Why Robinhood Can‘t Link Bank Account & How To Fix It

default image

Have you ever tried to link your bank account to Robinhood but got frustrating error messages? You‘re not alone.

As a fintech geek and active Robinhood user myself, I‘ve helped dozens of friends troubleshoot this issue to get their accounts funded and ready to trade.

In this comprehensive 3200+ word guide, I‘ll walk you step-by-step through why Robinhood can‘t link bank accounts and proven solutions to fix it.

Stick with me, and you‘ll be buying stocks and options on Robinhood in no time!

Overview: Linking Banks to Robinhood

First, let‘s quickly review how connecting a bank account to Robinhood normally works when things go smoothly:

  1. Sign up for a Robinhood account on their site or mobile app. You‘ll need to provide personal details like your name, email, date of birth, and Social Security number to open your account.

  2. Robinhood will prompt you to link a bank account to complete the signup process. Tap "Link Bank Account".

  3. Search for your bank by name or routing number. Once you find your bank, log in to your online banking account when prompted.

  4. After logging in, you‘ll see two small verification deposits from Robinhood into your bank account (usually $0.01 or $0.02).

  5. Go back to the Robinhood app and enter these two deposit amounts to verify your bank account.

  6. That‘s it! Your bank account will now be linked. You can start transferring funds and buying stocks.

Easy right? The whole process usually only takes a few minutes. But sometimes the bank linking fails, so let‘s look at why that happens and how to fix it.

Reasons Why Robinhood Can‘t Connect to Your Bank

In my experience helping friends with this, there are 5 main reasons Robinhood has issues linking to your bank account:

1. Your bank isn‘t supported

Robinhood works seamlessly with most major U.S. banks like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Chase.

But some smaller regional or online-only banks aren‘t directly integrated. If your bank isn‘t supported, you‘ll have to enter account details manually.

2. Site traffic overload

During peak trading hours or popular market events, Robinhood‘s servers take lots of strain. All that site traffic can cause connectivity issues linking bank accounts.

I‘ve seen bank linking fail most often early in the morning around market open or in the first hour after market close when volume spikes.

3. Multi-factor authentication problems

Banks like Chase and Bank of America now use multi-factor authentication, requiring extra steps like SMS texts or security questions to log in.

Robinhood‘s linking process doesn‘t support these extra authentication hoops, so the connection fails.

4. User errors

Let‘s be honest – we all make simple mistakes! Typos in your account or routing number, wrong password, etc. can all block the bank linking.

Double check your details carefully before assuming the problem is on Robinhood‘s end.

5. Robinhood application issues

Despite being a great platform overall, like any app Robinhood has its bugs. Glitches in the linking function can prevent connecting your bank.

Force quitting the app and restarting your phone usually clears up most app issues quickly.

Now let‘s walk through the step-by-step solutions to troubleshoot and fix these Robinhood bank linking errors…

Over the years, I‘ve identified 7 go-to troubleshooting steps that work to fix almost any "Can‘t link bank" or connection issue with Robinhood:

Step 1: Double Check Your Bank Account Details

Before you do anything else, log into your bank‘s website and verify you entered the right account details:

  • Account Number – Your full account number, including any leading zeros. Don‘t use partial numbers.

  • Routing Number – 9-digit routing number from a check or bank site. Don‘t use the routing number on a deposit slip, as that‘s different!

  • Account Type – Confirm you selected checking or savings for the account type.

  • Account Ownership – Bank account holder name must match your Robinhood account name exactly.

  • Login Credentials – Ensure your online banking username and password are 100% correct.

Re-enter your details carefully in Robinhood. Silly typos can block the whole linking process, so triple check that information.

Step 2: Try Linking During Off-Peak Hours

If Robinhood is slammed with high traffic, retry linking during off-peak hours like early morning or late night:

  • Early morning between 4 am and 8 am Eastern before markets open is ideal.

  • Late evening between 8 pm and midnight Eastern when markets are closed also works.

  • Weekends or holidays when markets are closed work well too since trading volume is lower.

The account linking seems to have fewer hiccups when Robinhood‘s servers are less busy with fewer active users, in my experience.

