Financial institutions around the world transact billions of dollars daily. The complex banking system has become more technologically advanced than ever to ease the manual burden of checks and balances. To establish financial credibility, financial literacy has value. Opening up a bank account is imperative in a quest to learn the financial world. For example, critically important information to have when opening a bank account is a legal name, social security number, date of birth, and address. After opening the account and getting a new set of checks, there are two sets of numbers that ensure that financial transactions flow as directed.
The two sets of numbers to identify any bank-related customer and transact business are the routing number and the account number. Both the account and routing number on checks play a pivotal role in how direct deposits, bank wires, check payments, and other forms of business relations are handled. Therefore, it is essential to distinguish the routing vs account number.
The Routing Number
There is the first set of nine distinct digits on the bottom of a check, which is the routing number on a check. This is part of a series of numbers that appears to have no real relevance, but after further analysis, these numbers are vital and are coded for particular purposes. The routing number is specific to a financial institution and is available to the public. In many cases, it is posted on websites and other correspondence. There are three sets of numbers in succinct order at the bottom of the check, but the routing number is always embedded as the first set.
There is a character symbol located at the end of the routing number. The character symbol is not to be confused for part of the routing number. Instead, think of this symbol as a period at the end of a sentence. It ends the routing number part of the numerical series and introduces the bank account number.
What Is the Bank Account Number?
The account and routing number on checks work together to ensure that funds go from a designated account and end up in the correctly assigned account. However, it is critical to distinguish the uniqueness of each number. The account number is like a digital fingerprint for each customer’s bank account. The combination of numbers does not overlap with other institutions due to government oversight and bank privacy. The account number is almost always on preprinted checks and is a requirement for any remittances.
An analogy can be used to answer the question “What is the bank account number?” The bank account number is like an address, whereas the routing number is like a ZIP code. Once the funds get to the financial institution (the ZIP code), monies are deposited into a specific account (the address). They work hand in hand with each other.
The account number is composed of 10 digits. It is generally located as the second set of numbers following the nine-digit routing number. Account numbers will change in correlation to the number of active accounts at a financial institution. Unique account numbers are necessary to ensure the ease of accountability and monitoring for the account holder.
The third set of numbers should not be confused with the second grouping of 10 digits. The third set of numbers is the check number.
Check Processing Companies
It is well noted that the two main criteria to process checks are the account and routing numbers. Any reputable check writing company, provides businesses with a convenient way to issue checks on time. Therefore, they ensure that each client remains in good standing with their vendors. Checkissuing quickly delineates the difference between a routing vs account number to minimize any errors in check processing. Thus, there is little chance of transactional errors.
A check processing company may also process EFT payments. Again, the routing and account numbers are essential in the remittances to ensure that there are no errors in the processing of payments. Once all of the bank data (mainly the routing and account number) is properly inputted, both the vendor and payor have no concern about a timely completed transaction.
In addition to understanding the security associated with both the routing and account numbers, there are further safety measures that improve the security of a check. Other security measures offered through some check processing companies might include heat detection, foil holograms, and anti-copy technology. Ultimately, productivity and business acumen increases while check writing and expenditure resolutions are handled with less stress.
Although a routing number and account number are always found on a check, an online bank account will provide both numbers if ever needed when a physical paper check can’t be located. The two sets of numbers are especially important when trying to set up direct deposits and bank drafts, whether weekly, monthly, or quarterly.
The series of numbers printed at the bottom of a check is strategically placed. They are identifying markers for not only the bank but also the account holder. Knowing how many digits are in both a routing and account number prevents unforced errors during financial transactions, which could compromise a deal or an account holder’s good standing. Remember that the first nine digits are the routing number, and the second 10 digits are the account number. The last few digits, outside of the routing and account numbers at the bottom of the check, are earmarked as the check number.
Once one can easily deduce numbers immediately, a check is no longer a confusing document with just a bunch of numbers that have no meaning. The check has a combination of identifiers to keep the financial transaction safe, sound, and professional. A great benefit of a check is that it is designed in a computer-readable font, which is another security characteristic that also enhances processing times.
The account and routing number are designed to ensure that money arrives in the correct account. Most often, both numbers are essential to complete many of today’s bank transactions successfully. A routing number is available to the public and is needed to identify the correct financial institution. In contrast, the account number is private and is unique to the account holder of the bank.
At Checkissuing, we offer customized check templates that can include logos, notes, marketing, or other valuable messaging along with the standard account and routing numbers. We also use MICR (magnetic ink character recognition) technology to provide an added layer of security, increase the speed of processing information, and decrease exposure to check fraud. If you’d like to learn more about our printing, mailing, or check writing services, contact us today.