• #bank transactions
  • #BRN
By IPSIPay team

Bank Routing Number for Bank Transactions: What, Where, and Why?

Bank transactions cannot happen without a bank routing number (BRN). If you want to figure out how to find your routing number without a check, our article will help you.

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Bank transactions cannot happen without a bank routing number (BRN). Whenever you move funds between a personal account and outside financial institutions, BRN allows for payment processing. This code specifies what financial institution sends or receives the funds.

If you want to figure out how to find your routing number without a check, our article will help you. Also, learn when you might need BRN and how it differs from other bank account numbers.

What is a Bank Routing Number?

BRN is a nine-digit code used as an identifier of financial institutions. ABA stands for American Bankers Association which assigns them. It’s also known as “routing number” or “ABA routing number”.

BRNs were implemented in the US banking system back in 1910. The initial role of routing numbers was to simplify check processing. From the start and up to now, routing numbers have been helping to identify the payer and payee, track sent funds, and retrieve them if a transaction fails.

Bank routing numbers usually go with an account number at the bottom of checks. While the BRN specifies the financial institution, the account number relates to a particular person.

When You Need a Routing Number

The key purpose of a BRN is to define which institution funds or receives the payment. Together with an account number, it helps to withdraw or allocate funds to individual or business accounts. It’s important to remember that only US domestic interbank operations use BRN.

On the whole, you may need to provide the bank routing number in case of:

  • Paying a utility bill online or by phone. If you want to set recurring payments in your online banking profile or mobile app, you also will need BRN.
  • Making a credit card balance transfer. A balance transfer to a card with moderate interest rates will help you quickly manage your debts.
  • Wiring money to savings or checking accounts. It can be a transfer between US bank accounts, including deposits to retirement accounts.
  • Filing taxes. BRN must be included in your tax return form if you’re eligible for a tax refund.

Another case when you need a BRN is when you track your expenses monthly. For instance, you have a bank statement from a checking account and want to specify which amount you’ve repaid to a particular creditor. You can easily find the related receipts in a spreadsheet by filtering records by bank routing number.

How to Read BRN?

First, note that BRNs of US banks are unique within the same network. Knowing how to read them can help you check the invoices and bills that look suspicious. You should also verify the BRN code if you send a check or fill out a money order form. 

The routing number on a check looks like this:


XXXX digits represent the Federal Reserve Routing Symbol. They mean that the bank belongs to a particular federal reserve bank and state. The next four digits YYYY specify the exact branch. Finally, figure C is a Check Digit. Its purpose is to prevent transaction errors.

You can decode the BRN using a table here and enter it for quick validation. We recommend you use this service when checking the routing numbers you may find on the internet. It will prevent you from mistaking one BRN for another.

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How to Find a Routing Number on a Check and Without It

You have several options if you need a routing number. You can use a check, sign in to online banking, contact the bank, and consider other alternatives below.

Verifying a Routing Number on a Check

If you have a printed receipt, you can look for a nine-digit number at its bottom. Don’t confuse a BRN with the account number. The BRN is the first in a row on the bottom left. The account number and check numbers go next to it.

All three codes are printed in magnetic ink. Therefore, bank processing equipment can automatically read them. You can scan the check at bank ATMs to pay a bill or cash out the received money transfer.

How to Find Your Routing Number Without a Check

To get a bank routing number when there’s no printed receipt, you can:

  • Find it on the bank website. Sign in to the user’s account on an online banking website or web app. Then type “routing number” in the search bar. Some banks provide your account number and routing number near your nickname. The functionality may differ, but most banks will indicate their routing number in your account.
  • Use web search. You can google the needed ABA routing numbers through a web search. You may find the necessary BRN on an official website or one of the forums. Just make sure to double-check it and use reliable sources.
  • Check bank statements. These records have the most detailed account information that specifies the date, withdrawn amount, and remaining balance. But most importantly, bank statements contain the BRN code you’re looking for.
  • Content the customer support. Ask a bank representative by phone or at the branch what routing number you should use.
  • Seek BRN with ABA’s online tool. At the American Bankers Association’s site, look for the exact BRN by typing the name of a financial institution, city, state, and zip code. The lookup tool is probably the most accurate and convenient search method to find the BRN of any US commercial bank.

Routing Number vs. IBAN

Many people cannot distinguish routing numbers from IBAN. They are often confused because both ABA routing numbers and IBAN are used for interbank money transfers. 

Here’s the difference: 

There are a few more things you should know about these account numbers.

The Format of a Number

IBAN has 34-35 alphanumeric characters. A two-digit country code stands at the beginning. The next two digits are a checksum. They are followed by a four-figure bank code, a six-digit sort code, and an eight-digit account number. The BRN code is a nine-digit number, as detailed above in this article.

How Does IBAN/BRN Work

Routing numbers are essential for the interbank clearing process. They help to process checks and payments so the funds won’t go to the wrong bank branch.

Conversely, IBAN includes the code of a personal bank account. Therefore, it allows banks to identify the recipient of overseas payments and send funds directly to their bank account. The IBAN format of individual accounts is accepted in 84 countries worldwide, while BRNs are for US domestic use only.

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