Opening a bank account is so much simpler than it used to be. In most cases, you don’t even have to go into a bank to do it. With the advent of online banking, most banking ventures nowadays can be done online from the comfort of your home – and that includes opening an account.
But what if you don’t have a deposit to start up your account? Is it possible to open a bank account online with no deposit?
Opening a Bank Account Without a Deposit – Can You Do it?
The answer is yes! You can open a bank account online without a deposit. In fact, it’s your legal right in Canada to be able to do so. In Canada, all you need to open a bank account legally is a valid piece of identification.
That means that you don’t need to have a job or any money to put into the account right away. Furthermore, you still have the right to open a bank account even if you have claimed bankruptcy.
To open an account, all you need is a Government-issued piece of ID. This can include a Canadian Drivers Licence, a Passport, a Permanent Resident Card, or an Immigration Canada Form.
If you are not a Canadian citizen, you may still be able to open a bank account in Canada, but you will most likely have to go into a local branch to do it.
Two Types of Banking Accounts in Canada
In Canada, there are two main types of banking accounts; chequing and savings.
Your chequing account is what you use daily. This is the account by which you will make all of your daily transactions, pay your bills, and make your purchases. You can set your chequing account up for things like pre-authorized payments and withdrawal limits.
You can also use this account at ATM’s, to make debit transactions and to transfer money between accounts. In most cases, a chequing account will be the first type of banking account you open in Canada.
Your savings account is exactly what it sounds like – an account designed to help you save money. Funds within your savings account are still easily accessible, but withdrawal and transfer options are limited to help you accomplish your saving goals.
The type of account you open will depend on your individual needs. However, keep in mind that many banks do charge a monthly fee based on which type of account you open, so be sure to read all of the fine print before selecting which type of account you would like to open.
Why open my account online?
Several benefits come along with opening your account online. Firstly, you don’t have to actually visit a branch to do it. This can save you time, money, and gas.
In addition, you aren’t confined to opening your account during the bank’s opening hours. Rather, you can open your account anytime, whenever it is most convenient for you.
Secondly, opening your account online is quick and easy. Even if you aren’t well equipped in using computers, most banks have made the process of applying for a bank account extremely user-friendly and easy enough that anyone can do it. Most banks will walk you through the steps of filling out the online application in less than 10 minutes.
How to Open a Bank Account Online in Canada
You can open a bank account online with almost any major bank in Canada. Here in Canada, the top 5 banking institutions are:
Royal Bank of Canada
Bank of Montreal
Of course, there are many different banking institutions to choose from, so be sure to do your diligence and shop around until you find a bank that best meets your needs.
Once you have chosen a bank, head over to their website and look for the section that allows you to apply for an account online. Different banks will require different information, but to ensure a smooth process, you should have the following ready:
- Your home address
- Your date of birth
- Your SIN
- Your Government Issued ID
- Your Phone number and Email address
Once you have all of your information easily accessible, follow the steps listed on the website. Once your application has been accepted, a debit card will be sent to you in the mail, and you can start using your card right away.
Note: If you are under the age of 18, you will need a parent or guardian to oversee your account and will need their information as well.
What other types of banking can you do online in Canada?
Once you have created your bank account, you can do most of your banking online. That means you don’t even have to go into a branch to do most of your banking transactions. Instead, you can do your daily transactions from your home or work computer, from your laptop, tablet, or even your smartphone.
Once you have a bank account, you can sign up for your online banking account for free. The process is quick and easy, taking less than 10 minutes to complete. Once created, you can:
- Set up pre-authorized payments online
- Pay your bills online
- Conduct email money transfers online
- Check your account balances and transaction history
- Manage your investments
- And even deposit cheques
What if I can’t open an account online?
If you’re having trouble opening an account online without a deposit, it’s probably for a reason. Some banks will not allow you to open an account online if:
- You have no credit or bad credit history
- You are under the age of 18
- You are not a citizen or resident of Canada
- You are looking to open a business account
In each of these cases, you can still open a bank account in Canada; you may just have to visit a local branch to do it. If you’re unsure why you cannot open your account online, you can give the banking institution a call to find out how to proceed.
Can a Financial Institution refuse to open a bank account for me?
Yes. In certain situations, financial institutions do have the right to refuse to open an account. They can refuse to offer you service if you have a history of illegal or fraudulent activity or if they suspect that you plan to use your account for illegal or fraudulent activity.
They can also refuse to open an account for you if you have threatened physical harm to employees or customers if they believe you have made any false statements, or you don’t supply valid identification.
Suppose you are denied the right to open a bank account. In that case, a financial institution must provide you with a written statement as to why you were denied and provide you with information for the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.
If you believe that you were wrongfully denied, you can file a complaint with the institution itself.
Do I need a permanent address when opening a bank account online?
You may have some difficulty opening a bank account online without proof of a permanent address. By law, banks are required to ask you about your address. If you do not have a permanent address, it’s best to go directly into the bank to set up your account.
Do I need to have a job to open a bank account in Canada?
No. You are not required to have a job to open a bank account in Canada. With that being said, banks are required to ask you about your current occupation.
In conclusion, it is your legal right to open a bank account online in Canada without a deposit. With that being said, there are some circumstances where you may need to go into your branch to open an account physically. If unsure, call the banking institution you are attempting to apply with and ask how to proceed further.