How to Open an eCheck Account

The popularity of the Internet has led many traditional brick-and-mortar financial institutions to start offering electronic checking accounts. With an eCheck account, you not only can access every aspect of the checking account online, you often can open up the account entirely over the Internet. The exact process for opening up an eCheck account varies depending on the financial institution, but follows the same basic steps.

Choose an account

Depending on the bank, you might have several options for electronic checking accounts. For example, Bank of America offers two types of checking accounts -- a basic one and an interest-earning one. Pick the one that best meets your checking needs based on minimum deposit requirements, monthly fees and account features.

Meet minimum requirements

To open a checking account, most banks require that you:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a United States citizen
  • Have a valid Social Security number
  • Possess a valid photo ID like a driver's license

Fill out an application

From the checking account's webpage, click on the link "apply now" to access the online application. Some banks also let you call the customer service line or visit an online branch to open an account. The application asks for:

  • Personal information such as your name, address, phone number and email address
  • Income data such as annual salary, monthly rent or mortgage payments and employment status
  • Identity information including Social Security number, date of birth and mother's maiden name

Tips

  • If you have a traditional checking or savings account already with that bank, you may be able to log into your existing account and use the information on file to automatically fill in the application for the eCheck account.

If you want to add a joint account holder, you'll have to provide the same information for her.

Fund the account

To move money into your new account, you can use a credit or debit card, link an outside checking or savings account, or move money over from an account at the same bank.

Tips

  • When linking an outside account, you'll need that bank's routing number, your account number and the amount you want to transfer.

Some banks have minimum deposit requirements when opening an account. For example, Chase's Total, Premier Plus and Student Checking accounts require a $25 minimum deposit, while the Chase Premier Platinum Checking account needs $100 to get started.

References

About the Author

Lindsey Thompson began her writing career in 2001. Her work has been published in the Cincinnati Art Museum's "Member Magazine" and "The Ohio Journalist." You'll also find her work on websites like Airbnb, Chron.com, and USAToday.com. Thompson holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.