Putting an electronic fund transfer through successfully relies on having the right bank routing number, which is often surprisingly hard to find. In the current scenario where these numbers change and customers remain unaware, we examine the steps you need to follow to find the right routing number fora bank account. Below we also examine the many problems that incorrect bank routing numbers cause, and how finding the right one when making a bank transfer is not a difficult issue if you follow the process outlined below.
The importance of a routing number
Routing numbers are associated with a bank as a whole and often big banks will have more than one. Each routing number usually consists of nine digits, is unique and is used to identify the bank that it is assigned to. A routing number is needed in case an electronic fund transfer has to be received in your account. Also when you need to set up an automatic payment for a loan or a monthly bill payment a bank routing number is required.
Start by looking for a routing number in your check book
The first place you should check for a routing number for your bank is on your check book. Issued with a checking account, a check book will normally have the routing number printed next to your account number. Often the routing number will be placed to the left of the account number on a check leaf.
Find the routing number via your bank’s app or on the Internet
With the increased prevalence of bank apps many customers do their banking on their mobile devices. Hence routing numbers are often available on such apps and banks take steps to ensure that such information is always up to date. Additionally since routing numbers are associated with banks and not unique to an individual such as account numbers, they are often available publicly. You can therefore find routing numbers on the website of your bank and also in websites that specialize in collecting routing numbers.
Check your account statement
Once you have logged into your account on the bank’s website you can easily get your bank’s routing number. In case you cannot find it you can check your account statement which is available online on your bank’s website.
Go through your printed account statement
In the case of smaller banks that do not have a website, you can opt to go through an account statement on paper. As a printed account statement will normally have your bank’s routing number on it. Importantly the routing number will be accurate especially if the account statement has been generated recently.
Problems arising from using wrong routing number
Using a wrong routing number can result in payments for loans not going through and deposits to your account being rejected. Even when such errors happen banks charge fees, so you will end up losing money or having to pay penalties.
Routing numbers change when smaller banks are acquired by larger ones. Also in cases when two banks merge a new routing number can be assigned to a branch. Importantly, when banks merge or are taken over customers are not aware immediately of changes that happen to a routing number and this can result in failed wire transfers. However, by checking with customer support over the phone you can quickly get the new numbers.