the account.
A joint bank account is in the name of two or more people.
Each person named on the account has control over the funds.
They are able to take money out of the account, and each of their incomes is paid into the account.
A checking bank account is a deposit account that can be opened at a physical bank branch, online bank, or credit union.
Through a checking account, you can deposit money that you can withdraw to pay bills or make any transactions.
On the other hand, a savings bank account is an account used to store funds that you are not ready to spend as yet with the aim to accumulate more.
Saving accounts have higher interest rates and limited access compared to checking accounts, so you are not tempted to make any impulse purchase.
To withdraw funds from a savings account, you will need to transfer money into your checking account.
Step 3: Provide the Required Documents & Information
Once you’ve decided which bank to open an account with and what type of account you want, you need to start gathering all your personal information to provide during the application process.
This information is required so the bank can identify new customers and carry out security checks.
The information required varies from each bank.
However, some of the key documents and personal information needed include the following:
- Social Security number or, for non-citizens, another identification number.
- Valid driver’s license or other government-issued ID.
- If your new account requires an initial deposit, you’ll also need debit card information or routing and account numbers for another bank account you own. You can find these on a check or by logging into your existing account’s online dashboard.
- Contact information
There may be some cases where you are asked to fax or email additional documents, such as a copy of your driver's license, to help verify your identity.
You might also have to sign a signature card so your bank can verify yours or agree to receive statements and other messages online.
And if you’re not a legal adult, you’ll need a parent cosigner's information as well.
Step 4: Open Your Online Bank Account
After gathering all the required documents and finalizing which bank and account type, you are ready to open an online bank account.
Instead of having to visit your local bank branch, all you have to do is fill an online application on the website of the bank of your choice.
Online applications are very quick and easy to complete.
All you need to do is provide your personal information and upload the necessary documents to pass the identity checks and your online bank account will be opened in no time!
Step 5: Make Your Initial Deposit
Once you have completed your online application and set up your account, you will have to make an initial deposit to activate your account.
Keep in mind that some banks have a minimum deposit or minimum balance requirement to avoid being charged.
To make a deposit, you may be able to link your old bank account to transfer funds.
This way, you do not have to visit a physical branch throughout the process of setting up your online bank account.
Now that you’ve set up your online bank account, you can start banking, manage your finances from wherever you are, and take advantage of the benefits and special features offered by your bank of choice.
The most important part of setting up an online bank account is choosing the right bank, depending on your financial status and lifestyle.
This decision is crucial, so make sure you research different banks and the services they offer.