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Open a bank account online in Canada in 5 easy steps

To find the easiest bank account to open online follow these five, easy steps.

Can you open a bank account online? Yes. In most cases, it’s fast and easy to open a bank account online in Canada. Whether you’re looking to open a chequing account online or set up an online savings account, you can now open a bank account online, usually with instant access, from almost anywhere in Canada.

To learn how easy it is to open a bank account online in Canada, jump to our five easy steps or choose from our list of providers below, which make bank account opening online easy.

Can you open a bank account online?

Yes, generally speaking, all major banks and digital banks make it easy to open a Canadian bank account online. The easiest bank account to open online in Canada depends on your needs. However, in most cases, the time it takes to apply online for a bank account typically takes between 5 and 10 minutes.

Bank accounts you can open online in Canada (some with instant access)

Browse through the list of trusted Canadian banks below, and click the “Go to site” button to open a chequing account online or open a savings account online today.

ProviderWhat We LikeMonthly Account FeeOpen an Account
BMO
  • Earn a $600 welcome bonus
  • Earn 5.5% interest on a Savings Amplifier Account
  • $0 transactions and eTransfers
$17.95 (can be waived)Go to site

BMO Performance Chequing Account

Simplii Financial
  • Earn a $400 welcome bonus
  • Earn 5.9% interest for 5 months on your first Simplii Financial High Interest Savings Account
  • $0 transactions and eTransfers
$0Go to site

Simplii No Fee Chequing Account

Coast Capital
  • Earn $350
  • unlimited transactions and e-Transfers
  • No monthly account fee
  • Overdraft protection on approved credit
$0Go to site

Coast Capital Free Chequing, Free Debit, and More Account

EQ Bank
  • Earn 4.00% interest
  • Get unlimited transactions and eTransfers
  • Free withdrawals from any ATM in Canada
$0Go to site

EQ Bank Personal Account

KOHO
  • Earn 5% interest when you opt into KOHO Extra or KOHO Everything
  • Get a Earn up to 5.00% interest with a high interest savings account. Pick a KOHO plan and opt-in to Earn Interest. on spending
$0Go to site

KOHO Earn Interest

Scotiabank
  • Earn a $400 welcome bonus
  • Earn up to 6.05% interest for 3 months on your MomentumPLUS Savings Account.
$16.95 (can be waived)Go to site

Scotiabank Preferred Package

RBC
  • Get an iPad
  • $0 transactions and eTransfers
  • Overdraft fee waived
$16.95 (can be waived)Go to site

RBC Signature No Limit Banking Account

Innovation Federal Credit Union
  • Open an account and you could win a $2,500 spring getaway. Valid until June 30, 2024.
  • No monthly fees and free unlimited transactions
$0Go to site
Innovation Federal Credit Union No-Fee Chequing Account
Neo
  • Earn 1% interest on savings
  • $0 transactions and eTransfers
  • Earn cashback on your Money card
$0Read Review
Neo Money Account
National Bank
  • Get $30 towards an eligible National Bank credit card
  • $0 transactions and eTransfers
$15.95 (can be waived)Read Review
National Bank Connected Account
Tangerine
  • Earn $250
  • Earn 6% interest for 5 months
$0Read Review
Tangerine Savings Account
td canada trust
  • Earn a $600 welcome bonus
  • Unlimited free transactions and eTransfers
$16.95Read Review
TD Unlimited Chequing Account
CIBC
  • Get a $400 Costco Shop Card
  • Unlimited free transactions and eTransfers
$16.95 (can be waived)Read review
CIBC Smart Account
Alterna Bank
  • No monthly fee and no minimum balance required
  • 0.05% annual interest rate
$0Learn more
Alterna Bank No-Fee eChequing Account
Manulife
  • 2.60% interest earned on your balance
  • A high-interest savings account with features of a chequing account
$0Learn more
Manulife Advantage Account
icici bank canada
  • Available in CAD and USD
  • Low cost money transfers to India or other countries
  • Free cheque book with 20 personalized cheques
$9.95Learn more

ICICI Bank Canada HiVALUE Chequing Account

sbi bank canada
  • Earn 0.40% per annum
  • Available in both CAD and USD
  • 5 debit transactions per month
$12SBI Canada Bank Super Saver Account

Can I open a bank account online without going to the bank in Canada?

