What is a Bank Routing Number? Types And How To Find With & Without A Check

What is a Bank Routing Number? While transferring funds from one account to another financial institution needs a routing number to identify the source and the recipient point of the transfer. The nine-digit routing number is used to direct the transfer of funds between two bank accounts or two different banks. The routing number directs about the location of the bank’s branch where you have opened your account. Typically the number is required for all banks or credit unions to trace the initiate or direct the fund transfer. The number is also known as Routing Transit Number or Routing ABA Number.

Along with your account number, check number and routing number financial institution can proceed for a direct deposit, checks, auto payments and wire transfer. One can find the routing number of his/her bank at the left hand bottom of the check. A nine-digit code with three comprising component can be found on every US based bank check.

How to Find a Routing Number

Routing numbers were created by the American Bankers Association (ABA) in order to streamline the processing and clearing of paper checks all across the United States. These routing numbers are also referred as ABA (American Bankers Association) routing number or ACH (American Clearing House) routing numbers. This can be found easily on a check, ABA’s official website or your individual bank’s website.

The routing number comprises of 9 digit out of which first four digits represent the Federal Reserve routing symbol. The next four digit is to identify the ABA institution and the last component, the ninth digit is the “check digit”. Absence of any of the single digit may lead to stoppage on your fund transfer, auto-payment or direct deposit.

How to locate the Routing Number on a Check

As the routing number is mandatory to direct a wire transfer, auto-payment or direct deposit so you can easily find it on your bank Check. Even if you don’t know your bank account number you can find both of them adjacent on your Check. See how you can find your routing number below

In the above mentioned image, the left nine-digit marked with yellow box is the routing number. You can find your bank routing number in the same way at your Check. Next to the routing number your bank account number is in the middle, and this is the unique identifier of your bank account.

The last three or four digit reflects your check number. The bottom right of the check is to mark all your financial transactions with a unique check number.

The unique or odd font used to print the number is known as magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) ans is printed in electronic ink which allows the banking institution to easily process the paper checks.

Find Routing Number Without a Check

Think you have lost your check book and you need to get some funds processed in or out of your bank account. Here are some ways to find your bank routing number without a check. As the routing number varies by bank and region, one bank can have multiple routing number as well, so it’s better to sure than loosing your hand earned money.

  1. Internet/Online Banking – You can find your routing number signing into your bank’s online banking or can be found in some mobile applications as well
  2. Bank Branch – You can find his routing number either by visiting the branch or calling your local branch. The branch where you have opened your bank account will serve you with the accurate information within a minute.
  3. Bank’s Website – If you are neither able to sign in to your internet banking nor having your check, you can move directly to your bank’s website and can find out your bank routing number. We advise you to please re-check your ban’s branch for accurate information. We have listed eight largest commercial bank of the United States hereĀ  where you can find their routing number.
  • Chase
  • Bank of America
  • Wells Fargo
  • Citibank
  • US Bank
  • PNC Bank
  • TD Bank
  • Capital One

4. ABA Website – You can also lookup a routing number on the ABA website just by entering your bank and branch name. On ABA’s official website you can also find this number for other financial institution as well.

Types of Routing Numbers

  1. ABA Routing Number – The ABA routing number is abbreviated as American Bankers Association because it was accredited by the same. ABA Routing Number applies to the paper check. Now a days majority of banks use the same routing numbers for both electronic and paper check. But for a better clarification some banks are still using ABA and ACH routing routings for the two types of transaction. ABA is also referred as the check routing number.
  2. ACH Routing Number – The ACH routing number is referred as the electronic routing number or the number of electronic transfers. You may find only a single routing number on some regional bank’s website which clearly reflects the presence of a single number for both electronic or paper check transactions.

Do You Need a Routing Number For an Overseas or International Transfer?

For an international or overseas transfer you need to serve your sender with a SWIFT code. Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is a code required by the sender to direct his bank for the international wire transfer. In common words we can say that the SWIFT code is an international version of a routing number. Just like a routing number, you can find it either on your bank website or you can ask your bank directly via phone.

You may also be asked for an IBAN number by your sender for a success overseas transfer. The IBAN is the International Bank Account Number which identifies your personal account in an international transaction. The IBAN is usually like your bank account number with a few additional digits added in an internationally recognisable format.

SWIFT and IBAN were both developed for the international identification system of financial institution. The local or regional banks of the United States uses the ABA system for local transfer and the SWIFT system for a multinational or a multi-currency transfer.


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