The convenience of Internet banking, also known as online banking, can simplify your life. You can check account balances, keep track of transactions, transfer money and pay bills at any time -- even during hours that traditional bank branches are closed. Most banks offer mobile apps so you can complete your online banking with your phone or other mobile device. Applying for online banking is simple, but you should have some basic information handy.
Apply for Online Banking with Your Current Bank
If you already have an established relationship with a bank, you don't have to apply for online banking. Simply enroll for online access to your account.
Step 1: Visit Your Bank's Website
Navigate to the link for online banking enrollment. If you have questions about the process and can't find the answers online, call your local branch for assistance.
Step 2: Provide Your Information
Provide your existing account number, name and contact information. Answer security questions when prompted.
Step 3: Set Up a Username and Password
Follow your bank's suggestions to create a strong and secure password that isn't likely to be known by others.
Step 4: Receive Confirmation
Your bank will email, text or call you to complete your online enrollment. Follow instructions to verify your online account
Apply for Online Banking with an Online-Only Bank
Some banks exist only online. They offer the same types of services as brick-and-mortar banks, such as checking and savings accounts, money market accounts and even 401k and retirement accounts. Research several online banks to determine the one that best fits your needs. For instance, some banks have higher savings account rates than others, and some may have lower fees.
Things You'll Need
Social Security Number
Identification such as Driver License or Passport
Previous address (if you've lived at your current address less than two years)
Bank account information to fund your online bank account
Step 1: Read the Online Bank's Disclosures and Policies
Research the business practices of the bank prior to opening the account. Make sure the bank is FDIC insured, which means your deposits are backed by the federal government.
Step 2: Choose the Type of Account That Fits Your Needs
Just like regular brick-and-mortar banks, online banks offer different types of checking and savings accounts. Look over the different features of each. Some have higher minimum balance requirements, for instance. Many online banks also offer other types of accounts such as money markets or Certificates of Deposit.
Step 3: Provide Your Personal Information
Follow the prompts to sign up for an online account. Your online bank will ask you for your personal information such as name, address, phone number and email address.
Online banks require that you have an email account. These banks don't offer physical branches and typically try to save money by communicating with customers via email instead of mailing paper statements and letters.
Step 4: Choose a Username and Password
Provide a username and password that you'll use to log into your account.
Step 5: Fund Your Account
Provide the online bank with the account number for your regular bank account with which you'll fund your online account.
Step 6: Wait for Account Confirmation
Your online bank will send you an email or call you to complete your account set-up. Follow final instructions, then log onto the online banking site to complete transactions.