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Can I Open a Free Online Bank Account Without an ID Required?

Aug 4, 2023
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If you are looking to open a free online bank account without an ID, you will be out of luck. In the United States, the United Kingdom, and around the world, banks will require you to show proof of identity to open a bank account.

However, virtual accounts (sometimes called neobanks) with easy sign-ups do exist. In this guide, we explain how to open an account.

Then, we provide recommendations for the best free online checking accounts with low requirements, such as Chime for no opening deposit, Wise for no social security number, or Monese for no proof of UK residency.

recommendation icon

Check out these virtual bank recommendations:

  • Chime® is a great banking app and debit card with a US routing number | Read the full review.
  • Monese is an international account in the UK without proof of address. | Read the full review.
  • Wise offers 10 free overseas accounts without US residency or SSN. | Read the full review.
  • Revolut's multi-currency account is great for foreign ATMs withdrawals. | Read the full review.

Can I Open a Bank Account Without Identification?

Dimitri Karastelev on Unplash

Many bank clients in the United States and around the world are turning to online banks (or neobanks) because accounts can be opened virtually online.

This comes as no surprise since most accounts are free from monthly fees. Clients no longer need to wait in line to cash a check and they can track their spending habits from the comfort of their mobile smartphones.

Are There Banks That Don’t Need ID To Open an Account?

As easy as online checking accounts may be to open, you will still be required to show at least a valid form of identification during sign-up. Banks are mandated to ensure that their clients meet certain age and residency requirements.

Traditional big banks will also need to see proof of residency and your social security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) before opening an account for you. Undocumented immigrants in need of banking are legally allowed to apply for and receive an ITIN from the IRS.

Neobanks, on the other hand, may not ask for these forms of identification.

As we show further in this guide, you may be able to do online banking by simply showing proof of address, proof of residency, or any valid form of government-issued ID.

How To Open a Free Virtual Bank Account

Each neobank will have its own requirements and documents needed to open an account for you.

Required Documents Will Vary by Bank

For example, Chime has no opening deposit or minimum deposit requirement but it does only open accounts for social security number holders. Revolut and Majority, on the other hand, do not have an SSN or ITIN requirement but do need proof of US residency.

Monese is available to all EU and UK residents, and only requires identification, an email address, and a phone number. Wise is an easy checking account that requires neither an SSN nor proof of US residency.

8 Steps to Open a Free Online Checking Account

All in all, you can follow these general steps to open a low-barrier virtual bank account for free:

  1. Compare checking accounts by reading Monito's neobank reviews;
  2. Download the desired neobank app on your mobile phone;
  3. Enter your phone number or email to begin sign-up;
  4. Enter the verification code sent to you to confirm your phone or email;
  5. Upload required documents (photo ID, SSN, address, etc);
  6. Take a selfie to confirm your identification;
  7. Wait for identity confirmation and notification of account activation;
  8. Get debit card in mail and enjoy your new free online bank account.

5 Great Virtual Checking Accounts

While you will be required to show proof of ID before opening a free bank account online, we have provided a list of high-quality neobank accounts that have easy sign-up processes.

Have a look at these five excellent checking accounts that have online and mobile functionality available in the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and around the world:

Chime — Mobile Financial App With No Opening Deposit

Chime is not only ranked as one of the best online accounts in the US on Monito. We also consider it an exceptional mobile financial app and debit card with no opening deposit.

You can sign up for the optional Chime (High Yield) Savings (“HYS”) Account with APY³ (which requires a Chime Checking Account), which builds your credit score without you having to take on any debt⁴. Chime's free ATM withdrawals¹ even range across the United States to parts of Mexico and the United Kingdom. Link up your other bank accounts for free and instantly send money to friends who are already Chime cardholders.

You must have a social security number to open an account.

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Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC.

  • Availability: United States
  • Requires ID: Yes
  • SSN/ITIN: Yes
  • Proof of Residency: Yes
  • Monthly Fee: $0¹
  • Opening Deposit: $0
  • Read the full Chime review.

Monese — Best Virtual Bank Account in the UK

Monese is perhaps the UK's most accessible neobank, requiring just a phone number, email, and photo ID to open an account.

In minutes, you should be able to get a sort code for a British pound account and IBANs for a Euro account and a Romanian lei account.

The free account offers joint accounts, international money transfers, bill purchase protection, and access to insurance. Their exchange rate fees and ATM fees decrease if you pay for their membership plans.

  • Availability: the United Kingdom, 30 EEA Countries
  • Requires ID: Yes
  • SSN/ITIN: No
  • Proof of Residency: No
  • Monthly Fee: $0
  • Opening Deposit: $0
  • Read the full Monese review.

Majority — International Calls and Support in Your Language

Majority calls themself the all-in-one bank for migrants and for good reason. The online bank account app comes with free international calls to Mexico, the United Kingdom, and 20 other countries. They offer low rates to other countries too.

