If you’re looking to try internet banking, the first step is to open a bank account online. Online banking has become increasingly popular because it allows you to manage your money on your schedule. Day or night, you can view your balance, deposit a check, and schedule transfers between accounts, all from your computer or mobile phone.
Here’s some of the information you’ll likely need to open a bank account online:
- Contact info (first and last name, address, phone number, and email address)
- Date of birth
- Social security number
- Username and password (you create these—keep them secret)
Signing up for a bank account online
With this information in hand, figure out which institution you’d like to sign up with. You can choose from a range of online banks (FDIC-insured institutions that meet a few key requirements).
Alternatively, you can sign on with a company that offers online banking services by partnering with FDIC-insured banks. Products offered may vary by banking service provider and their partner institutions. In Simple’s case, we partner with BBVA Compass to provide online checking accounts.
Creating your username and password
When you’re ready to open your new account, look for a link on the homepage of your chosen institution’s website, which will lead you through the signup process. For your account password, try to stay away from obvious things that others could guess—like birthdays, pet names, and the word “password.”
Try to use a passphrase, or a string of a few common words, that means something to you. This is harder for fraudsters and computer algorithms to guess and frequently easier for you to remember instead of a complicated password full of numbers and symbols.
Whatever you choose, be sure to make it unique. Don’t reuse a password from another online account. Check out this article to learn more about online banking security.
Once you’ve entered the information above and submitted it, the institution you’ve signed up with will review your information and verify your identity. During of the verification process, a company representative may contact you asking for additional proof that you are who you say you are.
Internet banks and banking service providers are constantly trying to prevent identity theft attacks. Ensuring that the applicant is who they say they are is part of that ongoing fight against those who try to commit bank fraud.
Activate your new card
After you’ve been approved for an online bank account, you’ll get your debit card (and instructions on how to activate it) in the mail. If your card is lost or stolen in transit, contact the bank.
If you’re signing up with Simple, send us a support message, or call us. In most cases, lost or stolen cards are deactivated, and a new card is ordered.
Get money into your new online bank account
To use your new activated card, you’ll need to fund your account. One easy way to do this is by connecting your new account with another bank account you own. Once they’re linked, you’ll able to move money in and out easily and start to spend from your card. Linking accounts isn’t a challenging task, but it tends to take a few days. Some online bank accounts and services, like Simple, are also set up to accept photo check deposits, and wire transfers.
Setting up direct deposit
If you’re ready to take the plunge and add income sources to your new account, have your employer deposit all (or a portion) of your paycheck into your account with direct deposit.
If you’re a Simple customer, all you need to do is fill out a form and give it to your employer, and payroll will make the switch for you.
Open an online bank account today
Now that you know the in’s and out’s of opening a bank account online, it’s time. With a Simple online checking account, we’ve said goodbye to fees, and you’ll have our entire customer support team on your side—just a click or call away. Ready?