To pay taxes or reorder checks you’ll need clear identification of a bank or an institution where your account is held. This is when routing numbers come in handy. Today we will discuss the most common use cases for bank routing numbers, and discover their types and main differences from the account numbers.
What is a Bank Routing Number?
A bank routing number is a nine-digit number used to identify a financial institution. It also goes by routing transit number(RTN) and an American Bankers Association(ABA) routing number.
ABA created this system in 1910 to streamline the circulation of paper checks. Even today newer payment methods, as well as Federal Reserve Bank and ACH Network, rely on routing numbers to identify the paying institution or process bill payments and other money transfers.
When You’ll Need your Routing Number
Bank routing numbers may be used in many scenarios, but generally, it’s not an obligatory piece of knowledge in everyday life. Still, it is essential for the banking systems and you could be contacted by banking staff to clarify this.
For example, you will sometimes be asked to provide the routing number for making payments by phone or online.
International Money Transfer
International money transfer is also a sphere where you would need those. For instance, to understand where your money needs to go or process international checks the bank will require a routing number as well.
Looking up a routing number is often used for making automatic bill payments, and paying paper and electronic taxes. It is especially useful for paying bills with payment apps like Venmo.
If your new job involves ACH depositing, you should contact your bank and inform them of your routing number. This also works for transferring money from your bank account to a retirement savings account and setting up direct deposits.
How to Find a Routing Number on a Check and Without It
Finding your routing number won’t be difficult. This nine-digit routing number is located in the lower left corner of every check in your checkbook.
Okay, so how to find a routing number without a check? In this case, there are several different ways to get the routing number:
- Bank website. The easiest up-to-date method to get your routing number without a check is to use the website or a dedicated mobile app if the bank has one.
- Contact the bank. Almost every bank today has a dedicated customer support service with people ready to help you out.
Routing Number vs. Account Number
The account number that you can find to the left of the routing number is an equally important identification. The account number is similar to a fingerprint or a customer ID, it is unique for each user.
Almost any transaction listed above requires both a routing number and an account number. If you need to look it up without a check, you could use the same methods as for the routing one.
Types of Routing Numbers
Despite being essentially used for the same thing, there are two types of routing numbers: ABA and ACH.
Automatic Clearing House routing numbers identify the clearinghouse of the bank. Institutions use them for electronic transfers in small payments. They are 9 digits numbers, and your bank may have one, or not.
ABA routing numbers encompass all routing numbers, which means ACH as well. Technically ACH numbers are ABA by definition. They have little difference, except ACH is mostly used for electronic payments. Everything we’ve discussed routing numbers can be implied to ABA RNs.
Digital Banking Made Simple
Your head is probably buzzing after all of this information. Fortunately, digital banking and payment solutions don’t have to be that complicated at all. For example, IPSI Pay offers a secure, fast and simple way to transfer money internationally, which anybody can use.
The currency and distance don’t matter, all you have to do is to download IPSIPay’s mobile app and create an account. Once you’re set, searching for payment solutions online won’t ever be a problem.