Everything You’ve Wanted to Know About Direct Deposit

Having a clear understanding of how direct deposit works will help you make better informed decisions about your finances.

5 min read

Direct deposit has become one of the most convenient, fast, and pain-free ways to receive your paycheck, yet there is still plenty of mystery surrounding this form of electronic payment. No matter if you’re a direct deposit veteran, or are simply weighing the benefits of this method of receiving your money, having a clear understanding of how direct deposit works will help you make better informed decisions about your finances.

While direct deposit has some clear advantages, like saying goodbye to misplaced checks, there are some questions you might want answered before taking the plunge: Is direct deposit safe? Will I get my money faster than with paper checks? Can I really get my paycheck earlier with N26? We’re answering some of the most common and pressing questions about direct deposit, so you can enjoy speed and peace of mind next time payday rolls around.

What is direct deposit?

In short, direct deposit is a form of electronic payment. It eliminates the need for a physical deposit, usually in the form of a paper check, by receiving the money directly into your checking or savings account. While most associate direct deposit with payroll, this form of electronic payment actually applies to several forms of transactions, including government programs like Social Security and tax refunds. Direct deposit saves issuers time and money, avoiding some of the risks associated with mailing physical checks.

How does direct deposit work?

Direct deposits in the U.S. are sent from the issuer (i.e. your employer) through the Automated Clearing House network (ACH), to your bank account. ACH coordinates payments between bank accounts making the process seamless for you. Once the money hits your account, you’re all set. There is no need to accept payments, or do anything out of the ordinary. Plus you’re also helping the planet, since direct deposit eliminates the need to print and transport physical checks.

Is direct deposit really faster than traditional paper checks?

In many ways, yes. For starters, direct deposit can save you time and effort from having to go to the bank every time you get paid. A direct deposit may also arrive in your account faster than it would take a paper check to get to you in the mail, or for you to get it directly from your employer. Finally, paper checks often take a longer time to clear your account, while direct deposit can be near instant.

Can I really get my paycheck earlier with N26¹?

Compared to many traditional banks, yes. While conventional banks often place holds on funds until specified payroll dates, N26 believes in getting your money to you as quickly as possible. The moment your employer makes your paycheck available, we make sure that the funds hit your account. For a traditional Friday payday, we usually receive notifications on Wednesdays, which means you can get your money up to two days earlier.

How do I set up direct deposit with N26?

Setting up direct deposit with N26 is easy. Your account information and routing number are available by tapping the “My Account” icon on the top right corner of the N26 app. You can write down or copy both numbers by tapping the “share” icon directly to the right of your account information. Simply provide your employer with our routing number (122287675), and your N26 account number. You might also have to provide your employer with additional information, including the type of account, bank name and address, or percentage of your paycheck you’d like deposited into a given account.

If your employer requires a direct deposit form, click here.

Is direct deposit safe?

In many ways direct deposit is safer than traditional paper checks. For starters, you won’t have to worry about potentially misplacing your paycheck, but you’re also avoiding anyone potentially stealing or altering your check. Since they are deposited automatically from your employer’s account to yours, this is one of the most secure ways to receive money. The N26 app will also send an instant notification to your phone the moment the money hits your account, so you’ll always know exactly where you and your finances stand.

Can I get direct deposit as a freelancer?

If you’re a freelancer or independent contractor, many business payrolls are able to accommodate direct deposit payments fairly easily. While freelance situations vary significantly and you should always check with an individual client or business to understand their circumstance, direct deposits can also be a beneficial, practical, and cost-saving method of payment for many companies since it does away with unnecessary paperwork.

Are there other forms of direct deposit outside of payroll?

Yes. Many government benefits, like Social Security, have migrated exclusively to electronic payments (either through direct deposit or a reloadable debit card). You can also receive your tax refund faster via direct deposit, when compared to traditional mailed checks.

If I have a problem with direct deposit, how do I solve it?

While you’re a lot more likely to encounter problems with paper checks than direct deposit, most issues are usually relatively easy to fix. If you do have a problem with direct deposit, you should contact your employer or financial institution to make sure everything is set up correctly. Should you have any questions they might not be able to answer, you can visit our support center or contact our Customer Service team, which is available to help you troubleshoot any issues.

Open an N26 account today directly from your phone, set up direct deposit, and get paid up to two days early. With N26, Wednesday is the new Friday.

¹ Faster funding claim is based on a comparison of our policy of making funds available upon receipt of payment instruction versus the typical banking practice of posting funds at settlement. Fraud prevention restrictions may delay availability of funds with or without notice. Early availability of funds requires payor’s support of direct deposit and is subject to the timing of payor’s payment instruction.

The N26 account is offered by Axos Bank®, Member FDIC. N26 Inc. is a service provider of Axos Bank. All deposit accounts of the same ownership and/or vesting held at Axos Bank are combined and insured under the same FDIC Certificate 35546. All deposit accounts through Axos Bank brands are not separately insured by the FDIC from other deposit accounts held with the same ownership and/or vesting at Axos Bank. The N26 Visa® Debit Card is issued by Axos Bank pursuant to a license by Visa U.S.A. Inc. The N26 Visa Debit Card may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.

By N26

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