Opening a personal account online takes just a few minutes, and you can get it done in the comfort of your home. At Minnwest Bank, you can easily open a checking, CD or saving’s account online. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to open a checking account online, so you can be up and running with a few keystrokes.

Who qualifies to open a checking account online?

To open a checking account online in the U.S., you have to meet the following criteria:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • A U.S. citizen

How to open a checking account online

To open a checking account without going to the bank, you’ll want to gather up your documents and have them at the ready. While you’re at it, make sure you’re working with a secure online connection. While a bank’s website is encrypted, don’t take your chances on a public Wi-Fi network.

Social Security Number: The bank uses this information to verify your identity, meet governmental requirements and to check your credit history.

Government-issued ID: Your driver's license, passport, state ID or military-issued ID all can be used to help the bank verify your identity. Just make sure your ID hasn’t expired.

Funds for an initial deposit: Many banks ask for a minimum deposit. Before you get rolling on the online application, confirm the amount and find your cash source:

  • Existing accounts. Whether you plan to transfer funds from a savings or checking account, you’ll want to get your account number and bank routing number ready. In many cases, you can also use a debit or credit card; just make sure you also have the expiration date and the three-digit card-verification code listed on the back of the card.

Your current contact information: As you might have already suspected, the bank will want all the other essential details, including:

  • Your current mailing address
  • Your full name
  • Your date of birth

Will the bank do a hard credit pull for opening a checking account?

No, but’s its always smart to consider this before you open an account, because a hard credit check can lower your credit score by five points. In most cases, opening a checking account wouldn’t trigger a hard credit pull. But there are two important ways your financial history can fit in with opening a checking account.

A hard credit inquiry means that:

  • The lender will look at your credit history to make sure you’re a good credit risk.
  • That review will be noted on your credit report.

To learn more, read Hard pull versus soft credit inquiry: What are they and why do they matter?

ChexSystems report: Some banks conduct a different type of credit check for new customers, conducted by a reporting agency for banks called ChexSystems. Unlike a hard credit pull, which examines your payment history and credit usage, ChexSystems compiles any past problematic banking behaviors, including: involuntary account closures, frequent overdrafts, unpaid balances and fraud. If you have any unpaid balances at another bank, you may want to resolve those before opening a new account to clear your name.

Is it safe to open a checking account online?

Opening a checking account online is perfectly safe. Because you will be submitting personal information, there are some precautions you will want to take before you enroll.

Watch for fakes

Make sure you’re not signing up at a convincing-looking fake website. Check to see if they’re backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC). Check for the logo on the bank’s website, and use the FDIC’s search tool to confirm your bank’s status.

Practice safe online banking

When signing up, use a secure internet connection. Steer clear of using a public Wi-Fi signal, where hackers can potentially get hold of your personal details as you enter them into the field.

Create a secure password

Of course, you’ll want to use best practices when creating a password. Include a number, a unique character and capital letters, so it’s harder for cyberthieves to crack the code and raid your account.

For additional safe online banking practices, read Mobile banking 101: Why it's safe and convenient.

Digital service with a personal touch

Just about every bank lets you open an account online. Convenience is always great. But what happens if you’re dealing with a major money matter? That’s where it helps to have a community banker as a resource you can trust. When you open an account at Minnwest Bank, you’ll receive friendly, personal service from bankers with a passion for helping customers make smart money decisions. You’ll never feel like just another account.

When it comes to major money matters, it’s good to know that the experts at Minnwest Bank are right in your community. If you’re looking to take your money to the next level, our personal bankers are here to help you get things done. While Minnwest currently offers personal online banking, online banking for businesses will be available in the near future. Learn more about our personal checking accounts and other convenient online and digital services today!


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