Banking for students

Personal banking for your student

We receive many questions from parents regarding personal banking for students as well as methods of payments of tuition and other related fees, particularly from parents of students originating from foreign countries.

For this reason, you will find staff members from our Student Accounts Office as well as representatives from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) on location at the Parents Tent, held on campus from August 24 to 27, 2012. In anticipation of this event and to help address some of your most pressing questions, please see below for answers to some of the most common queries that we receive.

Q: My student wants to open a Canadian bank account when they arrive at McGill. How should they proceed? Is there anything they can do prior to their arrival in Montreal?
Answer >>
Before arriving at McGill, your student must have or obtain two of the following pieces of identification, one of which must be from the Type A list:

     Type A:
     Canadian Passport
     Foreign Passport
     Certificate of Canadian Citizenship
     Permanent Resident Card
     Citizenship and Immigration Form IMM 1442
     Citizenship and Immigration Form Birth Certificate Issued in Canada
     Provincially Issued ID Card with Photo (in lieu of driver’s license)
     U.S. Driver’s License
     U.S. Birth Certificate

     Type B:
     Canadian University or College Student Card with Photo

Once your student has obtained two pieces of ID and a Montreal address, he or she can visit a local RBC branch to open an account that will be activated and accessible immediately. Your student can also pass by our Parents Tent, from August 24 to 27, 2012, to meet an RBC representative and ask any questions they might have on the types of accounts and services available for students.

To learn more about RBC’s accounts for students, click here >>

Q: What can you tell me about the special program for students coming to Canada from China?
Answer >>
This program allows qualifying students from China to open an account prior to their arrival in Canada through the RBC Beijing branch and to take advantage of the “Beijing Student Partner Program GIC”.
To learn more about the Program visit:

Q: Is the presence of a parent required in order for my student to be able to open a bank account?
Answer >>
No, whether your child is of legal age or not, the presence of a parent is not required for him or her to open a bank account. All your student needs are two of the required pieces of ID listed above (one of which must be listed under the “A” type) as well as a personal mailing address in Montreal.

Q: We will arrive in town in time for Rez Move-In Weekend. Is there any way for my student to open a bank account right away that very weekend?
Answer >>
Yes. On Saturday, August 25, 2012, RBC will open three of its downtown branches, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., to allow students to open accounts right away. The branches that will be open are:

  1. Place Ville Marie Branch, 1 Place Ville Marie, Ground Level (Corner of René Lévesque Blvd. and University St.)
  2. Peel & Sherbrooke Branch, 1100 Sherbrooke St. West (Corner of Peel St.)
  3. Tour Guy Branch, 2157 Guy St. (between de Maisonneuve Blvd. and Sherbrooke St.)

To locate these branches in relation to the McGill downtown campus, click here >>

You can also meet RBC personnel during regular banking hours – consult their website for more details – or at the Parents Tent. However, please note that while you will be able to ask questions to RBC representatives at Parents Tent, you will have to visit a local branch to open and activate an account.

Q: What can RBC personnel do for me and my student at the Parents Tent?
Answer >>
While your student will not be able to open an account at the Tent, you will both have an opportunity to learn about the types of accounts available for students at RBC and decide which type best fits your child’s needs. You will also be able to get information on the products and services available to your student, on how to use the RBC cheques and bank card, and on what happens when money is transferred into his or her account. (For example, will the cash we available right away? Are there fees involved?, etc.)


Q: What can RBC personnel do for me when I visit one of their local branches?
Answer >>
When you visit an RBC branch, you can get all the information given at the Parents Tent and more: your student will be able to fill out the required documents to open an account that will be available right away, and get complete details about this new account and the perks and services that come with it. You and your student will also be able to get explanations about cash transfers, subscribe and activate your student’s online and telephone banking access, order cheques, and ask any questions you may have. American clients will also be given info on RBC Bank accounts, if they are interested in knowing the advantages for parents of having an RBC account at home.


