How to Ping a Bank Account

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Woman  holding a bank card while looking at a laptop.
Woman holding a bank card while looking at a laptop. (Image: Jupiterimages, Brand X Pictures/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

In banking terms, a "ping" is used to confirm that the link between one financial account and a bank account is correct. Sometimes, when you first set up a new bank link to an online vendor, you are asked to confirm the account. The vendor will send a small amount to your bank account based on the information provided. You must confirm the small deposit to ensure that the correct information and link was created between the two accounts.

Establish the link between the two accounts. This is done on the non-bank account side. For example, you may set up an automatic link between your bank account and an online payment service, such as PayPal or Google Checkout. Provide the third-party payment service or vendor your complete bank information including routing number, account number and bank name.

Wait for the small transfer of one or two random amounts under $1 to be directed to the new account. This can be a withdrawal or a deposit, though most companies do a deposit of a few cents.

Check the bank account to determine if the transaction occurred. Record the day and the amount of the transaction.

Log back in to the third-party website and report the transaction on the appropriate page to confirm that the accounts are correctly linked.

Tips & Warnings

  • Third-party vendors automatically may send a ping before the account can be used without restriction. This is to protect the bank account owner's interests against fraud or an accidental mis-linking.
  • A ping may take one to two business days to post to the bank account. Report failure to see any transactions immediately to let the third-party vendor know there is a problem.

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