What’s a routing number?
A routing number is a nine-digit code that American banks use to identify themselves. Sometimes also called a Routing Transit Number (RTN) or American Bankers Association (ABA) routing number, they’re used on everything from paper cheques to automated and wire payments online, both domestically and internationally.
Routing numbers are needed because the US Federal Reserve Banks use them to process electronic transfers (called Fedwire transfers) and the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network uses them to process things like direct deposits, bill, salary and pension payments and other automated transfers.
If you have a US bank account, you’ll find your routing number on the bottom of any cheque (to the left of your account number) or in your account details within the secure area of your online bank. Routing numbers aren’t confidential so you don’t need to worry about keeping yours safe – in fact you can usually find your bank’s routing number with a quick Google search.
When do you need to use a routing number?
If you’re making a payment to or from a US bank account, you’ll need the routing number of that account to make it happen. If you’re sending a domestic transfer within the US, you’ll just need the routing numbers for each account. If you’re sending an international transfer to or from the US, you’ll need the US bank’s routing number and also, the SWIFT code.
Just to confuse things a bit, banks use different routing numbers for different types of transaction. This means the routing number printed on your cheque might not be the one you need for a wire transfer or Direct Debit, for example. For this reason, it’s always best to check the routing number with the bank before any transfer, as using the wrong one can seriously delay things.
The Clear Currency effect:
Keep it simple
Routing numbers are only for domestic and international transfers and transactions involving American bank accounts.
Check the type
Different types of transaction use different routing numbers, so always check with the bank before you make your transfer.
If you’re making an international transfer involving a US bank account, you’ll need a SWIFT code as well as routing number.
Years of Zero - How Zero to Negative Interest Rates Affect FX Hedging
Are you an exporter generating US Dollar revenues overseas? Have you previously considered hedging your future rates of conversion through forward contracts but decided against due to the high “give up” premium, the interest rate differential creating a significantly worse forward rate over the prevailing spot rate? Recent central bank actions through the slashing of interest rates may have helped you.Guides
GBPUSD The oldest currency pair in the world, but where next?
There were fears a month ago that sterling could fall to its lowest level against the US dollar in its 200+ year history and despite reaching the depths of 1.1450, the lowest since June 1985, it still had some way to go to reach the all-time low of 1.05.Guides
Claiming an overseas inheritance: a guide to currency exchange
From making sure it’s legitimate to knowing what assets are liable to inheritance tax and how to repatriate any funds you may have inherited back to the UK as cost effectively as possible. This article explains how an inheritance from overseas works.Guides
Retiring overseas: a guide to foreign exchange
For many of us, the lure of cheaper living (up to five times cheaper in some countries), sunnier climes and an idyllic setting is too much to resist for our retirement - but what are the considerations when it comes to retiring with a foreign currency?Guides
Paying your overseas property bills: a guide to foreign exchange
With the right approach and help you can side-step many of the hassles, pitfalls and costs that come from making regular payments in a foreign currency. Here we’ll take you through the common costs owning a property overseas brings with it and how you can best manage and economise them.case study
The Magic of Things
When it comes to an eye-catching, out of the ordinary business idea, things don’t get more weird and wonderful than The Magic of Things. Find out how we helped to save them thousands of pounds in transaction fees.