Step 1: Determine the account type you want to open
First, consider how you want to utilize your online banking account. If you want an account where you can readily withdraw money, you should create a checking account with enough ATM access. In contrast, you should open a savings account if you’re putting money aside for a project.
The following are some examples of online accounts:
- Checking accounts
- Savings accounts
- Single and joint accounts
- Money market accounts
Consider yearly percentage returns, fees, transaction limitations, and digital tools when selecting your account. Many banks provide identical products that differ in these aspects, which are normally stated in the conditions of use of the accounts. Checking accounts, for example, sometimes have monthly fees, while many online checking options do not. You should take time to compare online banks and different types of available accounts.
Furthermore, it’s also worth investigating the account’s digital features to see what banking conveniences they may provide. One of the most common tools is online bill pay, which is useful if you want to pay bills using your online account. Furthermore, certain online and mobile banking accounts enable clients to quickly freeze their accounts if there is questionable behavior.
Finally, ensure that the account will be FDIC insured, which implies that your money will be protected in the case of a bank collapse.
We compiled a list of the best online savings accounts for you.
Step 2: Collect the required documents to verify your identity
The following are the usual documents required to start an online bank account. This information will also be necessary for anybody who might be a joint account holder.
- Personal information (name, address, etc.)
- Social Security number or other identifying number for non-citizens
- Government-issued identification documents, such as a driver’s license or other qualifying documents.
If your new account requires an initial deposit, you will also be asked for your debit card details, as well as routing and account numbers from another bank account.
Step 3: Apply online
After that, you will be required to upload the files mentioned above to the online banking portal of the financial institution of your choosing. In most cases, the procedure is completed in relatively little time.
However, you may be requested to submit additional documents if, for instance, the bank is unable to confirm your identity. In this scenario, you will be required to supply the additional documents, sometimes by fax or email.
Step 4. Fund the account
When you set up an online account, you are normally required to make an initial deposit. There are various options for doing so, including integrating an existing bank account and transferring money, digitally depositing a check, and even funding the account using PayPal.
Make sure you fulfill the minimum deposit criteria when filling your new account. Many banks state that a minimum deposit is required upon account opening, either on the product webpage or in the material given. Furthermore, the account may have a minimum amount that you must maintain in order to avoid costs.
Online banking is a 21st-century solution to old-fashioned banking that many people find more approachable. It is quick, easy to use, and usually available at any time in the palm of your hand. Opening an account at an online bank is in many ways similar to opening an account in a traditional bank, but the process takes place online. Some online banks offer an even quicker solution and don’t require a minimum to open an account.
Best Online Banks