Although managing your finances may be an everyday part of life, there is a lot of important information that is commonly unknown. Information about your account and bank can be required in multiple situations. If you want to setup a direct deposit you’ll be asked to present your account number and your routing number. These numbers will also be required if you want to move money into a Canadian account. These two examples are common banking actions, yet understanding of what terms like routing and account numbers are is limited. We are here to help you understand the meaning of transit, branch, account, routing, and institution numbers so that you can bank more confidently in the future.
Routing numbers are made up of two parts. They are usually 8 digits long and are made up of an institution number and a transit number. Their format on paper is XXXXX-YYY. The X’s correspond to the transit number and the Y’s are the institution number. If the transaction is online then the format flips and a leading zero is tagged to the front, resulting in a 0YYYXXXXX format.
To put it simply, institution numbers are unique three digit codes which correlate to a given financial institution. They are used to identify various banks and are the most general of the numbers we’ll be covering. The institution number also makes up one part of the routing number. The institution numbers of some of the biggest Canadian banks are listed below.
|National Bank of Canada
Branch or Transit Numbers
It is easy to get confused with this number as some call it a transit number and others a branch number. All you need to know is that they mean the same thing. It is a five digit code which says which branch of the bank the account in question was formed at. Every branch has its own unique transit number and the branch you create your account at is also known as your home branch. The transit number makes up the other part of the routing number.
An account number is usually a seven digit code which follows the routing number on cheques. BMO, RBC, TD, CIBC, and the National Bank of Canada all have seven digit account numbers. Scotiabank is one case where it is possible to have a number that is either 7 or 12 digits long. Unlike institution numbers and transit numbers, your account number is completely unique to you.
Where to Find Your Numbers
If you are in need of any of your personal numbers, there a few ways to find them. One way is to login to your online banking. From your bank’s website or app you can check your personal details and find out exactly what you need. You can also see your details such as routing number and account number on any paper statements that your bank sends you through the mail. Lastly, if you have a chequebook at home, look at any cheque and you’ll find all the numbers printed at the bottom of it. One thing to note is that on a physical cheque there will also be another number on the bottom. This one simply marks the individual number of the cheque you are handling within the chequebook.