20+ Differences Between ABA And Routing Number (Explained)

The American Banking Association has developed a system to sort, bundle, identify, and locate checks’ drawing banks. Without this sorting facility, cash flow risks would be greater. Incorrect, incomplete, or lost routing information costs financial institutions and customers money.

Each code and number encoded in a check is necessary for verifying it. Identifying the various aspects of bank numbering systems may help everyone understand them. ABA Transit Number and Routing Transit Number are worldwide codes.

Comparison Between ABA And Routing Number

ParameterABA NumberRouting Number
What it isIt is several nine digits that are used to guarantee the path the paper will take while being transported from one location to another. This number is used to provide reassurance about the paper’s direction.In addition to that, the amount that is under discussion is a number that has all nine digits written out. In the process of guaranteeing the path that the electronic transfers take, it is an essential component and plays a vital part.
Founded inSince it was made accessible to the general public for the first time in 1911, a sizeable number of people have chosen to use it in their daily lives.It started in the second part of the 1960s and persisted throughout the whole of that decade.
RangeWhen it comes to the first two digits of a number, you can select any value between 00 and 32 at your discretion. You can interpret these digits in whatever way you see fit since your imagination is the only limit.Sixty-one distinct permutations may be used to combine the first two digits of the number, and each of those permutations can produce a result that falls anywhere in the range of 72 to 61. Given the current circumstances, the numbers 61 to 72 reflect the possible spectrum of possible outcomes.
PositionYou will discover a message that has been hidden within the check that provides further information about it at the bottom left-hand corner of the check itself. The message was placed there intentionally.If you check on the same line as the account number, you should be able to figure out where it is written if it is there (if that makes any sense).
difference between aba and routing number

Major Differences Between Aba And Routing Number

What exactly is an ABA Number?

The two most significant codes or digits on a check are the ABA Transit or Routing Number, often known as the ABA number or RTN number, and your account number, which is unique to you.

Every single financial institution in the United States has what is known as an ABA number, which serves as a unique identity. The ABA number represents the physical location of your bank, whereas your account number represents the location of your personal funds.

Key Differences: ABA Number

  • ABA number is a banking name for the number used by all U.S. banks to research institutions and handle financial concerns. 
  • This phrase is used for ACH transactions and long-distance wires. 
  • This number handles electronic and direct deposits. 
  • This number may also be used to pay consumer bills and taxes. 
  • Other uses include e-checks and account funding. 
  • This number is used whenever money is sent. This statistic has many names in different countries. 
  • Nine digits and no alphabet indicate simple numbers. 
  • It’s often mistaken with other words, but that doesn’t imply it’s the same. 
  • When unsure, ask your bank. 
  • This word refers to the American Bankers Association number on checks. 
  • This number reveals the bank’s name, location, and check-withdrawal region.
features of aba

What exactly is a Routing Number?

Your routing number is the ABA number at the bottom left of your check. Without this number, electronic transfers are impossible. It permits electronic checks and online payments, a more helpful and easy way than paper checks, which may vanish.

No longer must checkbooks be balanced by hand. Your routing number is ABA. Since we now electronically handle checks and wire transfers, many banks (and customers) use these words interchangeably.

Key Differences: Routing Number

  • The routing number or RTN is the number on a check. 
  • This number is used for direct deposits and electronic money transfers. 
  • Directly pay bills and disclose tax payments. E-checks and account funding. 
  • This number is not used by bank account holders but is used to complete bank transactions. 
  • Every bank registered in the nation is given a number that identifies its location, state, branch, and check type. 
  • This word is used globally, not only in the U.S. 
  • The first two digits indicate the bank’s location. 
  • The next four numbers indicate the bank utilizing another financial institution’s number, while the final four indicate the federal reserve bank. 
  • Its main function is checking payments, although internet payments also benefit. 
  • When two banks or institutions transfer money, they must identify and process it. 
  • It’s faster and simpler to learn about a money-trading service.
features of routing number

Contrast Between ABA And Routing Number


  • ABA Number- The following information has to be printed in the top right-hand corner of the check-in at this location:
  • Routing Number- No matter where else you decide to write the number on the check, it must always be put in the bottom left-hand corner. This is the only acceptable location for the number.


