Whether you’re sending wire transfers from or receiving direct deposits into your bank accounts, you’ll need to know the specific account numbers to manage transactions between those accounts. It’s easy to find the account number on a cheque or in your online bank account.
What is a bank account number and how is it used?
A bank account number is a unique set of digits, usually seven to 12, that refer to a specific banking account. This means that you have a separate bank account number for each account you have within a financial institution or in different banks.
Say you have a chequing account and a savings account at the same bank. Each one will have its own unique account number. This helps identify the specific account from which you want to do a transaction, whether it’s in person or online.
For example, if you want to set up direct deposit from your employer you will need to provide them with your account number so they know the specific account into which the funds are to be deposited. You’ll also need your account number if you want to send or receive a wire transfer, or transfer money between accounts at different banks.
How do you find your account number on a cheque?
The easiest way to find your account number is to look at a cheque associated with that specific account. At the bottom of the cheque is a row of numbers, each one in different groupings. The last group of numbers will be seven to 12 digits, depending on your financial institution. This is your account number.
If you go to your online banking portal to print a void cheque, it might even say “account number” to help avoid any confusion. But if not, just remember that it’s the seven- to 12-digit number on the bottom of your cheque.
Other ways to find your account number
Looking at a cheque is not the only way to find your account number. If you bank online, log into your account and you’ll find the account number listed on each account. Although in some cases, it might be prefaced by a transit number and a dash.
Similarly, you can check your bank statements, which will sometimes list your account number. To verify your account number, you can also call your bank or visit a branch in person.
Make sure to keep your bank account number confidential so you can safeguard your money and prevent fraud. You may share it for specific reasons, such as to get paid via direct deposit or to receive money from a trusted family member or friend.
Other banking numbers you should know
Knowing how to find your account number is handy, but you may need to know some other bank numbers, as well, for transactions such as setting up automatic deposits, automatic payments or withdrawals from your bank account. Other bank numbers you should know include:
- Transit or branch number: A five-digit number that identifies the branch at which you opened your bank account.
- Bank or institution numbers: A three-digit number that identifies the bank holding your account.
- Routing number: A combination of transit and institution numbers, which is usually eight digits long, used to process transactions.
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