It's generally easier to get a checking account online. It can take just minutes there's no need for signatures or branch visits.
If your account is with a traditional bank you will have the option to conduct most or all of your business online or at a local bank branch. If it’s with an online-only bank, unless you are granted access to an ATM network, everything you do will be done online.
Hi! Thanks for writing! I think it is much “easier” to take care of opening an account online than in person, although it’s sometimes nice to interact with and chat with people in person. If you go in person to open a bank account, you need to take ID documents whereas online you usually just enter info and provide no photo id. A few banks will have you scan and upload ID documents but most won’t. So you can save time and the hassle of digging out passport/birth cert if you open an account online. You still have to enter all the same ID data, but if your passport is stuck in a weird drawer in a back closet it means you don’t have to dig it out, drive to the bank, wait in line, show them the documents, take the time to sit there while the account is opened, drive home, and then - KEY! – remember to put that passport back in that weird drawer and not forget and put it somewhere different and then not be able to find it the next time you need it! It may be, also, that your local bank or credit union doesn’t have an online open feature, so in that case you will need to go in person. Online banks like Etrade and Ally and others don’t usually have branches, so everything has to be done online. So good luck with opening your account, and don’t forget to safely put away any documents you get out!
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