How to Open a Bank Account in Canada, Online or in Person

May 6, 2022 | 0 comments

What do I need to know to create a bank account for myself?

The standard method for opening accounts at banks is to visit the bank in person. A customer service representative can assist you in opening an account in several minutes. It’s an easy and fast procedure. You don’t even need to be employed or have funds to make a deposit immediately. Answer a few personal questions (name or date of birth and address, etc.) and present the ID required (see the examples below). After your account has been opened and you have an account debit card. You can begin using it immediately.

Do I open a new bank account on the internet?

Because online banking is becoming increasingly widespread, institutions (both traditional banks and online banks) are now allowing the opening of accounts online with a bank. It’s very similar to what you’d do in the real world. You’ll need to answer questions about yourself and confirm your identity with a valid ID. After you’ve finished the process, your bank will mail your debit card.

What age must I be to open a banking account?

Anyone with a valid ID can open a bank account within Canada. But, banks may have different regulations regarding children and young people. For example, let’s say you’re not yet a majority in your region or territory. In this scenario, you may not be able to open an account online. Or you might have to establish the bill by a parent or legal guardian.

Most banks have accounts for students and youth designed explicitly for younger Canadians. However, every bank has different restrictions on age and requirements for qualification for the funds, so it’s best to consider a couple of choices before selecting an account.

What should you consider when opening an account at a bank?

When you open your first bank account, you should think about what you’ll do with it. Consider the chequing account if you’re looking to open an account that can handle daily transactions. If you’re hoping to save to buy something unique, the savings account is the best choice.

Be aware that not all banks provide the same choices. Different banks and accounts come with other charges, interest rates, limitations on withdrawals, perks, and more. Before opening your bank account, you should study to determine the most suitable bank and account to meet your requirements.

The right of you to create the bank account

In Canada, You have the possibility of opening accounts at an institution like a bank or federal credit union if you present valid proof of identity.

You can create your account regardless of whether you:

  • aren’t employed
  • aren’t able to fund the account immediately
  • has been declared insolvent

To create your account, you need to:

  • meet in person at a financial institution
  • provides an acceptable means of identification

Contact the institution you are interested in to determine what other options are available to start an account. Institutions that operate solely online might require you to have an account with another financial institution before they can open an account on your behalf.

Opening your bank account even if there’s no Canadian citizen

It is possible to create a bank account using the correct identity in Canada, even if you’re a non-Canadian citizen or reside in another country.

It is possible to visit the bank to open a bank account.

Contact your bank for more details about opening a banking account if you’re a non-Canadian citizen.

ID required to create an account at a bank

To create a bank account, you can choose from three different types that you can use to identify yourself (ID). Suppose you select any of the three options below. In that case, you need to provide the Federal or bank credit union with the one ID that is acceptable from list A. It must be a valid ID and not photocopies.

Option 1:

Display Two two IDs from the following list:

List A

  • legitimate Canadian driver’s license that can be used as an ID under the law of provincial or territorial jurisdiction
  • Canadian passport
  • birth certificates issued within Canada
  • Social Insurance cards issued by the Government of Canada
  • Old Age Security card issued by the Government of Canada
  • Certificate of Indian Status
  • Health insurance cards for provincial and territorial governments can be used as proof of identity under the law of the province or territory.
    • Contact your local or regional Consumer Affairs office to confirm that the health insurance you have purchased is a legal piece of ID in the country where you reside.
  • Certificate of Canadian Citizenship or Certification of Naturalization
  • Permanent Resident Card, or an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) form IMM 1000, IMM 1442, or IMM 5292
    • IRCC also issues the form IMM 5688 to confirm Permanent Residence status. Contact your bank or credit union with national affiliation to determine if they accept this form.
  • Card or document that has your signature and picture on it that was issued from one of these authorities or their successors:
    • Insurance Corporation of British Columbia
    • Alberta Registries
    • Saskatchewan Government Insurance
    • Department of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations
    • Department of Transportation and Infrastructure of the province of Prince Edward Island
    • Service New Brunswick
    • Service NL of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador
    • Department of Transportation of Northwest Territories
    • Department of Community Government and Transportation of Nunavut

Option 2:

You may:

  • provide one ID from the list A above, and
  • Display only one item of identification from the list. B

List B

  • An employee ID Card featuring your photo is issued by an employer well recognized in the local community.
  • debit card and bank cards issued by members of Payments Canada, with your signature and name on it
  • the credit card that is issued by an affiliate of Payments Canada, with your signature and name on it
  • client card issued by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind with your photo and signature
  • foreign passport

Option 3:

You may:

  • Show one ID from the list A and
  • You must have someone confirm your identity, an existing client who is in good standing in the Federal Credit Union or the bank or is in good reputation within the community in which the financial institution is located.