Q: Money transfers – what should I know about them? How can I transfer money from my personal account to my student’s RBC account?
Answer >>
The advantage of transferring money directly into your student’s account is that you may transfer money to pay for expenses beyond their tuition fees. While you can pay for your child’s tuition and related fees directly to McGill, you are not able to transfer money in excess of the established fees in his or her account through McGill. The University policy states that money wired to a student’s fee account cannot exceed the annual charges associated with tuition and ancillary fees; funds received in excess of these amounts will be returned to the sender. If you wish to send your child money to go toward his or her living expenses or any other monetary need, the best way to do so is by transferring the desired amount to his or her bank account in Canada.

Here are the steps to follow to transfer money to an RBC student account:

From another Canadian account:

If you are an RBC customer, you have two options:
  • Email transfer (you will need your student’s bank account number and transit number of their account’s bank of origin);
  • Going to your RBC branch and giving your student’s bank account number and transit number of the branch where the account was held.

If you have an account from another Canadian institution:

  • You can otherwise go to the local branch of your banking institution and ask to send money to your student’s account via wire transfer. You will once again need your student’s account and transit number in order to complete the transfer.

If you hold an account from a foreign institution outside Canada and the United States:

You will need to follow these steps:

  • Visit your institution’s branch;
  • Give your student’s full name and personal mailing address in Montreal;
  • Provide the following IBAN number: CA003, along with your student’s account and transit numbers;
  • Give the name of your student’s banking branch along with its full mailing address;
  • Provide the following SWIFT number: ROYCCAT2.

If you hold an account from a financial institution in the United States:

  • Follow the steps listed under “If hold an account from a foreign institution outside of Canada and the United States”;
  • However, instead of a SWIFT, you will be asked to provide an ABA number. The ABA number to provide is: 021000021.
For money transfers in CAD >>
For money transfers in USD >>

Q: Are there any other advantages for my student to open a Canadian bank account while studying at McGill? What if he or she is only planning to spend a year in Canada?
Answer >>
There are many benefits that your student will gain from having his or her own local bank account. Whether it is to pay their rent, phone bill and other living expenses, to establish credit, or to be able to receive cash transfers, having his or her own account will certainly make your student’s life easier and help them take steps toward financial autonomy. This is true even for students who are at McGill for a short period of time. If your student decides to take a summer or part-time job during their studies, this will also allow him or her to receive paycheques via direct deposit.

Paying tuition directly to McGill

Q: I want to pay for my son’s tuition directly to McGill. How do I proceed in this case?
Answer >>
There are many methods to pay your student’s fees. To view them all, please refer to the procedure of payment of fees page on the Student Accounts Office’s website (

Note that, before a parent or other guest can pay their student’s fees, the student will have to have done either one of two things: entered this person’s email address as an alternative student billing email address to which Student Accounts will send carbon copies of the student’s monthly e-bill notification, or granted this person guest access privileges to their Minerva account and selected fee-related information. It is up to the student to decide whether he wishes to release information contained in his student fee account by granting access to a guest.

To learn more about guest access and the methods of payment available to guests, please visit and

For money transfers in CAD >>
For money transfers in USD >>

Q: I’ve heard about Travelex as being an efficient payment process for an international student (or parent) to pay their student fees. How does this work?
Answer >>
To learn more about Travelex’s Bank to Bank Transfer payment process, we recommend visiting and, and clicking on Travelex from the methods of payment menu.

Q: Who can I contact if I have further questions regarding the payment of my student’s fees?
Answer >>
During the Parents Tent, the McGill Student Accounts Office holds information sessions on the “facts about fees” so that newly admitted students and their parents can get answers to their many questions about the billing and payment of fees as well as guest access. The sessions are only about 30 minutes long with plenty of time afterward for questions. To view the schedule of the Facts About Fees sessions held during the Parents Tent, please visit and consult the detailed schedule of the Parents Tent activities. This schedule should become available as of early July.

    Friday, August 24 – TBC
    Saturday, August 25 – TBC
    Sunday, August 26 – TBC
    Monday, August 27 - TBC

We otherwise recommend perusing the Student Accounts Office web pages, a gold mine of information on the payment of fees. Should you wish to contact them directly, please visit for their contact information and business hours.