How To Open A Bank Account

The basics of how to open a bank account are quite simple in the United States. However, when considering bank accounts in other countries and perhaps over the internet, the subject is a bit more complex. The primary thing you must start with is money. The amount of money a person has will be a partial determinant of what can be initiated. The more money a person has, the more variety of different types of accounts they can open. These accounts can be very basic or extremely complex. Some of these accounts are considered "bank accounts" even when they are not held at a bank, per se. At a traditional U.S. bank figuring out how to open a bank account is straight forward. Some would say that it is easy.

Generally, an individual can walk into any bank and find a piece of literature that the bank has published with their guidelines, and when a person meets those guidelines. The process of how to open a bank account is likely to include completing a basic registration form that includes a person's name, address, the person's social security number, and a signature. The registration form will explain obligations and limitations and any other disclosures required by law. After the form has been completed by the prospect, a representative will speak with the person. The individual will be asked to provide an identification card, such as a driver license. Often a copy of the license will be kept on-file. Or sometimes, the person is asked to complete a signature card which is compared to the license. Then, the signature card is kept on file. The representative will generally ask the person pointed questions about their finances. Depending upon getting certain answers the representative will determine the type of accounts that are appropriate for the person. The representative will explain each type and then recommend one or more accounts for the person to open.

A person interested in how to open a bank account in another country; like Spain for example, will come across a slightly different process. A person is asked to justify their status as a resident. There is a resident identification card that can be presented. If the person is not a resident, there are other options for furthering the process. Taking the person's passport (along with a photocopy of the passport) to the Direccion General de la Polica in Madrid, the individual would request a "non-resident certificate." The processing time for this document is approximately 10 days. When the certificate has been processed, it is presented with the passport to the officials of the financial institution. Or, the person could request that the financial institution take care of the paperwork to ascertain the non-resident certificate. The financial institution will gladly comply and charge a service fee for doing so. In Spain, there is no minimum deposit required as long as the deposit is made in Euros. However, utilizing a different currency will require a minimum. Most banks in Europe assess maintenance and service charges; especially when dealing with currencies other than Euros. Other than that, there is really no difference in how to open a bank account in Europe versus the U.S.

Typically, people who have never known how to open a bank account, open a savings and a checking account. For savings, there is normally a balance requirement and an activity limit. Additionally, most savings earn interest. For checking, there is rarely a balance requirement or activity limit, but may have service charges associated with certain checking transactions. "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." (Malachi 3:10)

A U.S. credit union is an institution very much set up like a bank. A credit union offers similar services as banks, however, the money put into these accounts become shares. There is no difference in how to open a bank account at the credit union except that the person is purchasing shares in the credit union and they become a member of the credit union. There is at least one criteria, in becoming a credit union member, that a person will not come across in establishing an account elsewhere. The individual must be a member of the union, group, or community that the credit union was established to serve. This could be a company, a town, or a municipality. Once a person has been established as a member of the group served, that person can transact business as a member. When the individual is no longer a member of the group, they do not have to close the account, but if by chance they do, the person cannot reopen an account without joining the group again.

The fundamentals of how to open a bank account are usually not difficult. Every country has its unique requirements. And each financial institution has its own benefits. It is up to the person and what their financial goals might be as to which financial institution they choose and what type of account they select. It is considered good money management to earn interest whenever a person is able to do so. The more complex the account type, usually means the more yield potential the account offers. Opening a savings or checking account is just the beginning of the financial scope of "bank accounts."

Internet Bank Accounts

Individuals and businesses use Internet bank accounts for convenience and cost savings. Web-based banking has revolutionized the way the world does business and created a more secure environment in which to conduct financial transactions. Instead of handling large sums of cash or trekking to a local bank branch to transfer funds, commercial enterprises and the everyday Joe on the street can simply log onto Internet bank accounts from any PC in any part of the world with web access. Businesses can handle paying bills, making payroll, and paying suppliers and vendors electronically without leaving the office. Individuals can bank while watching television or making a home-cooked meal. Home-based business owners can transfer money from one fund to another and check balances without getting dressed and trying to find parking or maneuver through the subway to get to a branch office.