Step 3: Manually Enter Your Bank Account Details

If Robinhood can‘t automatically pull up your bank‘s info, select "Can‘t find your bank?" and manually enter your details:

  1. Tap "Add Bank Manually"

  2. Input your bank‘s 9-digit routing number

  3. Enter your account number

  4. Select checking or savings account type

  5. Follow the prompts to complete setup

Manually entering the account and routing numbers bypasses issues with Robinhood connecting to your bank‘s servers directly.

Step 4: Contact Your Bank to Allow Third-Party Access

Many banks block access from third-party apps like Robinhood by default for security reasons.

Call or chat online with your bank‘s customer service. Ask them to specifically white-list and allow access from Robinhood into your accounts.

Once your bank grants permission, account linking should work smoothly. Just remind them you initiated the requests for Robinhood access.

Step 5: Disable Multi-Factor Authentication Temporarily

If your bank requires extra login authentication via steps Robinhood doesn‘t support yet like SMS texts or security questions, the link will fail.

Try temporarily turning off multi-factor authentication on your online banking account before attempting to re-link Robinhood.

Once connected, you can re-enable multi-factor for better security.

Step 6: Use Plaid for Faster Direct Bank Linking

Recently Robinhood partnered with Plaid to improve bank linking speed and reliability. I highly recommend using Plaid!

Here‘s how to connect via Plaid:

  1. Tap “Link Bank Account” as usual in Robinhood

  2. Search and select your bank’s name

  3. Choose “Sign in with Plaid” below your bank’s name

  4. Log into your bank through Plaid to complete account verification

Plaid streamlines this whole process and eliminates most errors I used to see. It‘s absolutely the fastest and most reliable linking method now.

Step 7: Contact Robinhood Customer Support

If you still can‘t get your bank linked after trying these troubleshooting tips, reach out to Robinhood support:

  • In the Robinhood app, tap the profile icon -> Help Center -> Contact Us.

  • On desktop, click Account -> Help Center -> Contact Us.

  • Call Robinhood support at +1 866-976-8361. Wait times can be long during peak hours.

  • Email Robinhood support at [email protected] for assistance. Expect 1-3 days for a reply.

Explain your linking issue, steps taken, and any error messages you‘re seeing. Provide screenshots if possible. Their specialists may have additional troubleshooting ideas or be able to directly whitelist your bank.

When All Else Fails – Alternative Ways to Transfer Money

If you absolutely can‘t get your bank linked to Robinhood, don‘t panic! You still have options to transfer funds:

Use a Debit Card

Link a debit card instead to deposit cash directly. There‘s a $5,000 daily instant transfer limit when using debit cards.

Downsides are the low daily limits and fees your bank may charge per transaction. But this is the fastest option if your bank can‘t link.

ACH Transfer from Another Brokerage

Withdraw funds from an existing investing account you have at another brokerage, and make an ACH transfer into Robinhood.

ACH transfers take 2-3 business days to settle, but avoid linking your bank directly.

Wire Transfer

Initiate a domestic wire transfer from your bank manually into your Robinhood account details.

Wire transfers cost $25-50 in fees, but complete in just 1-2 business days. Much faster than mailing a check.

Mail a Check

As a last resort, you can mail a physical check payable directly to Robinhood:

Robinhood Financial LLC
85 Willow Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025

Be sure to include your Robinhood account number on the check memo. Mailed checks take around 5 business days to fully clear and settle.

Key Takeaways: Linking Your Bank Account to Robinhood

Here are the key tips to remember:

  • Linking your bank account provides the fastest, lowest friction way to transfer funds into Robinhood for trading.

  • Common linking errors happen due to site outages, multi-factor authentication, or incorrect details entered.

  • Resolve most issues by double checking your bank details, trying off-peak hours, using Plaid, or contacting support.

  • If you absolutely can’t link your bank directly, use a debit card, wire transfer, ACH transfer, or mailed check instead.

  • Keep persevering through the troubleshooting steps outlined above. Getting your bank linked directly to Robinhood is well worth it!

Let me know if you have any other questions! I love helping fellow tech enthusiasts solve issues like Robinhood bank linking – that‘s what fintech friends are for. Stay in touch!


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.