An additional identification card with your signature and photo may be required if a bank or credit union employee suspects your identification’s authenticity as it is presented.

You must provide the Social Insurance Number (SIN) when you create an account with a bank.

Financial institutions will request your SIN if you’re opening a bank account that is earning interest to be used for tax purposes, like an interest-bearing bank account or registered retirement savings plan (RRSP).

The financial institution has to provide your details to the Canada Revenue Agency. It should include the amount of interest earned from the account every year to calculate income tax.

But should the financial institution plan to use your SIN for anything other reason, it will require your written permission.

What are the things to think about before opening an account at a bank?

Before you sign up for an account, you should consider these things:

  • how you’ll use your account to save or for making payments
  • fees or charges on the account
  • the interest you’ll earn from the funds in your account
  • when your deposits are covered by deposit insurance, in the event your bank fails

Check that you are aware of the terms and conditions of the account before signing up. You can ask questions about anything you aren’t sure about. Keep an original copy of the account agreement to keep for your documentation.

How to create an account at a bank

Chequing and other types of savings account with financial institutions, for example, one:

  • bank
  • credit union
  • Caisse Populaire
  • trust company

Changing financial institutions

It is an excellent idea to examine your banking plan now and then to ensure that it fulfills your needs. You could decide to move the personal bank account with one bank to another one if they have a more suitable option for your requirements.

The majority of banks have procedures designed to aid you with the process. This might include arranging with your old bank to transfer all the debits you have pre-authorized to the new account.

Maintain your old account while you switch. Cut off old cheques and debit cards to stop fraud.

Review your statements from both banks until you’re certain:

  • the account has been running flawlessly
  • You’re doing the identical transactions twice

Make sure that the newly opened financial institution is legal.

When a bank does not create an account on your behalf,

The financial institution does not require you to open an account on your behalf. If:

  • It is convinced that you plan to use the account to carry out fraud or illegal purposes.
  • You’ve had unlawful or fraudulent activities with financial service providers over the last seven years.
  • it believes that you have been aware of making false statements regarding the information you provided
  • It fears that you may cause physical harm to others or harass or abuse customers or its employees.
  • it doesn’t require an account, and it only allows accounts that have to be connected to an existing one in other financial institution
  • isn’t a valid way for you to determine that the identity you provided is valid

If an institution of finance does not want to open a private account on your behalf, you have to:

  • let you know that it will not accept the request in writing
  • will provide you with contact information of Contact information for the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

You can also inform the bank you’d like to file an inquiry. All financial institutions should have a process in place to deal with complaints.

Learn to submit an appeal.

The rights you have and responsibilities when establishing an account at a bank

The things that a bank must follow or explain to you when you sign up for an account with a bank.

Electronic alerts are now available via your bank.

Certain banks have begun sending out new electronic alerts to aid you in managing your day-to-day financial obligations and avoiding paying unnecessary costs.

Information that you need to receive when you create your bank account

Suppose you open an account with a financial institution that is federally regulated, like an institution like a bank. In that case, it has to give you details about your account. This is true even if you create a new account via telephone at an identical financial institution.

This information contains:

  • the rate of interest you’ll earn on the account if it is
  • how interest rates can be measured
  • A copy of your account’s agreement
  • A list of charges and information about the costs associated with the account
  • information about how you’ll be informed regarding any increases in these charges or any additional charges
  • specifics on its complaint handling procedure

You can choose to receive this information either in electronic format or in writing.

You need to get an original copy of your account agreement within seven business days of opening an account.

If you decide to shut the account, you’re entitled to the option of closing the account without cost and within 14 days of opening it via phone. If this happens, the institution cannot pay any fees related to the performance incurred during the account was in existence. This doesn’t cover interest charges.

If your financial institution is required to inform you about increases in fees

Suppose a bank increases the fee amount or makes new charges or charges. In that case, it has to provide you with an explanation in writing when you receive the account statements. The information must be provided within 30 days of when the change is effective. You can also decide to receive this information electronically.

A financial institution has to be able to display notices of the changes:

  • in all branch
  • from its site
  • at the automated machine for tellers (ATMs)

The institution’s financial statement must be displayed these notices a minimum of 60 days before the change is effective. The notice must also state where customers can find more details about the new or higher charges.

If you weren’t informed about the changes to fees or new fees before they took force, you could file complaints.

You can also reach out to your local Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. The agency will review your complaint and ensure that the institution you are dealing with adheres to federal law and can fulfill its public obligations.