Account holders have discovered that the good old days were not always the best ways of transacting business, especially when managing corporate and personal finances. Before the advent of the Internet, consumers had to visit a local branch bank to make deposits, withdraw funds, or order checks. Businesses and individuals could easily accumulate mounds of paper -- cancelled checks, withdrawal and deposit receipts, and bank statements -- by the end of each quarter. Withdrawing funds at an ATM or standing in a teller's line only served to make banking a burden rather than a convenience. And when financial institutions closed for holidays or promptly at five o'clock, account holders were often left without an alternative means of getting ready cash. But thanks to the Wordwide web and Internet bank accounts, businesses and individuals don't have to put up with outmoded and inconvenient financial transactions. Transfering funds and managing money is simple, quick and efficient with web-based banking. While Internet banking is keeps our worldly wealth safe, our true treasures must be hid in God. "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:20-21).

Commercial enterprises can also move money across several funds, such as transferring monies from money markets to payroll, without having to balance a checkbook or ledger. Financial institutions offering Internet bank accounts provide an electronic ledger of each transaction which can be accessed from any Internet-accessible PC. Business and personal account holders are issued a password-protected user identification number which allows them access to the bank's home page. Retail merchants, building contractors, electricians, and educators can pay bills electronically without having to spend hours standing in line or at the automatic teller machine. Companies can easily issue electronic paychecks to workers with direct deposit via Internet banking. Monies transferred electronically usually post immediately and are available for immediate access. Employees have the option to withdraw or transfer funds electronically or stop by the local branch office to conduct personal financial affairs.

The advantage of owning one or more Internet bank accounts is not only the ease of funds transfer, but also the convenience of being able to monitor and manage financial affairs from nearly any PC with Internet access. Imagine a busy executive or sales associate who travels regularly from state to state or out of the country. Traveling with large sums of money is out of the question and out-of-town checks are not always accepted. By using corporate web-based banking and bank-issued credit cards, traveling salespersons and busy corporate executives don't have to hassle with finding a branch office to make personal or business transactions. A credit card linked to an online account is much more efficient and secure than handling corporate checks. Funds can be added electronically through the home office and transactions can be monitored online to avoid excessive spending and to account for expenditures. Corporate finance departments can track hotel and car rentals, airline fares, gratuities, conference fees, and any expense incurred by traveling executives.

Once business or personal passbooks are opened with minimum required deposits, owners of Internet bank accounts are issued a password-protected user Identification number to access accounts via the issuing bank's home page. Banking sites are secure and owners' personal identification, such as Social Security numbers, routing and account numbers are kept safe. Secure websites will usually include an icon shaped like a tiny lock. This means that private information entered into any electronic database is kept confidential and any transactions are off limits to hackers. A digital record of each transaction, including date and amount of deposit or withdrawal, along with fees and credits, is accessible to owners of Internet bank accounts. By opening web-based accounts, commercial and personal holders can enjoy managing finances in a paperless environment. There is no threat of theft or loss of funds and deposits are insured up to $100,000 by the Federal Insurance Deposit Corporation. Linking several accounts ensures a smooth transfer of funds and enables owners to pay vendors, employees, and overhead expenses all online, depending if payees also own electronic accounts.

The Internet is not only changing the way the world does business, but it also transforms managing personal and commercial finances from a tedious chore to a simple click of a computer mouse. Twenty-four hour accessibility to funds, the convenience of worldwide money management from any Internet-accessible PC, and the security of web-based accounts with password protected access all make the decision to switch to Internet bank accounts a no-brainer. Electronic, paperless banking is the wave of the future for individuals, for enterprises, and for anyone who wants to simplify money management.

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