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Bank accounts are essential in today's technological age. From proper check-and-balance of spending to paying the bill and transferring funds, the benefits of having a bank account seem unending.
Opening an account is an easy process. However, certain information, documents, and other factors, such as eligibility factors, must be considered when deciding your preferred bank to open an account with.
This article focuses on all you need to know about opening a bank account online or in person, the documents you need, and the general process to follow.
All the Documents and Information You Need to Open a New Bank Account
Several documents are required from an individual seeking to open a bank account. Ideally, the documents are the same regardless of the bank you choose. Similarly, age limitations depend on the type of account, for example, a savings account, checking account, or certificate deposit account.
The list of documents needed to open a bank account is categorized based on proof of identity and proof of address and includes the following:
Proof of Identity
The primary essence of the documents under this category is to prove that the holder is truly a regional citizen and observes legal duties.
1. A valid government-issued ID card may include a driver's license, passport, or photo ID. The critical significance is that the document is legal and direct from the government.
2. You'll need a social security card, taxpayer identification number, birth certificate, or phone number. Or the combination of at least two.
Proof of Address
This is to prove the holder's residency status, including the holder's name and other vital information.
- Mortgage document.
- Lease document.
- Utility bills and credit card or bank account statements.
Note: depending on the bank, you might be required to make an initial deposit.
In certain situations, you might be required to provide other documents before finally opening the account:
A student’s checking account: opening this type of account will require students to provide proof that they are students of an institution, and it can be in the form of an acceptance letter or school ID.
A joint account: This type of account is owned and managed by two or more individuals. To open this account, you must provide the signatories' details.
Combined, both categories—proof of identity and proof of residence—seek to prevent illicit actors who might want an account for several purposes, including fraudulent activities.
What to do if you are Missing any Information
If you have a missing document that is part of the requirements for opening a bank account, you might need help with the entire process. It would be best if you didn’t panic; there’s a way out, however:
- Decide the bank and account types: The first move will be to visit the bank you want to open an account with and the type of account you desire. Request the required information and documents to open the specific bank account.
- Know your options: In some instances, not all documents are compulsory; certain documents might replace some with a similar paper to serve the same purpose. For example, if you’re requested to provide your driver's license, you can replace that with a government passport. This is because all the bank needs is a government-issued document, in this case—it’s essential to know your options.
- Check your documents: Compare the document you have with those required for the banks and their corresponding alternative. You might think you need to get all the documents, but all you need is a related document in your possession.
- Missing document: After going through the steps mentioned and finding a missing document, visit the institution in charge to have another issued. When going for this, ensure you go along with other documents.
What is the General Process of Opening an Account?
Opening a bank account is straightforward, and it doesn't matter if it's an online bank—as in NEO banks —or a traditional bank, the Brick-and-mortar one. They follow the same procedure. If you've answered, “what I need to open a bank account,” you're good to go.
Here's the general process for opening a bank account:
- Choose a bank: The first step is deciding what bank you'll use. Several factors can influence this, such as accessibility, charges & fee, etc.; weighing the pros and cons of each bank can be a great way to start.
- Eligibility status: Before opening a bank, you must be sure you meet the requirement for the account. The condition can be a minimum age of 18 for opening a checking account. In the case of a children's savings account, the condition will include having a guardian or parent open the account.
- Determine the account type: You can open different account types depending on the goal in mind. Examples include savings accounts, checking accounts, and joint accounts. Figure out what account type you desire and how it works for you.
- Provide the necessary information and document: This stage requires you to fill out all the required documents attached to your application form. It includes a government-issued ID, social security card, taxpayer identification number, birth certificate, phone number, etc. Filling out an application form is a simple process; ensure you double-check whatever information you entered to avoid errors and mistakes.
Opening a bank account at this age and time is very important, whether it's an online or a brick-and-mortar bank, it doesn't matter. The process is easy and takes a few minutes or hours, provided you have the proper documents.