Having the wrong bank account information can lead to significant financial loss. And with approximately 26,895 ABA routing numbers in current use, it’s understandable when mistakes are made. However, many streamlined and efficient businesses simply can’t afford to delay or lose payments due to the wrong ABA routing number.
Read on to learn about the three ways to validate an ABA number and handle electronic payments with care. Trustpair verifies this type of banking information against external databases to prevent organizations from falling victim to fraudsters. Request a demo to learn more!
The 3 ways to validate an ABA routing number
Here are the three ways to validate an ABA routing number:
- Find the list of routing numbers
- Find the routing number on a check
- Reverse search the bank
List of routing numbers
According to the US Bank, here are a list of states and their corresponding routing numbers for domestic payment transfers:
|State||Routing Number||State||Routing Number|
|Colorado (Other)||102000021||New Mexico||107002312|
|Illinois (North)||123103729||North Dakota||091300023|
|Illinois (South)||081202759||Ohio (Cleveland)||041202582|
|Iowa (Council Bluffs)||104000029||Oregon||123000220|
|Minnesota (East Grand Forks)||091215927||Washington||125000105|
Note that for any other state or district, the valid ABA routing number is 091000022 (although this might change for smaller or independent banks).
Find a routing number on check
In case that’s not working, it’s also possible to find and validate your ABA routing number on the paper check itself, for example. This is the nine-digit code printed at the bottom left of the check.
But there are several digits printed on each paper check, so it’s important not to confuse the ABA routing number with your account number, or even your check number.
As mentioned, the routing code is made up of nine digits and sits at the bottom left corner of the check. The ABA is printed in magnetic ink known for a process known as MICR (magnetic ink character recognition), ordering banks and institutions to read and process check transfers accurately. Therefore, this number should look slightly different from the other areas printed with normal ink.
The account number can be differentiated by its location, which is on the right of the routing number. This refers to the unique identifier for your bank account, while the routing number helps to identify the institution you bank with.
Finally, the check number is simply printed for your own administrative records. It can be useful to note the check number while paying suppliers, preventing vendor fraud, or for auditors to match payment records.
Reverse search the bank
In case you have the ABA routing number but not the bank, there are other online services to help find the financial institution. It’s simple – just open the page, input the routing number to the American Bankers Association lookup page and you should find what you need!
Note that users of the ABA service are limited to two lookups per day or ten per month. However, this can be particularly helpful if your business is collaborating with a new financial institution or one that has recently undergone structure changes – as their corresponding ABA might have changed.
Why is checking an ABA routing number not enough?
Organizations might be thinking that to prevent fraud, all they need to do is make sure that the ABA routing number is valid. But this doesn’t guarantee that the rest of the banking information is valid. And for example, any fraudster that does their research could bypass ABA and other security checks, putting your funds at risk.
So, how can you effectively validate the entire banking information with an effective fraud prevention solution before making a payment?
At the very least, it’s important to verify the:
- Bank or financial institution name
- Bank or financial institution address
- ABA number
- Entity account number
- Entity bank account name
It’s also recommended to check the whole account number matches with the actual company. The three steps to take to ensure this match include:
- Checking the company exists and is active.
- Checking the account number is valid (this is where your ABA routing number comes into play).
- Verifying that the two above data points are correlated.
Manually performing these checks is just not an option. It doesn’t make sense for enterprises with hundreds (or even thousands) of third parties to employ team members specifically to validate this data.
Apart from the wasted hours, it’s virtually impossible to verify these details without software. Not to mention that international third parties have totally different data points and supplier risks to manage, leading to confusion and further roadblocks.
Instead, automatic account validation platforms like Trustpair offer a better choice. Trustpair checks all banking information (even for international vendors) thanks to robust external data sources.
Working for electronic payments only (not checks), Trustpair ensures that businesses can be confident in the transfers they make. Pay to the right supplier with the correct amount, and block the efforts of fraudsters to commit wire transfer fraud.
Learn more about how to prevent payment fraud in our latest fraud study!
When do you need an ABA routing number?
Routing numbers are codes that help to identify banking institutions in the United States.
Every bank in the US has routing numbers, but different regions have separate codes. This makes it easier to identify the right location or bank branch for a payment. The routing number is also integral for sending checks to the right Federal Reserve processing center. They ensure that any wire transfer or direct debit payment ends up in the right account without being subject to extra fees (not necessary for credit cards).
ABA numbers are also known as Routing Transit Numbers (RTNs).
They’re essential for expediting swift transactions and preventing banking errors. If the wrong ABA routing no. is used, the IRS reports that money can be delayed. It can even be deposited into somebody else’s account. Therefore, it’s imperative to get the ABA number right for any check payments.
What’s the difference between an ABA and an ACH routing number?
ABA stands for American Banking Association, so it refers to the corresponding financial institution that processes and receives check payments. Alternatively, ACH payments refer to the Automated Clearing House, or the electronic payments network (similar to direct wire payments). Learn more about the differences between ACH and wire transfers here.
Most banks in America actually use the same nine-digit codes for ABA and ACH. But in some cases (regional institutions in particular), you might find the digits to be different.
It’s important to note that platforms like Trustpair can verify ACH routing numbers since they’re associated with online payment transfer methods. In most cases, ACH and ABA routing numbers are the same.
When making direct deposits with a check, a valid ABA routing number is required. Companies can verify that they have the right ABA number by checking the list provided, looking at their checkbook, or heading to the American Bank Association website. Trustpair can validate other bank and account details for electronic payments, such as ACH. Our services also include detailed analytics about transactions and fraud prevention.