What is Routing number on a check? & How it Works?

We often come to this words several times, when we are dealing with an online banking transfer or mobile banking transfer through any bank account to another bank account. So, today, I am here to explain few details about this term What is the routing number on a check? along with the following terms

  • What is a Routing Number?
  • Where to find a routing number on a check?
  • Where did routing numbers come from?
  • How do I Find my routing number on a check?

So, let us read this post very carefully to get learn What is the routing number on a check?

What is a routing number?

You may bother about what is need of routing number? Friends, In order to receive and send funds from one financial institution to other financial institutions, banks and credit unions need a routing number.

Basically, a routing number is a unique 9-digit number assigned to a bank or credit union. So, that it can send and receive money from one to other financial institutions. The routing number of the bank or credit union also determines where your account was opened.

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In general, it is also known as an ABA (American Bankers Association) number as it is assigned by the ABA (American Bankers Association), as well as routing transit number (ABA RTN).

The routing numbers help the bank staff as well as the machines that now process checks to know exactly where money is supposed to go rather than reading a check to find out your bank’s name and potentially confusing it with a bank of a similar name. And, this is how the checks intended for Bank of America and American Bank never go to the wrong place by mistake.

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You might not often think about those little numbers on checks, but they’re critical to the banking system. Without them, money can’t be transferred electronically between institutions or through the Automated Clearing House network. If you have a bank account, it’s likely that at some point you’ll need to know how to read a check to find bank routing number information.

It is a pretty notable that one bank or federal credit union may have more than one active routing numbers, depending on several things such as the location of the account or the task it’s being used for. But do note that 2 different banks will never have the same routing number.

Routing numbers are used for lots of everyday tasks like 

  • Direct deposit.
  • Automatic bill payments.
  • Check processing.
  • Wire transfers.

Where to find a routing number on a check? /How Do I Find My Routing Number on a Check?

The Routing numbers are nine digits long and appear on every check issued by all banks. The routing number on a check is component of the magnetic ink character recognition, or MICR, a line at the bottom of your check, which also includes your account number. If you’re trying to find out your bank’s routing number, that’s a good place to start.

Alternatively, your bank’s website may post its routing numbers online. “That is because, unlike your checking account or savings account number, it is not something you really need to keep secret,” says C. Diane Poole, senior vice president, member & technical services at the American Bankers Association (ABA).

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nassau educators federal credit union routing number on check

In addition to this, C. Diane Poole Says that “Most banks will post their routing numbers on their websites because when people want to wire them money, they need that information,”

Poole also committed that “It becomes more sensitive when you have a routing number and an account number because then you can actually have access to someone’s individual account.”

However, You will also require making sure that you have the correct routing number for what, you are trying to do. For eg, the routing number on your bank checks may vary from the number you would like to use for doing a wire transfer.

When Is a Routing Number Needed?

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You won’t likely need your routing number on a daily basis, but you will need it from time to time. Instances in which you’d need to find routing number information include the following –

  • Setting up direct deposit –
    • In order to have payroll checks deposited straight to your account, you’ll have to submit the routing and account numbers on your check.
  • Tax payments –
    • Whether you’re paying a tax bill or receiving a refund, you’ll need to know your bank account routing number.
  • Reordering checks –
    • When you run out of checks, your check printer is likely to ask for your routing number before they give you new checks.
  • Paying bills –
    • Consumer bills paid through ACH also require an account and routing numbers.

How Are Routing Numbers Determined?

Most of the small banks along with many online banks operate with just a single routing number. Large and multinational banks, however, often use many different routing numbers where the account holder’s state determining the check routing number.

Also Read :  Bank Routing Numbers | List of All Major Banks of USA

Where did routing numbers come from?


The routing numbers of banks or federal credit union helped a person taking a check be sure they would actually get the funds the check promised from the payer’s bank.

After the Federal Reserve was founded and took on a large role in the processing of payments, a Federal Reserve number was added to each bank’s routing number. That “Federal Reserve routing symbol,” as it’s officially known now, specifies the type of institution and the Federal Reserve district in which the account was opened.

So, this is all about What is the routing number on a check? How do I Find my routing number on a check? When is a routing number needed? Where did routing numbers come from? What is a Routing Number? Where to find a routing number on a check? 

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