There are multiple benefits to opening a bank account online, especially when compared to the traditional method of making in-person visits. Today, you can do everything from depositing checks and paying bills to managing your finances and requesting information about new accounts right from your computer. As per SoFi professionals, “An online bank account conveniently allows you to manage your accounts from your computer or mobile device.”
The following steps will help you get started:
Find an online bank you like
Before opening a bank account online, you should find an online bank that suits your needs. For example, if you want to be able to deposit cash:
- Look for a bank that offers this service.
- Look at the minimum balance requirements and fees.
- Look for banks with good reputations and FDIC insurance if possible (most of them will have it).
Choose the type of account you want
Some banks offer both checking and savings accounts, while others only provide checking. As you consider the type of account to open, think about whether or not your bank offers both and what the benefits are for each type. For example, if you need an emergency fund but don’t want to pay a monthly fee for keeping money in your savings account, then it may make sense to choose an interest-bearing checking account that’s free at most banks.
Make sure your online bank is legitimate
To make sure your bank is legitimate, check that it’s FDIC insured and regulated by a government agency. To find out if a particular bank is FDIC insured, search the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation website. To see if a federal regulator has regulated your prospective online bank, visit the National Credit Union Administration website or the Office of Thrift Supervision site.
Finally, check out user reviews at various online sites to see what other organizations think about your prospective online bank (and whether they have any complaints).
Read the terms and conditions
The first thing you should do when opening a new bank account is read all of the information in the bank’s welcome kit. This will tell you what kind of fees and charges are associated with your account, as well as other important information about your account management options and security features. Make sure that this information is clear and easy to understand, or ask someone at the bank if you have any questions about anything that isn’t clear to you.
Link your accounts
Once you’ve selected the accounts you want to link, it’s time to input your login information. You will be prompted for this in a few different places. For example, it may be on the “Link Accounts” screen or in your profile settings (if you can remember your bank account name). If you have trouble finding where this information is being requested, don’t worry! You can always contact customer service for help with linking accounts as well.
Start using your account
Once you’ve opened a bank account online, it’s time to use it! You can use your new account for bill pay and make deposits from home. You can also shop online and send money to friends and family. If you’re looking to save money on future purchases, consider opening up an additional savings account.
Now that you’ve opened your account, you can start using it. Check out other online guides on how to use your new online bank account for more information.