Opening an Instant Online Checking Account

It is possible, convenient, and easy to instantly open an online checking account. But, that all happens after you do the hard part. And that is reviewing the kinds of accounts available through a growing number of financial institutions. You are looking for what is both the best deal for you and the best fit for your specific needs.  That comparison shopping is necessary, unless you already know what account you want. For example, your brick-and-mortar bank or credit union might now be providing instant online checking accounts. You are acquainted with the details and are good to go. You will just go to its website and apply for an instant online checking account.

If you do not know your options, then you will also be going to the Internet. To connect to the web, you can use your computer or a gadget such as a smartphone. Type in the keywords “instant online checking accounts.”  At the financial institutions’ websites you will then compare and contrast terms and conditions. The key ones are:

  • Any annual or monthly maintenance fee and the details such as no fee if there is X amount of dollars as the balance.
  • Amount of minimum opening deposit.
  • Amount of minimum balance.
  • Overdraft fees and if they can be prevented through linking to an online savings account
  • Stop payment fees.
  • Interest rates. Beware of Introductory or teaser rates which usually end in several months to be replaced by a variable rate. Read the fine print.
  • Any cost for debit cards.
  • Availability of ATMs.
  • Rewards programs.
  • Easy access to help from the financial institution through phone or email. Remember, this is virtual banking.

The next step is then to go to the website of the financial institution providing the account you want to open. What it will require varies a little among financial institutions. But in many cases you will be expected to furnish for everyone whose name is on the account:

  • Full name.
  • Date of birth.
  • Complete physical address.
  • Social Security Number.
  • Phone number.
  • Email address (This is necessary since the account is virtual. Free email accounts can be created through a range of Internet Service Providers such as AOL and Search Companies such as Google.)
  • Identification information from a debit or credit card or checkbook.
  • General Identification established through the number from a driver’s license or government ID.
  • Promotional code if there is a special introductory offer.

There will be other items to insert such as a username and password, which you choose. Read all the fine print carefully. Then click on that you agree, that is, if you do agree. If you do not, contact the institution through phone or email with any questions or concerns.

You will be required to provide a deposit into the account. That can be done through a transfer of funds from a financial institution, a debit card, or scanning a check.

Within 10 minutes or less you will be notified if the financial institution approves your application. If it does, then make a record of the information you need from then on, ranging from minimum deposit to username/password. You have joined the digital generation who handle their routine financial transactions totally online.

Photo credit: kenteegardin / / CC BY-SA

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