How Long Does It Take To Open A Bank Account?


A few decades back, opening a bank account took several days and multiple rounds of documentation to verify your details. So how much time does it take to open a bank account in today’s time?

With the advancement of technology, banks can easily verify your information through their databases, and users can access most banking features online, including sign-ups.

When we do something out of the ordinary, we often ask ourselves how long it’ll take. Now, if you need to open an account, you might wonder how long it takes to open one. 

The answer will vary depending on where you go and what you do to get started, but it could be anywhere from minutes to a few days. The type of account you’re applying for also matters a lot regarding the duration of bank processing.

We will cover everything you need to know about opening a bank account so you can easily plan your next application!

The time it will take depends on your type of application 

If you’re opening an account online and have all the information you’ll need before beginning; you might get through the entire process in under 15 minutes. However, processing your application and issuing your card could take between one and three days.

This only works for accounts that require less verification, like personal accounts, savings accounts, and current accounts. Most banks require proper documentation for business accounts, which you might have to do in person.

Opening a bank account in person usually takes 2-3 hours of your day, including the travel and waiting if you haven’t pre-booked an appointment. Submitting your documents and depositing any cash would take more time.

Depending on your bank’s regulations, the account may become functional on the same day or take another day for you to use your cards and other features finally.

Consider the type of account before applying. 

To begin opening a new bank account, you’ll need to choose where you will open the account and what kind of account you wish to get. Options about where to put your money often consist of the following:

  •  Banks 
  •  Credit Unions 
  •  Online Financial Services Providers  

You may be able to go into a branch and speak directly with a representative. In addition, you can also find online banking options if you’d rather not leave home.


When we talk about banks, we normally mean physical banks where people go to deposit money (in person) or withdraw it (also in person). However, physical banks now offer online banking that allows customers to access their accounts 24/7 from anywhere in the world via the internet. 

In addition to providing traditional banking functions, such as checking account balances, transferring funds between accounts, and paying bills, online banks also allow users to purchase things like stocks and other investment opportunities that are great for any age.

Furthermore, many banks today offer mobile apps for both Apple and Android devices, allowing customers to check their balances, make deposits, transfer funds, pay bills, and do almost everything else without ever having to leave home.

Credit unions 

Credit Unions are a type of bank where people pay into accounts. They’re typically located in smaller towns and cities across America. Unlike banks, they don’t offer loans, although some may offer checking and savings accounts. Most credit unions are also known as co-operatives. 

Membership requirements vary depending on the credit union. Potential members must usually satisfy minimum income, asset, or geographic requirements to qualify for membership. In addition, some credit unions require applicants to pass an examination before becoming a member.

Online financial service providers 

Online banks, like PayPal or Payoneer, are similar to brick-and-mortar banks in terms of their services. Account holders may bank through a website or mobile app. 

Because online banking doesn’t require brick and mortar locations, these institutions typically offer lower transaction costs and higher interest rates than traditional financial institutions.

Opening an account with online financial services usually takes a few minutes, and you’re likely to get your approval within a day. However, most providers require you to link to a physical bank in your country to process payments, which takes you back to the original timeline of opening a bank if you don’t have one.

How to open a bank account 

Regardless of what type of account you’re opening, the procedures are usually the same. Online banks ask for less information compared to physical banks. However, if it’s your first bank account, you’ll need to compile your documentation beforehand and apply to a brick-and-mortar bank in your country of residence.

Different financial institutions have varying requirements regarding what kinds of documentation they require. Generally, you’re expected to provide certain information upon opening an account, including: 

  • Your date of birth 
  • Email address 
  • Phone number
  • Some form of identification (such as a passport or driver’s license)
  • Your proof of address (usually a utility bill)
  • Your source of income (if it’s a current or business account)

Make sure to get in touch with your bank and prepare your documents correctly to avoid delays and wasting more time traveling to and fro.

Key takeaway

The exact time it will take to open your bank account depends on your situation. You could wait anywhere from one to three hours at a local branch. An online bank might only require about 10 minutes.

The banks may take about a week to verify your details and send you debit cards. If you’re looking for a quick solution to get you up and running. Meanwhile, physical banks offer more options and are reliable if it’s your first account.

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