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Opening a bank account online is quick and easy. It can take just minutes and save you a trip to a bank branch. And if you’re opening an account at an online bank, it may be your only option. The top online banks are FDIC-insured and offer higher rates than typical brick-and-mortar banks, and they often charge low or no fees.
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Here's the documentation you'll need to open a bank account online:
Before you start the application, you have two key decisions to make:
» The trending hybrid:
If the financial institution offers multiple savings or checking accounts, compare them to see which terms and features work best for you.
Also confirm that the account will be FDIC insured, which means the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. protects your money in case the bank fails. Accounts at credit unions have equivalent protection from a separate government agency, the National Credit Union Administration.
» Which account is best? Read our primer on
Using a secure home internet connection or another trustworthy network, fill out the application with your personal details, which will likely include:
Though in most situations you can send this information online, 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 co-signer’s information as well.
When you open an account online, an initial deposit usually means making a transfer from an existing account. If your bank is all online, you may also be able to fund with a check or money order. And if your bank has local branches, you can also visit one to deposit cash.
Once you enter the details for the transfer, choose an amount that satisfies any minimum balance or starting deposit requirement. The funds generally take a few days to process, and then you can start managing your new account.