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Updated on Tuesday, January 5, 2021
You can easily find your account number on the bottom of a check, among other places. Your account number is a critical component to your finances, as it tells the bank which specific account to transfer money to and from.
It is important to identify your account number before setting up electronic activity like online purchases, wire transfers or direct deposits. Failure to provide the correct account number could result in delayed or missing paychecks or payments on your monthly bills.
What is an account number?
An account number is a unique identifier for your personal bank account. It tells the bank exactly which account to take money from and which one it goes to. Typically, your account number is a string of 10 to 12 digits.
Your account number is essential to know because even though paper checks are not as ubiquitous today as they were in the past, the information that financial institutions need to facilitate a transaction between two accounts is the same. This is the case whether the transfer is initiated electronically or via check. Typically, the information banks require includes a specific account number, along with a routing number and other information.
4 ways to find your account number
On a check
The easiest way to find your account number is to look at your checks. An account number is typically located at the bottom of a check. It’s the second group of numbers from the left, next to your nine-digit routing number. Banks have varying amounts of digits — typically as many as 12 digits — in the account numbers they assign to their customers.
On your bank statement
If you don’t have a check, you may find your account number on your monthly bank statement. Look at the top of the document for a series of numbers labeled “account number.”
Through online banking
You may also look up your account number by signing into your online banking account via a mobile banking app or desktop computer.
If you have a savings account and a checking account at the same bank, you likely will have two different account numbers — one for each account. It’s important to know which account you intend to use for a given transaction before looking for the account number.
Make sure that you have secure internet access when pulling up financial information like this. It is never a great idea to conduct online banking via Wi-Fi at a coffee shop.
By calling your bank
If you still can’t find your account number, call your bank’s customer service department. Another option is to visit a local branch to ask for help in looking up your bank account.
Account number vs. routing number: What’s the difference?
Your account number is different from your routing number, which is used to identify the particular location in which your account was opened. Routing numbers consist of a string of nine digits, compared with the 10-12 digits typically in an account number, and can also be referred to as a routing transit number or ABA routing number.
Note that while your account number is unique to you, your routing number is unique to your bank’s location.