The mobile app allows you to easily top up airtime to your family members' phones, send international money transfers, use a debit card with no foreign transaction fees, and call multi-lingual customer service. Majority membership costs $5.99 per month.

Majority does not require SSN but does ask for proof of US residency to open an account.

  • Availability: United States
  • Requires ID: Yes
  • SSN/ITIN: No
  • Proof of Residency: Yes
  • Monthly Fee: $5.99
  • Opening Deposit: $0
  • Read the full Majority review.

Wise Multi-Currency Account — Free Multi-Currency Account

The Wise Multi-Currency Account is a powerful multi-currency account that is available to just about every region in the world, including Antarctica!

The mobile and desktop app offers four main features: cheap international money transfers, a multi-currency debit card, account details for 10 countries, and access to hold up to 53 currencies. The availability of these four products will depend on your nationality and country of residence.

Wise remains one of the best ways to get US, UK, and EU online banking for free without proof of US residency. You need only show proof of residency in one of the 218 countries, islands, and territories that Wise serves.

Revolut — Withdraw $1,200 Per Month Without ATM Fees

Revolut is one of the most well-known digital finance platforms in the world with an excellent multi-currency account and debit card for spending domestically and abroad.

When you download the Revolut app on your smartphone, you'll gain access to their international money transfer system, which allows you to transfer money abroad with zero markups (depending on your membership plan). Convert your money into over 30 foreign currencies straight from the app and access those currencies with the Revolut debit or virtual card.

Perhaps most impressive is its ATM withdrawal allowance for US customers, which allows you to withdraw up to $1,200 in cash either domestically or abroad without incurring ATM fees (though third-party ATM withdraw fees may apply). While Revolut does not reimburse ATM fees incurred by the ATM operator, their $1,200 allowance is competitive. In comparison, Wise charges ATM fees after you exceed withdrawing $200 per month.

To sign up, you must provide your phone number, email, and a form of official ID such as a passport. If you are in the United States, you do not need to be a citizen or permanent resident. Revolut does offer US accounts if you have a valid US visa in your passport.

  • Availability: European Economic Area (EEA), Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, Japan, Brazil, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • Requires ID: Yes
  • SSN/ITIN: No
  • Proof of Residency: Yes
  • Monthly Fee: $0
  • Opening Deposit: $0
  • Read the full Revolut review.

Recapping the Best Free Online Checking Accounts

  1. Chime — Best for Easy Mobile Finances With No Opening Deposit
  2. Monese — Best Virtual Bank Account in the UK
  3. Majority — Best for International Calls and Support in Your Language
  4. Wise Multi-Currency Account — Best Free Multi-Currency Account
  5. Revolut — Withdraw Up to $1,200 Per Month Without ATM Fees

FAQ About Banks That Don’t Need an ID To Open an Account

Disclaimers

Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC. Credit Builder card issued by Stride Bank, N.A.

¹ Out-of-network ATM withdrawal and over-the-counter advance fees may apply. See here for details.

² To apply for Credit Builder, you must have received a single qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more to your Chime Checking Account. The qualifying direct deposit must be from your employer, payroll provider, gig economy payer, or benefits payer by Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposit OR Original Credit Transaction (OCT). Bank ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, verification or trial deposits from financial institutions, peer to peer transfers from services such as PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo, mobile check deposits, cash loads or deposits, one-time direct deposits, such as tax refunds and other similar transactions, and any deposit to which Chime deems to not be a qualifying direct deposit are not qualifying direct deposits.

³ The Annual Percentage Yield ("APY") for the Chime Savings Account is variable and may change anytime. The disclosed APY is effective as of September 20, 2023. No minimum balance is required. Must have $0.01 in savings to earn interest.

⁴ On-time payment history can have a positive impact on your credit score. Late payment may negatively impact your credit score. Results may vary.

⁵ SpotMe® on Credit is an optional, no-interest/no-fee overdraft line of credit tied to the Secured Deposit Account available to qualifying members with an active Chime Credit Builder Account. SpotMe on Debit is an optional, no-fee overdraft service attached to the Chime Checking Account available to qualifying members after Visa debit card activation. Both SpotMe on Credit and SpotMe on Debit are sometimes collectively referred to as "SpotMe" or, if you have signed up to use SpotMe with only one account, "SpotMe" means the elected service. To qualify for SpotMe, you must receive $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to your Chime Checking Account monthly. Qualifying members will be allowed to overdraw their Chime Checking Account and/or Secured Deposit Account (associated with your Chime Credit Builder credit card) up to $20 but may be later eligible for a higher limit of up to $200 or more based on Chime account history, direct deposit frequency and amount, spending activity and other risk-based factors. The SpotMe limit will be displayed within the Chime mobile app and is subject to change at any time, at Chime’s sole discretion. Although Chime does not charge any overdraft fees for SpotMe, there may be out-of-network or third-party fees associated with ATM transactions. SpotMe Debit Terms and Conditions and SpotMe on Credit Terms and Conditions.

More Guides On Free Online Checking and Virtual Bank Accounts

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