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Like a fingerprint identifies a person, your checking account number identifies your unique bank account at your financial institution. Each of your accounts — such as a personal checking account and a business checking account — will have its own account number.
Checking account numbers are critical to know when setting up direct deposit, paying bills, ordering checks and more. Rest assured, though, that you can easily find your checking account number on your bank statement, physical checks and oftentimes online. This article covers what you need to know about checking account numbers.
What is a checking account number?
Your checking account number is a critical piece of information, as it identifies your unique bank account. It’s a string of numbers — typically consisting of 10 to 12 digits — that lets the bank know which account to withdraw funds from or deposit them in.
For example, you’ll be asked to provide your checking account number when signing up for direct deposit with your employer or when setting up a peer-to-peer payment app.
Where to find your checking account number
Your checking account number can often be found in several different places. Here’s exactly where to look.
On your checks
You can find your account number at the bottom of a physical personal check. It is the second set of numbers, located to the right of your nine-digit routing number and the left of your check number. As mentioned above, it typically consists of 10 to 12 digits.
On your bank account’s online portal
Like much of your bank account information, your checking account number can also be found online. Exactly where your account number appears online will differ from bank to bank, but you’ll generally need to login securely with your account credentials first. Wells Fargo, for example, shows your checking account number directly under your account name, while Regions Bank displays your account number in your Account Details area.
On your bank account statement
Additionally, your checking account number can often also be found on your online or paper account statement, which you receive on a monthly basis. You can typically find your checking account number at the top of the statement near other identifying account information.
Calling or visiting your bank
As is the case with nearly any bank account information you may be curious about, it never hurts to contact the bank itself. Give your bank’s customer service line a call or visit a local branch — someone can assist you in identifying your checking account number.
Routing vs. account number: What’s the difference?
Your checking account number is separate from the routing number it often appears next to, and it’s important to differentiate between the two — especially when setting up a direct deposit or making any other kind of financial transaction.
Your routing number is the nine-digit number that appears to the left of your account number on physical, paper checks. The routing number identifies the financial institution — and sometimes the location of that financial institution — where your account was opened. Routing numbers are used by banks to direct the exchange of funds from one financial institution to another.
Routing numbers originated from the American Bankers Association to manage the process of the distribution of paper checks. Routing numbers are sometimes called ABA routing numbers (typically for paper checks) or American Clearing House (ACH) numbers (typically for electronic transfers and withdrawals).
How to protect your checking account number
As it is with any sensitive financial information, you should make sure to safeguard your checking account number. While the checking account number is visibly displayed on physical checks, it’s still important to keep your account number as private as possible.
If someone were to learn your checking account number along with other personal information (such as your routing number, name, address or driver’s license number), they may be able to withdraw funds from your account. A simple way to protect yourself from fraud is to be thoughtful and cautious about who you give your checking account number to, and to regularly review your bank statements. If you notice any unauthorized transactions, contact your bank immediately.