Opening a bank account online is a quick and convenient way to gain access to all the benefits of banking. But before you get started, there are some important considerations. From choosing the right bank, to finding an account that suits your needs, here’s a quick overview of how to open a bank account online the right way: Find the right bank. Before you open a bank account online, make sure you can trust the bank you’re dealing with. It should offer:
- Stability. Choose a strong and stable financial institution so you know that your bank deposits are safely covered by insurance up to the maximum allowed by law. Your bank deposits should be insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), or if it’s a credit union, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). Be sure to do a little research, compare banks, and find a place you can trust with your hard-earned money.
- Convenient locations. While online banking and mobile apps help make it easier to manage your accounts, technology isn’t a substitute for branch banking. Instead, it should complement it. Knowing that there’s a banking location nearby—where you can walk in and talk to someone if needed—offers both comfort and convenience. Be sure to use the bank’s branch/ATM locator to see if there are locations near your home and/or office.
- Good customer service. How important is good customer service? A TD Bank survey found that 60% of consumers who are happy with their bank say they have little or no financial stress, and more than half are optimistic about their financial future. Moreover, consumers who define themselves as happy with their bank spend 72 minutes less (7.3 hours vs. 8.5 hours) each week worrying about their financial situation compared to those who say they are not happy with their bank. So, before you open a bank account online, make sure your bank of choice offers great service, live representatives available 24/7, knowledgeable advice, and plenty of extras like extended store hours, free coin counting and award-winning products.
Choose an account. Now that you’ve decided on a bank, it’s time to choose the type of account you want. Will it be a checking account? Savings account/money market? CD? Do some homework on each type of account and decide which one best fits your financial needs. Depending on the type of account you choose, you’re likely to encounter various fees. Here are some good questions to ask before you open your account:
- Are there ATM fees?
- Does the bank offer tiered interest rates that increase with account balance?
- Can you waive the maintenance fees? (minimum balance, etc.)
- Do I get free or discounted checks?
- Is there an extra fee for things like money orders, official bank checks, stop payments, incoming wire transfers and check images on paper statements?
- Is there a fee to close my account?
- Is there an annual fee? Can it increase?
Gather what you need. Once you research the different types of accounts and make your choice, opening a bank account online is just a few steps away. Here’s a checklist of the items you’ll likely need to get started:
- Social Security Number
- Driver’s License or State-issued ID
- Contact Information, like Name, Address & Phone Number
- Opening Deposit (via debit/credit/check card; funds from an existing account with the bank; funds from an outside account)
This is a guest post from TD Bank where we work hard to create the best experience for our customers. That’s what it means to bank human. And what makes us Americas Most Convenient Bank.