A routing number also referred to as an ABA (American Bankers Association) routing number consists of nine digits to help identify the location of where a check is drawn or where your funds are located. It does not identify your actual accounts. This number allows financial institutions — such as banks and credit unions — to trace where the money is coming from and where it is going, so as to not confuse one bank with another. Along with your bank account number, it is part of the information required for financial institutions to process direct deposits, checks, auto payments, and wire transfers.
How to Find the Routing Number
A routing number is public and readily available online.
- Visit your financial institution’s website and looking for the routing number or ABA number
- Open your financial institution’s mobile app
- Call your financial institution for the routing number
- Find a check and look for the routing number printed. It’s usually the first 9 digits at the bottom of the check and in between two colons.
When a Routing Number Needed
Whenever an organization needs to access your banking accounts, they will often ask for the routing number along with your checking account, savings account, or account number.
Some examples include:
- For paycheck direct deposited into your account
- To make electronic payments from your account
- For money transfers into your account for gigs you’ve done
- Setting up any type of ACH (Automatic Clearing House) transactions or EFT (Electronic Funds Transfers).
- Connecting different banking accounts for transfers between your accounts
Providing an incorrect routing number may cause your payments or deposits not to be credited properly. Always double-check to make sure you have the right routing number when signing up for payments or deposits.
Difference Between a Routing Number and Account Number
A routing number identifies the bank that’s responsible for money going in and out of your account. An account number identifies your specific account.
- Keep note that a single financial institution may have multiple routing numbers based on the region for which you opened the account.
- Keep your banking account, savings account, checking account numbers private. These numbers identify your actual accounts within the bank.
How to Find Routing Number on the ABA website
Lookup your financial institutions routing number on the ABA website by inputting a bank’s name and its location.