Life without a basic bank account may seem difficult, if not impossible. However, it can be done.
When we think of our bank accounts, they are responsible for so much more than simply storing our money. From paying direct debits and standing orders or utility bills or receiving a salary to simply identifying you as someone who exists, bank accounts are a huge part of a person’s life.
Working Without a Bank Account
So how can you work without a bank account?
Employees usually require a bank account in order to be paid, unless they work ‘cash in hand’. Also, you will find it difficult to find an estate agent willing to rent accommodation to you without bank statements to prove your funds.
When it comes to paying bills, most companies prefer to operate via direct debit or standing order from your bank account so it can be difficult to find a company willing to accept other forms of payment, and this usually invokes a surcharge.
Even getting a mobile phone often requires having a bank account as proof of your ability to pay your bills.
A Basic Bank Account
Millions of adults do not have a bank account, either because they do not trust banks, or they find it difficult to get a bank account because they are new to the country as a migrant worker, a UK tourist or an international student or do not meet the basic criteria for a bank account if they have a poor credit history or have been declared bankrupt.
For such people, it may seem as though they have little alternative to stashing their cash under the bed. However, other options are available.
Basic bank accounts are designed for people who do not meet the criteria for standard bank accounts. This type of banking has increased in popularity since 2003, when the government began making direct payments into people’s bank and Post Office accounts in order to grant benefits and tax credits.
Unfortunately, dealing with a bank can still lead to plenty of problems. It is easy to accidently overdraw your account and get slapped with expensive fees, or you could face bounced cheque penalties or huge overdraft protection fees. As well as this, many people worry about identity fraud should their debit card get stolen, as fraudulent charges to a debit card are much harder to solve than those on a credit card.
Alternative Banking Solutions
If you’d rather avoid banks altogether, there are other options you can consider. Many people choose to simply carry cash with them. While this is easy to do for sundry items such as groceries or petrol, you do run the risk of theft. However, being in direct control of your money will possibly make you better at budgeting as you see exactly where your money goes and how much you need to live on each week.
When it comes to paying bills, you can opt for a money order rather than a direct debit or standing order. A money order can be purchased in a variety of places, such as the Post Office or supermarket. You must pay the face value of the money order at the time of purchase, as well as a small fee. You will then be given a piece of paper that looks like a cheque, and you can fill in the recipient’s information and your information on the money order and send it to them to pay your bill. This is a safe way of sending money as you get to keep the receipt and you can see if the money was cashed and by whom.
If paper money orders sound like too much hassle, you can also send money and pay bills via a wire transfer, which works in much the same way, however, it is better if you know the person you are wiring money to as it is not as easy to track as a money order.
Can I Have a Card Without a Bank?
Using a debit card or something similar is easy and hassle free, which is why so many people without bank accounts would love to have a debit card.
Suits Me Current Account and Debit Card
Suits Me is a way of having something similar to a bank card in a way that suits you. As an alternative to banking, Suits Me allows you to take control of your finances. If you don’t have a bank account and are finding it difficult to receive payment for the work you do, simply suggest the Suits Me card to your employer as a way for you to access your salary without any need for a bank. It’s an easy way to get all the benefits of a debit card without worrying about bank fees, overdrafts or hidden costs. It’s just your money, on your card. Simple!
You can only take part in the Suits Me card scheme if your employer or recruitment agency uses the scheme, so be sure to make enquiries and see if you can get paid in a way that suits you both. For more information on Suits Me contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0844 322 1111.