How to set up an online checking account in 5 steps Creating an online bank account is easier than it sounds—you can even do it from your mobile phone. May 15, 2023 View TranscriptTranscriptSo much of life is online these days, and that includes managing your money through an online checking account. With a online checking account, you can check your balance, deposit a check, transfer funds and authorize payments all from your mobile phone, tablet, or computer. Ready to set up an online checking account for yourself? You can do it in five easy steps.First, research your options. Look for valuable features, like fraud protection, early pay, no fees, and cash back rewards that can help you get the most out of your online checking account.Once you find the online checking account that’s right for you, you’ll likely need to create a profile on the bank’s website. Make sure you choose a password that wouldn’t be easy for anyone to guess.Next, enter your personal information. Most banks ask that you provide a few details, such as your full name, date of birth, social security number, and contact information to securely open your online checking account.Fourth, select your checking account type. Some banks offer several options and you may have to indicate whether it will be your account, a joint account or another account type.Finally, it’s time to fund your new online checking account. If there’s a minimum deposit requirement, you’ll need to add that amount or more to get started. The easiest way to fund your account is to make an online transfer from your current bank into your new checking account.Ready to open an online checking account that’s mobile friendly, with cash back rewards and no fees? Visit discover.com/checkingaccount to get started today. These days, a lot of your life is managed from your phone, and that includes managing your money. An online checking account allows you to check your balance, deposit a check, transfer funds, and authorize payments all from your mobile device, tablet, or desktop. Plus, when your checking account is digital, you don’t have to rely on the 9-to-5 schedule of a brick-and-mortar bank. These are just a few of the many benefits of an online checking account. If you don’t know how to create a checking account with these always-on mobile features and more, you’ll be happy to know that creating an online bank account is pretty straightforward if you know what you’re doing. In just five simple steps, you can have the right checking account for your lifestyle with features like cash back rewards, no fees, and early pay days when you set up direct deposit. Are you wondering, “What do I need to open a checking account online?” Once you learn how to set up an online checking account with the steps below, you can start managing your money with confidence and peace of mind wherever you are, at any hour of the day. 1. Research your options As you’re learning how to set up an online checking account, you’ll first want to research the different features of potential checking accounts. Not sure what to look for? Before creating an online bank account, look for the following checking account features: Cash back rewards: Some online banks offer cash back rewards when you use your debit card. One example: Discover Cashback Debit allows you to earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month.1No fees: As you’re creating an online bank account, you might consider ways to avoid bank fees. Check your bank’s policies on fees for overdrafts, insufficient funds, ATM withdrawals, or wire transfers, and look into the benefits of a no-fee checking account.Mobile check deposits: Most online banks accept deposits by mail, ACH transfer, wire transfer, and direct deposit, but one of the most convenient ways to deposit money is through a mobile banking app. With mobile deposits, you can snap a photo of a check and deposit it while on the go. Earlier pay days: When you have bills to pay, you want your paycheck as soon as possible. Some checking accounts can help with that. For example, with Discover Cashback Debit, you can get your direct deposits up to two days early when you set up direct deposit.2 Readily available ATMs: As you’re learning how to create a checking account, keep in mind that some online banks may not have branches where you can withdraw cash. As a result, no-fee ATMs that are easy to access can make all the difference. An easy-to-use mobile app: A user-friendly mobile app allows you to deposit checks, review automated monthly bill payments, and set up new payments with just a couple of taps. Fraud protection: If someone ever uses your debit card without your permission, you don’t want to be left on the hook. Fraud protection can give you peace of mind in knowing that you’ll be reimbursed for any unauthorized charges. 2. Create a profile As you’re learning what you need to open an online bank account, keep in mind that the next step in the process typically involves creating an online profile. To do this, you’ll need a username and password. Try to choose a long password that has a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. Make sure your password isn’t used for other accounts and doesn’t rely on personal information such as your birth date. If you already have a relationship with the financial institution through a credit card or loan, you may not have to spend the time creating an online bank account from scratch. Instead, you may be able to use your same login information when you open an online checking account. 3. Enter your personal information As you’re considering what you need to open an online bank account, you should keep in mind that most online institutions require applicants to fill out a simple application with personal and contact information. During this step of the process, you might need to provide the following information: Your full name and date of birth Answers to security questions that only you would knowYour Taxpayer Identification Number (often a Social Security number)A U.S. mailing address (not a P.O. box) and possibly a previous addressYour email address and phone number 4. Pick an account type As you’re considering “What do I need to open a checking account?” you’ll want to give some thought to the type of checking account you’re interested in opening. Some financial institutions offer different options, including individual accounts, joint checking accounts, and Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) accounts. As you’re creating an online bank account, keep in mind that you’ll need to provide personal and contact information for the joint account holder, trustees, or custodian. 5. Fund your account Next, you’ll need money in your checking account before you can start using it. To make an initial deposit, you can transfer funds directly from another bank or via a mailed check. While not every financial institution requires a minimum deposit, they can sometimes range from $25 to $100. Using your new checking account Now that you know how to set up an online checking account, you’ll likely just be a few days away from being able to use it. After receiving your debit card and/or checks in the mail, you’ll be able to create your personal identification number (PIN) so you can use your new debit card. In the meantime, you may be able to use your online account to transfer funds and pay bills online. As you’re looking into how to create a checking account online, keep in mind that rewards, lack of fees, and access to a network of no-fee ATMs are all benefits that could come with your new checking account. With just a few steps, you’ll be well on your way for easy, convenient, on-the-go banking. You now understand how to set up an online checking account, but what about a savings account? Check out some helpful points to consider as you decide whether to open a checking account or savings account (or both). 1 ATM transactions, the purchase of money orders or other cash equivalents, cash over portions of point-of-sale transactions, Peer-to-Peer (P2P) payments (such as Apple Pay Cash), online sports betting and internet gambling transactions, and loan payments or account funding made with your debit card are not eligible for cash back rewards. In addition, purchases made using third-party payment accounts (services such as Venmo® and PayPal®, who also provide P2P payments) may not be eligible for cash back rewards. Apple Pay® is a trademark of Apple Inc. Venmo and PayPal are registered trademarks of PayPal, Inc. Samsung Pay is a registered trademark of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Google, Google Pay, and Android are trademarks of Google LLC. 2 Early Pay is automatically available to checking, savings (excluding IRA savings) and money market customers who receive qualifying ACH direct deposits. At our discretion, and dependent on the timing of our receipt of the direct deposit instructions, we may make funds from these qualifying direct deposits available to you up to 2 days early. See our Deposit Account Agreement for more information. Articles may contain information from third-parties. The inclusion of such information does not imply an affiliation with the bank or bank sponsorship, endorsement, or verification regarding the third-party or information.