Payset prespective
February 12, 2023

How to Open a US Payment Account in Canada

One of the most frequent online questions we see is how to open a US payment account in Canada. So if you’re a northern neighbour wondering this very thing, read on. We have you covered.

If you’re a Canadian citizen, particularly if you run a business, you might want to open a US payment account in order to send and receive US dollar payments. And with good reason: the American banking system is the largest and most trusted financial network in the world. 

A USD account is a very useful resource whether you are making payments to suppliers or staff, receiving payments from clients, making personal transactions with friends and family in the US, or saving, exchanging, or investing your money. However, in the past, it has been challenging to open a USD account from outside of the country. 

Fortunately, there are now ways to obtain a USD account as a Canadian citizen regardless of your location or situation. 

For instance, at Payset, we provide multi-currency accounts that allow you to send and receive local US dollar transactions as if you were in the states. Here are the top ways to open a US payment account in Canada.

Can I open a US payment account in Canada?

Yes. There are several ways to open a USD account as a Canadian citizen, whether for business or individual use.

1. Open a multi-currency account with Payset:

Open a multi-currency account with Payset, and you’ll gain access to most of the standard features of a traditional US bank account.

When you sign up with Payset, you get a dedicated international IBAN account that is registered under your personal or company name. Since we have partner banks in the United States where we hold a portion of all client funds, your Payset account gives you access to the American banking system, allowing you to make local payments as if you were in America. In other words, whenever you send or receive US dollars from your Payset account, your transaction happens as quickly and affordably as a local payment.

In short, with a Payset multi-currency account, you’ll be able to send and receive US dollars just like if you were using a bank in the United States. 

2. Open a US payment account in-store at an international bank:

You may be able to open a US bank account from Canada at certain banks even if you are not a citizen of the United States. To do so, you will typically need to visit a US bank branch in person. You will also need to provide various pieces of ID, and you may need to make a deposit.

3. Apply for a US bank account online with an ITIN rather than an SSN:

To open a US bank account in Canada, applicants typically need to provide an SSN or social security number. This is especially true if you plan to apply for a bank account online. 

However, SSN numbers are only available to US citizens, foreign workers, and permanent residents. Canadian citizens cannot obtain a social security number. 

Canadian citizens and residents of other countries can instead request an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) from the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS). An ITIN number, in combination with other pieces of ID, will allow you to open a US bank account online.

4. See if your non-US bank account can help:

Do you have a bank account at a major Canadian bank? If so, your bank may already have an established relationship with a US bank. For instance, TD Bank has US branches. Your bank may also offer borderless or cross-border accounts, or it may offer accounts denominated in US dollars. 

Ask your bank if it can provide you with these or other US banking services. 

How much does it cost to open a US payment account in Canada?

It’s generally free to open a US payment account in Canada. 

However, any payment account may include a monthly or annual fee. Some accounts may charge you if you carry out a certain number of transactions, if you make a certain number of ATM withdrawals, or if you make a withdrawal on another bank’s ATM network.

You might also need to meet certain requirements to avoid fees. For example, you may need to make monthly deposits or meet total balance requirements. 

Nevertheless, it is possible to find accounts with minimal fees (or no fees at all) as long as you take the time to compare various rates and look for the best deal.

Are there different types of US payment accounts?

There are two types of US payment accounts. These can be distinguished by their target audience—that is, whether they are meant for personal or corporate use.

Personal Accounts

If you are an individual managing your own finances, you will need to open a personal payments account. Personal accounts, such as savings and interest accounts, are the most common type of bank account, and they should meet the needs of most USD clients.

Corporate Accounts

If you own or operate a business, you may instead choose to open a corporate account. Choosing this type of account will provide you with additional resources and benefits, and this will allow you to serve your customers with greater credibility. However, you will typically need to provide more extensive documentation in order to open a corporate account.

What do I need to open a US payment account in Canada?

To open a US payment account in Canada, you’ll need to provide identification.

US citizens, as well as certain non-citizens, such as permanent residents and foreign workers, have an SSN or social security number that they can provide during their application.

However, Canadian citizens cannot obtain an SSN. As such, Canadian citizens should obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) in order to open an account.

You might also need to provide other identification documents, including two pieces of government-issued ID, your passport, and a document that proves your address, such as a utility bill. You might need to make an initial deposit to your account as well. 

These requirements are not necessarily enough to open an account at any US bank. Still, it may be possible to open a USD account in Canada by providing the above information.

