How to Open a Checking Account
While opening a checking account is a simple process, it requires some preparation. Let’s go through the four most frequently asked questions about opening a checking account to make sure you choose the right account for you, bring the necessary documents, and understand your options for opening the account online or in person.
1. Which checking account is right for you?
The right checking account type for you depends on a variety of factors, such as how frequently you plan to use a debit card, if you plan to receive a direct deposit, if you keep a higher balance in your account, and even your age and choice of opening a single or joint account. Most financial institutions offer a variety of checking accounts based on these factors, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the options, either online or with the help of a banker, before deciding which one is right for you.
2. Which documents do I need to provide when I open a checking account?
It is always a good idea to bring your photo ID whenever you visit the bank so you’re able to verify your identity. When you’re opening a new account of any kind, you’ll need to bring a few additional documents or pieces of information, such as:
- At least one form of photo ID
- Social security number
- Date of birth
- Proof of address
- A deposit to put into your new account
If you’re opening a joint account, be sure that both owners of the account are present, and both have the appropriate documents needed when opening the account.
3. Can you open a checking account online?
Although it’s more common to open a checking account in-person at a branch, many financial institutions – including Bankers Trust – allow individuals to open accounts online. Opening an account online offers a convenient option for people who don’t live near a branch, have a schedule that conflicts with a bank’s operating hours, or simply prefer to go through the process at home.
Use caution if you plan to complete the process of opening a checking account online while using public Wi-Fi, as you will be entering personal information into your device while connected to an unsecure network. If possible, use a secured Wi-Fi network any time you’re opening an account or interacting with your financial institution online.
4. What is the benefit of opening a checking account with a banker?
While it may be convenient to open an account online, there are many benefits to going through the process in a branch with a banker. Firstly, a banker can provide a more in-depth explanation of different checking account options available to you, fees to be aware of, as well as additional products you may benefit from. Secondly, if you have any questions during the process, you can address them right away by asking your banker instead of having to call a customer support line. And lastly, if you’re a first-time customer, opening a checking account is a great time to get acquainted with your banker so you know who to contact if you need assistance in the future.