Brick-and-Mortar Means … [Important Definition]

Understanding what brick-and-mortar means and how it can impact your banking, is a common theme for non-residents seeking easy-to-open US banks without an ITIN or SSN.

The reason brick-and-mortar is such a popular theme with these crowds is that they are often considered safer, more conservative, and less prone to failure. In this article, we’ll look at the merits of these claims and help you navigate your banking options in the process.

Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.

Table of Contents

  1. Brick-and-Mortar Means What?
  2. Brick-and-Mortar Stores vs Online Banking
  3. Frequently Asked Questions
  4. Ready to Explore Your Options?

Brick-and-Mortar Means:

Brick-and-mortar means a physical location where customers can directly interact with employees, products, and services. In most cases, banks have a network of multiple brick-and-mortar locations, known as a branch network. That said, brick-and-mortar locations are becoming less important as the vast majority of banking, commerce, and trade moves online.

Should I Open a Bank Account With a Brick-and-Mortar Bank or an Online Bank?

Whether you should open a bank account with a brick-and-mortar bank or an online bank depends on your objectives and available supporting documents, since many online banks have strict policies around acceptance criteria.

For example, many online banks have restrictions on the value of the transfers that you can send, proof of address accepted, and even countries of citizenship and immigration status they can serve. On the other hand, brick-and-mortar banks tend to have higher fees and require minimum deposits to open.

So, if you prefer low-cost, low deposit, and only plan on sending small transfers, an online bank may be a suitable option. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the vast majority of online banks do not hold your deposits directly.

In most cases, online banks are electronic platforms that deposit your funds with partner banks. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this, it’s important to know that your funds are not held with the platform directly. So, it’s always important to understand which bank is the underlying deposit taker.

Do You Want Our Free Non-Resident Banking Guide?

Sign up here to receive our Free Non-Resident Banking Starter Guide and weekly updates on the best account opening options available:

Brick-and-Mortar Locations vs Online Banking

The main difference between brick-and-mortar banks and online banking options is that brick-and-mortar banks tend to have higher fees and require more in-person interaction. Online banking options tend to have lower operating expenses and all account opening and banking activities are completed electronically. That said, many brick-and-mortar banks also allow for 100% remote account opening and management.

One major downside to online and digital banking options is that they tend to have much stricter requirements on the clients they can accept. For example, while many brick-and-mortar banks can accept foreigners and non-residents, most digital banks cannot. This means that brick-and-mortar banks tend to have more flexible onboarding policies for customers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are two of the most common questions that we receive from people looking to understand what brick and mortar means. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.

What Is the Meaning of Brick-and-Mortar Banks?

The meaning of a brick-and-mortar bank is a bank with a physical location that customers can visit to conduct banking activities. In most cases, brick-and-mortar banks have multiple locations, which is called a branch network. Customers may be required to visit brick-and-mortar banks to carry out banking activities like opening accounts or sending transfers. However, in most cases, visiting a physical location is still optional.

What Is an Example of a Brick-and-Mortar?

An example of brick-and-mortar is a bank with a physical network of branches across the United States. This includes both national and international banks like Bank of America, Chase, Citibank, and more. The defining feature of brick-and-mortar locations is that they are available for customers to visit and interact with personally.

Ready to Explore Your Options?

If so, you can get access to GlobalBanks USA (our dedicated US banking service) in just a few clicks.

GlobalBanks USA is a 100% personal account opening solution. It provides direct access to our team of US banking experts.

When you join, you receive…

+ Expert suggestions on where to open US bank accounts.

+ Step-by-step support to navigate opening US bank accounts.

+ Direct introductions to helpful and responsive bankers.

+ Plus, detailed guides to maximizing the value you get from your new US bank account.

And “yes!” GlobalBanks USA helps foreigners and non-resident individuals open bank accounts.

In fact, GlobalBanks USA even helps non-resident US LLCs and foreign & offshore entities.

To learn more about GlobalBanks USA, visit the product page to see how our team can help you successfully open US bank accounts!

Share This Article on Your Favorite Platform
GlobalBanks Team
GlobalBanks Team

The GlobalBanks editorial team comprises a group of subject-matter experts from across the banking world, including former bankers, analysts, investors, and entrepreneurs. All have in-depth knowledge and experience in various aspects of international banking. In particular, they have expertise in banking for foreigners, non-residents, and both foreign and offshore companies.

Sorry, but you cannot copy the content on this page.