How to Find ABA Routing Number on Check (Pictures Shared)

A routing number is important in sending and receiving money from banks, financial institutions, and credit unions. What is a routing number? It is a 9-digit number given to a bank or credit union to send and receive funds from other financial institutions. The routing number on check establishes where you opened the account. It is called ABA (American Bankers Association) number. To learn deeper about routing numbers, check out MoneyBrighter.

routing number on check

Rather than finding out the Bank’s name from the check and probably confuse it with the Bank of the same name, routing numbers help bank staff and machines that now process checks to precisely identify where the money is supposed to go. This prevents the checks intended for Bank of America and American Bank from going to the wrong place mistakenly.

A bank can have many routing numbers, depending on factors like the location of the account or the task at hand, but two banks can never have a similar routing number.

Where you can find a routing number on a check

A routing number on a check is part of the magnetic ink character recognition, the line at the bottom end of your check, that also includes your account number. If you are trying to find out your Bank’s routing number, that is an excellent place to look.

You can visit your Bank’s website as they may post routing numbers online. Since you only use it to check your account or save account number, it’s not something that you need to keep a secret.

You also have to ensure you have the right routing number for what you are doing. For example, the routing numbers on your checks might differ from the number you would use for doing a wire transfer.

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Origin of the Routing numbers  

Routing numbers were created by ABA in 1910 as a way to make check processing more convenient, safe, and secure. They need to find a unique way to identify the paying bank. Routing numbers by the American Bankers Association in 1910 were used to uniquely identify the paying bank. The routing number assists a person to ensure they receive the money on a check by the paying bank.

Federal Reserve took on a significant role in the processing of payments, through a Federal Reserve number added to each bank’s routing number. The “Federal Reserve routing symbol,” specifies the type of institution and the Federal Reserve district in which the account is opened.

The numbers would be used in electronic check cashing networks starting in the 1960s, which significantly speed up the check processing. Since passing of the Check 21 Act and the ability of banks to avail electronic copies of checks rather than sending paper copies, it has allowed processing to be almost instantaneous.

Routing numbers are part of the reason why writing a check without a fund, hoping that a deposit would come through to cover it before it is processed, does not work anymore. When you write a check, there is a chance the money is debited already. People need to understand that payments move swiftly. In short, don’t write checks that your bank can not cash instantaneously. 

Finding a Routing Number on a check   

At the bottom of the check, there are three sets of numbers. The first set is your routing number, the second is your account number, and the third is your check number. Knowing how to locate these essential numbers is vital for setting up automatic payments for the monthly bills and filing forms for direct deposits. Routing numbers, also known as transit number, is public and can vary on the region of the account opening.

routing number on check

The second set of numbers is the routing number and the account number. To determine the account number, choose the more extended name. The number is private and unique to your bank account. You will also find it on your checks 

Check Number

The check Number is the last set on the check. They are the shortest set of numbers with no significance besides helping you keep track of which check you are writing. Routing numbers: When to use them, and why you need them:

  • Use the routing numbers with your bank account numbers to do transactions, like setting up direct deposits or using electronic payment services
  • The branch of the same bank in a particular location has the same routing number
  • As opposed to the account number, the routing number does not need the secrecy 
  • You will find the routing numbers online 

The difference between the Routing number and the Account Number

You can use the bank account to make and receive payments. However, to initiate a transaction using your bank, you need two pieces of information: your account number and the ABA routing number.

Your bank account number should be confidential, unless when using it for transactions. It is between eight and 12 numbers, depending on your bank. The savings account will have a different account number from the checking account, but both should have a similar routing number if you opened them in the same location.

Where can I find my routing number?

You can find the ABA routing number at the bottom of any personal check issued by the bank. Also, you can log onto the bank’s website. You can also call your financial institution for information.

Other different numbers can surround the routing number on checks, so it is essential to differentiate between them. You can see some of the following:

  • Your Bank Account Number usually follows your Account Number on the same line. It is written in the same typeface as the routing number, which is for electronic scanners to read.
  • The check number identifies a specific check-in in the checkbook. The check number is three to four digits and can be found at the bottom corner of the check on the same line as the Account and Routing Numbers. A check Number can help you trace a payment by recording whether a check with that number was received by the payee.

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Why do I need my routing number?

The nine digits of the Routing Number need to be entered when you use your Bank Account for electronic payments. The following transactions and transfers require both an Account and Routing Numbers:

  • Setting up direct deposits, where you might need a check voided with the Routing Number visible.
  • Making electronic fund transfers like paying life insurance premiums, utility bills, or mortgage balances.
  • Receiving an electronic funds transfer like when you sell online services.
  • Depositing money in another person’s account.
  • Setting up your own account with the financial institution’s website.

A routing number identifies the bank to the payment processing center, an automated clearing house (ACH). And identifies the account holder of a specific institution in a particular area. 

You may not always require your routing number whenever you cash or deposit your check at a branch location. When you are at the branch location; as long as you have your debit card and your PIN, you should be able to access the account.

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💰 Which routing number do I use for direct deposits?

An ABA Number also referred as a bank routing number, is a nine-digit code that identifies and differentiates banks in the U.S. That number helps other banks transfer money to and from your accounts for stuff like wire transfers, direct deposit, and automatic bill payments

💳 Is Routing Number the same as Swift code?

In function, the Routing Number system used by the U.S. financial institutions is similar to the international SWIFT system. The huge difference is that Routing numbers are used for transfers domestically, instead of the internationally used SWIFT code.


A routing number is essential in sending and receiving money from Banks, financial institutions, and credit unions. You need to have it to enjoy these services. You can get yours from the nearest or your preferred bank. Kindly give us your reviews and suggestions about your experience on the comment box down below

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