What Is an ABA Number? | ABA vs Routing Number

If you’ve never dealt with American financial institutions and you opened a US bank account as a non-resident, you might be wondering “What is an ABA number?”

The short answer is that it’s a unique identifier for your account. But, there’s more to it than that. In this article, we’re going to answer all your questions and more.

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

Table of Contents

  1. What Is an ABA Number?
  2. ABA Numbers vs Routing Numbers
  3. Frequently Asked Questions
  4. Ready to Open Accounts With Banks in the USA?

What Is an Aba Number?

An ABA number is what many refer to as a routing number, a nine-digit unique identifier for a financial institution in the United States. ABA standards for the American Bankers Association, which is the body issuing these numbers for bank identification. 

ABA numbers are used to facilitate bank transactions, including sending electronic transfers between bank accounts, direct deposits, check processing, and fund transfers in general. So, if you managed to successfully open and lock in checking account bonuses in the process, you will have an ABA number tied to your account.

To put it more plainly: ABA numbers are the plumbing of the US banking system, offering financial routing for transfers between banks around the country. The only thing an ABA number cannot do is account identification, which is why an account number is also required when sending a transfer.

Of course, if you’re not directly dealing with a bank account and choose an alternative to transfers (e.g. a money order), your only problem will be confirming where you can cash your money order efficiently.

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ABA Numbers vs Routing Numbers

There is no difference between ABA numbers and routing numbers. Instead, these two terms mean the exact same thing, which is a nine-digit number that is used to identify the specific bank and branch in a transaction.

ABA numbers and routing numbers are used when sending and receiving domestic transfers, electronic transfers, direct deposits, and for processing checks. On the other hand, anytime money transfers internationally, banks will usually use a SWIFT code to facilitate the transaction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are five of the most common questions we receive from people looking into what an ABA number is. If you have further questions you would like to ask our team, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

What Is an ABA Number Example?

An ABA number example is any series of nine digits. However, it’s important to note that identifying the exact ABA number for the branch is critical to successfully receiving a transaction. Otherwise, the transaction being sent may not arrive in the intended bank account and could end up either at the wrong branch or stuck in transit.

Is There a Difference Between an ABA and a Routing Number?

No, there is no difference between an ABA number and a routing number. These two numbers mean the exact same thing, which is a nine-digit number that identifies a specific financial institution.

Is ABA Number the Same as Routing Number?

Yes, an ABA number is the same as a routing number. In fact, these two terms are used interchangeably, both meaning a number that indicates the specific financial institution and branch in a transaction.

How Do I Find My Bank ABA Number?

You can find your bank ABA number in several different locations. These locations include the bottom of checks from your bank, on bank statements from your bank, through your online banking platform, and on your mobile banking application. Of course, you can also contact your bank directly and ask them to confirm the number for the specific branch where your account is held.

Is ABA the Same as a Business Bank Number?

No, an ABA number is not the same as a business bank account number. Instead, an ABA number or an “American Bankers Association” number is a routing number that identifies the specific bank and branch in a transaction. And, a business bank account number is a specific account number of a client of a bank.

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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.

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