What are some other alternatives to opening a USD account in Canada in person?

Instead of opening a USD account in Canada in person at a major American bank branch, Canadians can instead rely upon online US payment services and multi-currency accounts.

Multi-currency accounts, such as those offered by Payset, are offered by EMIs rather than banks, but they can be used to send, receive, and exchange US dollars all the same.

If you move to the US. permanently, you may choose to open a full US bank account at a later date. Then, you can transfer funds from your multi-currency account to a regular US bank.

Is it possible to open a US payment account in Canada online?

Canadians can begin the process of opening a US payment account online. You can usually begin your application and start providing information on your computer or mobile device.

However, you will likely need to visit an actual US bank branch in person in order to fully complete the registration process. At that point, you’ll need to provide identification. As a result, it’s difficult for Canadian users to open a US bank account entirely online.

Instead, you might consider registering with Payset or other similar bank alternative services that offer multi-currency accounts. These services allow you to hold, send, and receive US dollars and other currencies without the need for a US bank account.

With a Payset account, you can open a US. dollar account entirely online from start to finish.

Pay and get paid locally in the US with a Payset account 

Payset offers a variety of features that make it ideal for Canadian citizens — and anyone else who wants to make use of the US dollar or other foreign currencies. 

A Payset account gives you instant access to American payment networks. You can pay and get paid in US dollars, just like a local.

We offer support for SWIFT transfers, meaning that you can transact in US dollars and other supported currencies on the world’s largest and fastest financial messaging network. We also support European and UK payment networks, including SEPA, FPS, and CHAPS.

Plus, our multi-currency exchange provides a way to quickly and inexpensively swap between the Canadian dollar, the US dollar, and 36 other currencies.

We offer competitive rates on monthly account fees and transaction fees. Plus, it’s always free to send funds to other Payset users or receive funds from any source. 

To sign up, click below.

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Frequently asked questions

What is a multi-currency account/virtual IBAN?

A Payset multi-currency account allows you to receive money in 34 different currencies and send money in up to 38 currencies, all within the same account.

You can deposit and withdraw funds, convert currencies at competitive exchange rates, and hold your chosen currencies to capitalize on market movements.

A Payset multi-currency account allows startups and business owners to receive payments from clients virtually anywhere in the world and pay suppliers, staff, and contractors quickly and affordably in their chosen currency.

  • Funds can be deposited and withdrawn from the account for a small fee.
  • Account holders can send and receive money with other Payset users for free.
  • Depending on your region, you can use various payment networks from your Payset account, including SWIFT, SEPA, ACH, Fedwire, Faster Payments, BACS, and CHAPS. 
  • Once you register an account, you will be provided with a Virtual IBAN (International Bank Account Number), which makes all of these transfers easy.
  • We provide you with local payments and collections. For example, transactions in USD, EUR, CAD, and GBP are processed through the local payment networks, which is far cheaper and takes minutes as opposed to days

Are there limits on the amount of money I can send and receive?

No, there are no transaction limits on Payset multi-currency accounts.

However, higher-volume transactions may require additional anti-fraud verification. If you plan to make a large transaction, contact us in advance to avoid verification delays.

How is Payset regulated?

Payset is regulated as an authorized Electronic Money Institution by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. Our activities are also regulated by the Payment Services Regulation 2017 and the Electronic Money Regulation 2011 (SI 2011/99).

How do I send money from my account?

Once you have opened your verified IBAN account and added money to a balance, transferring funds is simple.

Simply log in into your account and add a beneficiary, then simply “make a transfer” in your preferred currency to that beneficiary.

Information contained in this publication is provided for general education and information purposes only and should not be construed as legal, tax, investment or other professional advice or recommendation, or an offer of, or solicitation for, any transactions or any other actions (or refraining therefrom); This material has been prepared without taking into account any particular recipient’s financial objectives or situation. We make no warranty, guarantee or representation, whether express or implied, as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein or fitness thereof for a particular purpose; Use of images and symbols is made for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation or advice to take or refraining from any action; Use of brand logos does not necessarily imply a contractual relationship between us and the entities owning the logos, nor does it represent an endorsement of any such entity by Pay Set Limited, or vice versa; Market information is made available to you only as a service, and we do not endorse or approve it; Any reference to past performance, predicted returns, or likelihood performance scenarios may not reflect actual future performance and certainly do not guarantee future outcomes.

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