Routing Numbers, also known as ABA Numbers or Routing Transfer Numbers are 9 digit numbers used by the banking system in the United States for identifying banks and financial institutions. This number system is used by the US banks for carrying out Automatic Clearing House and wire transfers. This includes various forms of transactions like direct deposits, electronic funds transfers, e-checks, tax payments, and direct payment against bills and much more.
If you need to know your Routing Numbers, you must contact your bank. Usually, people take the numbers on their checks to be the ABA numbers.
Routing Numbers are primarily used for identifying financial institutions on which the checks are drawn. It was first created for the facilitation of sorting and shipping of checks to the drawer account. When the new systems like wire transfer and Automatic Clearing House (ACH) transfer were launched, the routing system was further extended to include these payment modes.
This system is required by the Federal Reserve Banks for processing Fedwire funds transfers too. It was first developed during the beginning of the 20th century by the American Banker's Association. Hence it received the name, ABA Routing Transfer Number or ABA RTN.
The interesting thing about Routing Numbers is that they exist in two forms on the check:
Although the same level of information is gained from both these formats, there are tiny differences between them. But MICR is the primary format. As the name suggests, it is in machine readable form. This format can be seen at the bottom left side of the check and comprises of 9 digits.
The fraction format is the older of the two. It was designed for manual processes. It is in fact, still in use and works as a backup system if the MICR numbers are damaged anyhow. These numbers can be seen on the upper right side of the check.
Routing Numbers contribute to the speed of the electronic payment systems like ACH. This system allows making or receiving payments in electronic form over its network. It enables faster and efficient processing of electronic payments and receipts over the network. It also offers more control over the payment timings. It also facilitates the conversion of checks between paper and electronic form.
Routing Numbers are used by the Federal Reserve for processing their customer payments. The numbers were initially allotted in a way that represented the location of a bank and how the Federal Reserve handled it internally.
There have been some changes more recently after the Federal Reserve Bank has centralized the processing of checks. The Federal Reserve has consolidated its processing systems and even the banking industry has been consolidated. After these changes, the Routing Numbers used by the financial institutions may no longer represent the Federal District or the location of the bank.
Thus, the ABA routing number system is a crucial system in the overall banking processing in the United States.
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Routing Numbers, also known as ABA Numbers or Routing Transfer Numbers are 9 digit numbers used by the banking system in the United States for identifying banks and financial institutions. This number system is used by the US banks for carrying out Automatic Clearing House and wire transfers. This includes various forms of transactions like direct deposits, electronic funds transfers, e-checks, tax payments, and direct payment against bills and much more.Read More