Last updated on August 10th, 2019 at 03:09 pm.
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If you have ever had to do any sort of online transaction, you have probably needed your USAA routing number.
Your routing number is a nine-digit code found on the bottom of your check. But what if you don’t have a check handy?To help make things easier for you, in this post we have a full list of these numbers.
You have probably had to use these numbers before. For example, if you want to add your checking account to a credit card account to make payments, you will need your routing number.
If you work from home, like I do, you might have a lot of people paying you through services like PayPal or Venmo. In order to then transfer that money to your bank, you will need your routing number to link to your bank.
I track all of my online accounts with Personal Capital, but finding my routing number has been more challenging.
You might not know what all these numbers mean, but they are very important. But how and where do we find them? That’s what we’ll cover here.
What is USAA?
The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) is a financial services group based in San Antonio, Texas. They are a fortune 500 company founded in 1922.
USAA offers a variety of financial services, including:
- Property, casualty, and life insurance
- Investing and financial planning
If you happen to do your banking with USAA, you will need your USAA routing number.
The routing number, also known as routing transit number (RTN) or American Bankers Association (ABA) number is used in a variety of online transactions.
But how do you know what your USAA routing number is? Below, you will find a list of them.
USAA Routing Number
Many banks have several different routing numbers throughout the country. However, there is only one USAA routing number.
The USAA routing number is 314074269.
This means that regardless of where you are in the country, this will always be your USAA routing number.
What is a Routing Number?
The Purpose of Routing Numbers and Why We Need Them
Routing numbers might seem like just a funky string of numbers that don’t mean anything. But these numbers are actually quite important and serve a valuable purpose. They help the bank understand where your check came from and prevent confusion between banks.
To better understand, let’s dive into how they originated, how they’re formed, and why we need them.
Origin of the Routing Number
Routing numbers have been around for quite a while; in fact, they’ve been around since 1910. The American Bankers Association (ABA) introduced these numbers to help avoid issues sorting, bundling, and shipping paper checks. They also aimed to make the process more secure.
These numbers are not unique to each account (that would be the account number). Instead, routing numbers are only specific to each bank. The ABA felt these numbers could help prevent a check from one bank being cashed at another bank with a similar name by mistake.
Per the routing number policy, banks can have up to five ABA RTNs. RTN stands for routing transit number – just a more technical term for routing number.
However, also note that some banks may have more than five of these numbers due to acquisitions and mergers. This has been an increasing trend in recent decades, so it’s likely we will see a lot of this.
How Routing Numbers Are Formed
These numbers are not just a bunch of random digits. There is actually a formulaic way in which they are determined.
The first four numbers are the routing symbol from the Federal Reserve. There are 12 Federal Reserve districts; these correspond to where the checks are printed. Where you live in the United States in not relevant in this case.
The next four digits represent the number the ABA assigns to your financial institution or bank. This is a unique identifier that is not assigned to any other organization.
The ninth and last digit is the check digit. This is determined by what is known as a checksum algorithm.
Routing numbers appear in two forms on checks; the standard form and the magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) form. The two are similar with only slight differences.
The Checksum Algorithm
The checksum algorithm determines the ninth digit of the routing number and is used to validate the eight digits before it.
This algorithm works using a series of multiplication and addition. When the algorithm is complete, the resulting number should be divisible by 10; this is how we know the routing number is valid.
How to Find Your USAA Routing Number
In addition to the list above, there are several ways you can find your routing number. Let’s review some of them.
1. Online Banking
While logged into the USAA site, you can easily find your routing number. While logged in, you will be able to see your routing number in your account information.
If you have trouble locating it here, you can always contact support and ask them for assistance. However, it should be easy to find.
Another possible way is to look on the website for the state in which you currently reside. However, if you moved since opening your account, you would need to check the state where you lived at the time of account opening.
2. Paper Check or Negotiable Instrument
If you have paper checks, every one of them will have your routing number printed on the bottom. These are sometimes referred to as negotiable instruments.
But the routing number isn’t the only number shown. The first set of numbers will be your account number. Then the second set of numbers is your routing number.
This number is printed in magnetic ink character recognition (MICR), which helps computers more easily recognize it.
3. From Your Mobile App
Many banking institutions will allow you to see your routing number while logged into the mobile app. If you have one, check to see if your routing number appears under your account information.
The Importance of Your USAA Routing Number
USAA routing number is something you will need to have when doing any kind of money transfer online. When sending or receiving money, it will be necessary to have this number handy.
Without it, you will not be able to conduct your banking online. Here are some basic banking tasks that require the routing number:
- Direct deposit from your employer
- Money transfer via PayPal
- Moving money into and out of online savings
- Wire transfer
Remember that your routing number is a number that uniquely identifies your bank. Because you will have multiple banks at play during these transactions, your routing code will help eliminate confusion.
Management of Routing Numbers
Currently, the American Bankers Association (ABA) works with a firm called Accuity in managing the ABA routing number system. Accuity is a division of RELX.
There is what’s known as a key book; this document is a master list of all RTNs. Some banks, especially the larger ones, have many RTNs.
This is separate from BIC/SWIFT codes, which are managed by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT). Many financial institutions also use an IBAN code.
There are a few quirks with wire transfers and how they affect routing numbers. For instance, there will be some differences when doing a wire transfer. Your routing number when transferring money via wire transfer will be different.
In particular, the USAA wire transfer routing number is 314074269.
There is yet another code you might need to know, specifically for international wire transfers.
This is the Society for Interbank Financial Telecommunication or SWIFT code. Another name for it is Bank Identifier (BIC) code.
These codes also allow banks to receive wire transfers. However, USAA does not have a BIC/SWIFT code. If you need to receive an incoming wire, USAA recommends contacting the receiving bank and asking for their receiving instructions.
What is an Account Number?
While a routing number helps identify the bank with which your account is held, your account number identifies your account within the bank. That number is unique to your account, unlike the routing number, which many people at one bank will have.
I you have multiple accounts at the same bank, the routing number will be the same for all of them. On the other hand, each account will have its own account number.
It is important to know both your account number and your routing number for all online banking transactions.