  • ABA Number- ABA numbers, often referred to as routing transit numbers, are used to direct cheques and other forms of payment to the right financial institution.

    These numbers may also be called bank identification numbers (BINs). This process could also include other kinds of monetary transactions. These are the primary numerical ranges to consider.
  • Routing Number- A routing number is a nine-digit identification that is used in the United States to identify a particular financial institution. This number is used to route financial transactions. The designation that has been assigned to this specific number is known as route identification.


  • ABA Number- When money is moved from one financial institution to another, whether it be between banks or other financial institutions, the use of ABA numbers is essential.

    This is true whether the money moves between banks or other kinds of financial organizations. This is done so that the organization benefits from the contribution may be recognized as the gift recipient.
  • Routing Number- When using the institution’s routing number, one can determine which bank or other financial institution will receive the money being sent. This is possible since the routing number is unique to each financial institution.


  • ABA Number- Kindly aid me in determining the specific name of the financial institution and the actual location of both the branch and the account. I want to express my gratitude in advance.
  • Routing Number- Help is needed in identifying the accurate name of the financial institution and pinpointing the exact location of the office and the account. Both of these details are important. This information could be located in the area where the account is kept.

Varies from: 

  • ABA Number- You may choose any two numbers from 00 to 32 for the first two digits of a phone number. The only limit is your own creativity while considering these numbers.
  • Routing Number- There are 61 different ways to combine the first two digits of the number, and each one of those ways may provide a value between 72 and 61. Given the existing state of affairs, the range of probable outcomes may be seen in the numbers 61–72.


  • ABA Number- Since it was made available to the general public for the very first time in 1911, a substantial number of individuals have made it into a habit, allowing them to include it in their day-to-day lives.
  • Routing Number- It began at some point during the middle of the 1960s and persisted for the whole of the decade.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What differentiates an IBAN from an ABA number, and what are their similarities?

IBANs, which stand for international bank account numbers, are required to make international bank transfers throughout a significant portion of Europe.

ABA numbers are something that US-based financial institutions can only obtain. IBAN numbers are not used for international banking in the United States.

Q2. What exactly is meant by the acronym SWIFT?

A code known as SWIFT, an acronym for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, is used to identify the bank involved in a transaction that takes place on a global scale.

In a transaction that takes place inside the borders of the United States, identifying a bank using either an ABA number.

Q3. What is MICR?

Today’s computerized check processing necessitates that account and routing numbers be printed in a format that a computer can read. MICR allows us to do this.

Magnetic ink character recognition, or MICR, prints routing numbers and other special characters onto the bottom of checks using a magnetically charged ink or toner.

Q4. Where on a check can I locate the nine-digit ACH Routing Number that I need? 

The nine-digit code that makes up a bank’s routing number is selected by the U.S. Bank location where a customer’s account was first opened.

This is the case for all banks. It is the first set of numbers on the left-hand side of your check, printed at the bottom of each check.

Q5. What does the wire route number mean?

It is an electronic transfer of money that is handled between two banks rather than being forwarded via the automated clearinghouse operated by the Federal Reserve Bank.

The sending bank checks the account holder’s identity and ensures that there are enough funds in the receiving bank account, while the receiving bank checks the identity of the account person receiving the cash. 

Q6. What are the benefits of registering your ABA number?

Acuity has been the official registrant of ABA Routing Numbers since 1911.

The ABA Key to Routing Numbers is a document that is produced by the corporation twice a year and provides the official list of valid ABA Routing Numbers that are in use at the time of publication.

Answer. Today’s computerized check processing necessitates that account and routing numbers be printed in a format that can be read by a computer. MICR allows us to do this. Magnetic ink character recognition, or MICR, is a method of printing routing numbers and other special characters onto the bottom of checks using a magnetically charged ink or toner.

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