How to Open a Bank Account Online in 2020

How to Open a Bank Account Online - The opportunity to do stuff online, in a busy world, is priceless. Fortunately, most banking tasks can be completed online — even opening your account, in many cases. It ensures you don't have to fly to a store or print and sign paper documents. All is handled digitally, and you can transfer funds and pay bills online once your account is open.

What you need to build an account
Be prepared to provide identifying details to open a bank account online so that the bank can check your identity. You may also need to arrange electronic deposits to your new bank account online. Before starting the process, collect the following items:

Personal Information: You must tell the bank who you are, and provide personal information to yourself. So be ready to give:

  • Your Social Security Card
  • Your birth date
  • Any government-issued Identification numbers (driver license, passport, U.S. military identification, etc.) with the dates for issue and expiry

Contact information: Banks need your home address, telephone number, and email address.1 Because you work in the virtual world, federal law allows you to include a physical address — where you live — but you can also add a post office box or the equivalent as a mailing address.
Funding information: Banks often require an initial deposit to open your account; typically, it's between $25 and $100.3. Possibly you can use your credit or debit card to do that. Alternatively, to create a link to another bank account, you can provide the routing and account numbers.

Bookmarks and E-Signatures
With some banks, once you provide that information, you're done opening your account. With an e-signature, you can sign some legal documents and can start using the report almost immediately.5 Only several small credit unions and community banks support e-signatures. If you have an idea of where you would like to deposit, simply visit that institution's website and search for the "Open an Account Now" link.

Other banks allow you to start your application online but eventually need an actual signature. In such situations, you will typically receive a "Welcome Kit" in the mail that contains any required documents, including a formal signature card. Although writing paper checks are on the decline, in case of a dispute, these banks still like your file to provide an official signature to verify the purchase of a check or debit card.

If the bank wants your paper signature, you may have to wait longer before using your account while the bank processes your paperwork.
If you need to make quick use of your new account, call the bank and ask what the process is. You could be better off opening an account in person or going with a bank that allows you to open an entirely online account.

Challenges Opening an Online account
For certain instances, to open an account, you need to visit a branch, or have additional documentation. Some specific justifications include:

"Thin" credit: Banks check your identity while opening your account. One way they do that is through checking your credit. (Yes, even if you don't borrow money, they check your loan.) When you don't have a ton of credit history — because you're young, for instance, and you haven't invested enough to create credit — they'll find nothing. As a result, they may require you to visit a branch with an ID issued by the Government to open your account.

Under 18: It's not allowed for people under 18 to open their bank accounts. If you are a minor and want a checking or savings account, there are bank accounts for people under the age of 18, but on the account, you will need an adult co-signer and may need to visit a branch personally.
If you have any difficulties, using an online-only bank is your best bet for getting an account opened online, because they have been doing this for years.

Checking account history: You may not be able to open a new checking account online if you have overdrawn checking accounts or were accused of fraud in the past — or shared an account with someone who has it. If you are having a hard time getting an account, check your ChexSystems report for errors. You could get better luck at a branch once again.
How to Open a Bank Account Online
Citizenship: Opening accounts online is most comfortable if you are a citizen of the United States. That's not to suggest it's unlikely if you're not a resident, but it may be essential to visit the branch.
Entity Accounts: Many online account opening banks require individuals to open an account. If you need to have an account for a business, trust, or other organization, some banks will require you to go to the branch or mail the account forms. The ability to open those accounts online is becoming increasingly available, but it is not yet a given.

To open a business account, you will need your employer identification number (EIN), business establishment papers, such as your company and operating agreement files, and, where applicable, federal, state, and local business licenses and permits.
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