Yes, many banks in Canada offer the option to open a bank account entirely online without the need for you to go into a bank. Banks use an online identity verification process that usually requires you to take a picture of your IDs followed by a picture of yourself. The bank’s computer system then automatically matches your face with the picture on your ID.

The whole process to open a bank account online, including ID verification, can typically be completed from the comfort of your home in just a few minutes.

A photo of seancooper

Expert tip: Opening an account online is easier

If you prefer online banking over stopping by in the branch like most people these days, opening a bank account online is a great way to see how good a bank's website is. The experience of opening a bank account online is actually easier than going in person most of the time.

— Sean Cooper, Editorial Review Board

5 steps to open a bank account online in Canada

Can you open a Canadian bank account online? Absolutely. Follow these steps to learn how to apply for a savings account or open a chequing account online.

Grey and blue light bulb iconThe steps are the same to open a savings account online, a chequing account or a high-interest savings account. In most cases, once you open a bank account online, you’ll get instant access.

Step 1: Compare Online Banks Accounts in Canada

Shop around to find the right bank account for you. Factor in the card type, minimum balance requirements, the type of online and mobile banking available, and any fees, including ATM withdrawal fees, monthly fees and whether the account waives fees if you maintain a minimum balance.

Savings Account: Earn up to 5.00%

Step 2: Fill Out Forms to Open a Bank Account Online for Instant Access

Click the Go to site button. A new webpage will open, sending you to the bank provider’s website and a secure online application. You’ll need to provide basic information, such as your name, date of birth, address and Social Insurance Number (SIN). Make sure you have this information on hand before you start the application, as the webpage can time out and close if you leave it unattended for too long.

After completing the online bank account application, expect to get an email from the bank account provider with information about your new account, when to expect documentation and what happens next.

Step 3: Verify Your Identity

You must provide a government-issued ID before being approved for an account. Most banks will let you take a selfie along with a picture of your ID using your phone, though some banks require you to come into a bank branch to verify your identity in-person. If you’re applying for a bank account with your current bank, you may be able to skip this step as they should already have your identification on file.

Step 4: Activate Your Debit Card

If the account you signed up for includes a debit card, expect it to arrive in the mail within a few weeks along with a separate letter that includes your new Personal Identification Number (PIN). This PIN is a four to six-digit number that you must enter when using your debit card. To change your PIN, follow your bank account provider’s instructions — included in the letter. To activate your debit card, you may have to either activate it through your banking app or by making a purchase using your PIN.

Step 5: Set Up Your Online Bank Account

Once you open your online bank account and your debit card is activated, it’s time to set up your bank account. For instance, use online forms to set up automatic paycheque deposits or automatic bill payments.

Tips for newcomers: Opening a bank account online

If you’re new to Canada or planning to relocate to Canada for either work or school, you’ll need to open a bank account. A bank account lets you deposit money, as well as manage and pay bills. To help, we analyzed every bank account and banking package for newcomers to Canada. Find out what accounts offer preferred perks, unlimited free transactions or free e-transfers.

How do I open a bank account online with instant access?

To open a bank account online, if you want instant access to the account, you’ll simply have to complete the same online signup process as you would for any other account.

First, compare the best chequing accounts in Canada, choose the best one for you and apply. Chequing accounts that come with instant access when you open them online include EQ Bank’s Personal Account and BMO’s Performance Chequing Account.

Next, follow the five-step process of opening a bank account online. You’ll need to verify your identity before getting a confirmation email and follow-up documentation. You’ll then get your debit card sent to you in the mail.

Once you open a chequing account online, you can set up online banking with the bank’s mobile app and deposit funds instantly.

A photo of romanaking

Expert tip: Get near-instant access to basic daily banking tools.

In general, it takes as little as 15 minutes to open a bank account online — less time than it would take to travel to your nearest bank branch. When you open a bank account online, you get access to a valuable financial instrument — a place to deposit money, pay bills and access financial tools, all under the protection of federally legislated insurance.

The best part about opening a bank account online is that most online bank accounts come equipped with financial calculators and automated bill payments and savings tools, all of which can help you take control of your finances.

