there are various details that you require to send money. A routing number is one of the essential details for sending money to other financial institutions. You should combine it with the recipient’s account number when transferring money to their accounts. Every bank has its routing number, which is usually a nine-digit code that helps to identify the financial companies. It is also called RTN (routing transit number) or ABA (American Bankers Association) routing number. The question is, is the routing number the same for everyone?
You will learn about the uniqueness of a routing number and whether everyone should have their routing number or not. Some people usually confuse the routing number with the account number. The two are different, although very important when moving money from one financial company to the other. The account number identifies an individual account holder in a financial institution. That way, funds can move to a specific person and not just hang around.
One crucial thing you should note is that it does not just apply to banks. Every financial company usually has routing and account numbers. Therefore, credit unions and mobile wallets such as PayPal, Cash App, Venmo, and Payoneer, among others, have routing numbers. The reason is that they still need to receive payments from banks and credit unions.
How to get a routing number?
If you have a bank account, credit union account, or mobile money wallet account, you might be wondering where you can get your number to use when the need arises. You might be planning to make an instant wire transfer with routing and account number to another account in another bank or branch. That should not be hectic as you can get the number quickly.
There are various places where you can get the routing number. They include the following.
i) In your checkbook
Once you open a checking account with a bank or credit union, you usually get a checkbook upon request that you can use to write checks when making payments. On the check, there are three sets of numbers at the bottom. The routing number is among those sets of numbers. It is the nine-digit number printed in the bottom corner on the left of each check. The second group of digits from the left is your account number (usually 10 to 12 digits). The number furthest printed on the right is the check number.
ii) From your online banking
If you use online banking services, you can easily find your number in your account. Every financial company has placed the number somewhere within your online profile, and they usually give you steps to get it. Others display it openly on the top of your profile to see it immediately when you log in to your account.
For example, the US Bank allows you to find your routing number using your online banking by signing into your account online and choosing the applicable account. You can then see your account nickname, the last four digits of your account number, and routing numbers in the top box. You only need to select the last four digits link to get the full routing or account number.
Remember that the account number is still helpful if, for example, you want to send money with a checking account number instantly. Therefore, if someone wants to send you money, you know where to get the number and give them for the transfer. Account to account transfer within the same branch is usually instant unless there are technical hitches with the financial institution’s banking system.
iii) From your mobile banking app
Most banks nowadays allow you to manage your accounts via their apps. You only need to download your financial company’s app from the relevant sites such as the Google Play or App store depending on your smartphone’s or tablet’s operating system.
You can hover around your profile and find the routing number. Like it is with online banking, financial companies may display the number openly on your account to see it as soon as you log into your account.
iv) From your monthly statement
Every financial company usually issues monthly statements to show various transactions in your account. They can be in paper form or electronic. Usually, these statements come with your account and routing numbers.
v) Call customer care representative.
You can also call your customer care representative and ask for the routing number. The method is quick, especially if you have saved their number on your phone. Most financial institutions have set up automatic responses so that you do not have to wait in line to get assistance when you call. You follow automated prompts on your phone and get the number.
You can do various things by calling the customer care automated responses. They include bill payments, sending money, requesting a checkbook, etc. One can even transfer money from one card to another by phone call.
Is the routing number the same for everyone?
If you are new to banking and hearing about the routing number for the first time, you must wonder whether it is unique for everybody or a general number. Let me enlighten you on this. A routing number helps to identify a particular financial institution. I hope you remember me mentioning that earlier on. Therefore, the number is the same for everyone with an account with a financial institution.
You need to understand that, in the United States of America, some financial companies have different routing numbers for every state. Therefore, you can get the same bank with different routing numbers. That occurs if a bank has so many customers that they cannot handle them from one central point.
Above all, every financial company has a unique routing number to help in identifying it from other financial companies.
How do you use a routing number?
There are various ways you can use your routing number, and that is why it is vital. They include the following.
i) Set up direct deposits
If you are employed or receive government benefits, you will find a routing number very important. It goes hand in hand with your checking account number. To set up a direct deposit, you first get the direct deposit form from the concerned employer or agency, then fill in all the required details, including your account and routing numbers.
Apart from the routing and account numbers, you will need to provide other details such as the type of account (usually a checking account), bank name and address, and account holder’s name(s).
There are various payments that you can get via direct deposit. You can direct deposit paychecks, tax returns, government stimulus payouts, unemployment benefits, etc.
ii) Pay bills online or by phone.
When paying bills to a particular service provider, you usually require their account and routing numbers. You can set up auto payments online so that you do not have to remember all the time to make the deposits.
Another way to pay your debts is by using your phone using the automated system whereby you need to follow prompts as you enter the necessary details to complete your payments. Using a phone is easy as you only need to dial the necessary number, and you are good to go.
iii) Make wire transfers.
Wire transfer is one of the ways you can use to move money from your account to another person’s account in another bank or branch. You can transfer funds online using your banking services or your banking app. By the way, you can send money from a bank account without verification online. I know you might be wondering how.
Let’s take a good example of when you open an account online and have not submitted the necessary documents for verification. Usually, your bank or any other financial company allows you to send money using your account among other transactions activities. However, you usually get limitations on the amount of money you can transact with your account.
iv) Write checks
For faster and more effective processing of your check, you need the account and routing numbers. However, you do not have to write them in your check since they are usually printed on the checks already. You only need to fill in the necessary details, and you are good to go.
The reason why the routing and account numbers are necessary is to enable the institution that you deposit the check to know the financial institution where to draw the money from and the specific account.
Is it safe to give someone your routing number?
As I mentioned earlier, the routing number is the same for all account holders in a financial company. Therefore there is no harm if you give someone the routing number of your financial institution. There is no way they can use it to get money out of your account.
A routing number refers to a nine-digit code that helps to identify a financial company. Banks, credit unions, and mobile money wallets usually have routing numbers. When sending money to other financial companies, the number goes hand in hand with an account number.
You require routing and your account number to set up direct deposit, make wire transfers, write checks and pay bills online or by phone.