Your account number is found on the bottom of a check. It’s the second set of numbers, between the nine-digit routing number and the check number.

Ryan Freeze/Bankrate

What is the account number on a check?

The account number listed on a check is used to identify the unique bank account that the money is coming from. Without the right account number, paychecks can get delayed or fees may be charged for missing bills due to checks not going through.

If you have multiple checking accounts (such as a personal and business accounts), each has its own account number. Though a routing number is specific to your bank or credit union, an account number is specific to each account. Account numbers vary in length but typically only go up to 12 digits.

Other ways to find your account number

Find your account number on a paper statement

If you have a paper bank statement or an electronic (PDF) version of it, your account number should be listed on the top. Look for “account number,” followed by a series of numbers.

Find your account number through online banking

Sign into your bank account through the bank’s online portal. The account number may be displayed in the account information or account summary sections, but some banks and credit unions may cloak part of it. If so, there’s likely a prompt that says “show” or “reveal” to display all the digits.

Call your bank and ask for your account number

A customer service representative at your bank can provide you with your account number. The representative will likely ask a few security questions to verify your identity before providing the information.

What is the routing number on a check?

Though the bank account number indicates the unique account you use to fund the check, the routing number identifies the bank itself. Routing numbers are required for many types of financial transactions, including check processing and wire transfers.

Like the account number, the routing number can be found at the bottom of a check. It is the first set of numbers, nine digits long, on the left.

Bottom line

At its core, your account number is a unique identifier for your bank account. It’s important because it tells the bank or credit union exactly which account to take money from and which one it belongs in. The account number is needed to enroll in direct deposit and setting up electronic payment services, like online bill pay.

–Anna Baluch contributed to a previous version of this article.