— Romana King, Group Editor | Personal finance expert

What is the easiest bank account to open online in Canada?

While all of the accounts listed in our table here are relatively easy to open online, you may find some of the easiest accounts to open are offered by exclusively web-based banks, like Tangerine, EQ Bank, Simplii Financial and Neo. Because these banks only operate online, they tend to have ironed out online processes and smooth user interfaces.

What online bank accounts offer no-fee banking in Canada?

The EQ Bank Personal Account, along with the Simplii No Fee Chequing Account and the Tangerine No-Fee Daily Chequing Account, are offered by online banks and come with no-fee banking. Not only are these accounts free (in that they don’t charge a monthly fee), but you can also open them online with no deposit.

Neo Financial isn’t technically a bank, but it does offer the Neo Money Account, a spending account that lets you earn interest and comes with a card to make purchases, $0 monthly fees and unlimited transactions.

You’ll have a hard time finding traditional banks with no fees in Canada. However, the big Canadian banks will often waive monthly fees if you keep a minimum balance.

What online bank accounts offer cashback?

Chequing accounts don’t usually come with cashback rewards. But that’s changing as more digital banks and alternative financial institutions enter the competitive Canadian marketplace of online bank accounts.

For example, the Neo Money Account works like a combined chequing and savings account, offering variable cashback rewards on your purchases and 1% interest on your savings.

Another great option is the EQ Bank Personal Account, which pays 0.5% cashback on every purchase when you spend with the EQ Bank Card and helps you earn up to 4% interest on your balance. How? Get 2.50% interest on everyday banking, plus get 1.50% interest when you direct deposit your pay.

How does online banking work?

In 2023, most Canadians considered applying for a bank account online or switching bank products. According to data from the Finder: Consumer Sentiment Survey, where more than 1,840 Canadians were asked about their financial plans in 2023, more than half (56%) said they plan to open a bank account in Canada or another type of banking product in 2023.

Online banking lets you perform all your banking transactions over the internet. Instead of visiting your nearest branch to make a deposit, transfer money, pay off your credit card or check your savings balance, you can access your finances through any internet-enabled device. This includes desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Once you have an account with a bank or credit union, setting up your online bank account access takes less than 10 minutes. Just create a password and set up our authorization process. After that, it’s relatively simple to open and use your online bank account to manage your finances.

The right online bank account platform allows you to:

  • Pay bills online
  • Transfer money by email
  • Check your account balances and access your transaction history
  • Find the nearest ATM in your bank’s network
  • Research products and services to buy or upgrade
  • Use currency converters, repayment calculators, stock trading calculators and other tools
  • Manage investments and trade stocks
  • Pay for goods and services with a mobile wallet
  • Deposit cheques

How to switch banks and sign up for a new account online

If you want lower fees, better interest rates or just a higher standard of customer service then it might be time to switch banks. Learn how to switch banks with six, easy steps in our full guide for how to switch banks in Canada.

What do I need to open a bank account?

You’ll need to provide identification documents and personal information to open a bank account online. Keep reading to learn more details.

Identification graphic

Identification

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Personal information

The whole process of opening an online Canadian bank account shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. If you’re at least 18 years old, you can apply for most bank accounts online. You’ll be provided with a checklist of things you should have with you before you apply. If you’re an existing customer of the bank, make sure you have your relevant customer ID or account number.

Identification

ID is required to help banks protect you from fraud. Banks verify your ID to make sure it’s really you opening the account and not someone trying to steal your identity. For example, if someone gets your Social Insurance Number (SIN), they could try to open a line of credit or sign up for an account in your name to hide illegally obtained money.

You’ll need to provide two pieces of ID to open a bank account — one of which must include your name and address while the other must show your name and date of birth — from the following list of acceptable documents:

  • ID issued by the Government of Canada or your provincial government
  • Recent Canadian federal, provincial or municipal government notice of tax assessment
  • Recent Canadian federal or provincial government statement of benefits
  • Recent Canadian utility bill
  • Recent bank or credit card statements
  • Foreign passport

If you don’t have valid identification, then you’ll need to follow the steps for opening a bank account without ID.

Personal information

Most accounts allow you to apply for a joint account with one or more people. If you’re applying for a joint account, all account holders must provide their personal information, including SIN and ID, address and contact information.

Bank account opening online: Eligibility requirements

What are the requirements to open an account online in Canada? Generally, you’ll need to:

  • Be a Canadian resident with a Canadian residential address. If you are new to Canada, read how to open a bank account without proof of address.
  • The minimum age to open a bank account in Canada is at least 18 years of age or the age of majority in your province or territory (note that some banks will let minors open an account with a guardian)
  • Provide a copy of your government-issued ID such as a passport or driver’s license (you may be required to upload a scanned copy of your ID for verification purposes)

Benefits of applying for a bank account online

  • You can skip the hassle of going to a branch
  • You aren’t confined to the branch’s hours of operation to do your banking
  • Online banking apps are easy to use
  • It usually takes about 10 minutes to get started
  • You can bank from anywhere, including when travelling, commuting, etc.

Perks of using an online bank

Gone are the days when you had to pay a visit to your local bank to manage your money. Both traditional and online banks offer desktop and mobile apps for spending, saving, transferring and more.

But without the overhead costs that big banks carry, digital banks and alternative financial institutions can also offer lower fees, high savings account interest rates and rewards like cashback and store discounts. Compared to earning 0.05% on balances above $4,999.99 with a TD High Interest Savings Account, you could earn 5% with a KOHO Earn Interest account or up to 4% with a EQ Bank Personal Account.

Online financial institutions like Neo Financial offer simplified, hybrid account options that let you spend and save with one account. This account also comes with a card you can use for online and in-store purchases.

Yellow warning symbol with black exclamation point.What to watch out for when you apply for a bank account online

You may have to visit a local branch to open a bank account if you run into any of these challenges.

  • You have no or bad credit. In Canada everyone is entitled to open a bank account in Canada. There are no credit score checks and no income qualifications. However, banks and other financial institutions may use your credit history — which is tied to your credit score — to verify your identity. This is a soft pull on your credit report — so there is no impact on your credit score. Even if you don’t have a credit report, you can still open a bank account in Canada. In fact, you will not need a credit report to apply and open a bank account in Canada.
  • You are a minor. At almost all banks and credit unions, anyone under the age of 18 or the age of majority in your province can’t open a bank account without a parent or legal guardian present. Some banks allow minors — some as young as 14 — to open a bank account, but it will require an in-person visit to the local branch. Explore bank accounts for kids here.
  • You are a non-Canadian citizen or resident. Non-residents can still open accounts at some banks in Canada, but there are extra steps involved. You may be required to bring your passport and work visa or student ID to a local branch to verify your identity and complete the application process.
  • You want to open business accounts. While opening a bank account online for yourself is simple, it’s more difficult to open a bank account online for your business. Depending on your business structure and requirements, you may be able to complete the process online, but most will require booking an in-person appointment.

While many traditional banks have an online presence, not all online banks have physical branches. If you are running into trouble with any of the above, digital banks may still be able to help you get set up online since there is no option to go into a branch.

How do Canadians plan to bank in 2023?

In the Finder: Consumer Sentiment Survey Q1 (CSTQ1), we asked more than 1,840 Canadians about their financial plans in 2023 including what type of bank account and banking products they plan to open this year. Nearly 1 in 5 Canadians (17%) said they planned to open a chequing account.

The most popular banking product, among all age demographics, is a savings account, followed by a chequing account and then a credit card.

At the start of the year, Canadians were looking for bank accounts with no transaction fees (11.88%) and a high interest rate (10.52%). By the end of March, Canadians began to look for other perks. In the Finder: Consumer Sentiment Survey Q2 (CSTQ2), the most popular features Canadians were looking for in a bank account included:

  • Points or rewards (excluding cashback) — 11.27%
  • Cashback rewards — 9.76%
  • No transaction fees — 9.47%
  • High-interest rate — 8.67%
  • Interest-earning chequing account — 7.29%

Bottom line

The days of spending an hour at the bank to open an account are gone, and you can open a new chequing or savings account online from your computer or phone in minutes. But don’t let the speed and convenience rush you into deciding. Compare savings accounts or chequing accounts before getting started to find the one that’s right for you.

FAQs about opening a bank account online

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