Suits Me Simplified: Banking 101

Can you Totally Rely on Online Banking to Manage your Money?

Online banking is on the increase but there are some things you need to consider before committing to it completely

Businessman checking current account balance using online banking application on his smartphone, whilst drinking coffee at cafe

Many of us might struggle to remember the last time we set foot in a bank, even factoring in the lockdown triggered by the coronavirus crisis. With more than 70% of the UK population now regularly using online banking, we could be forgiven for thinking that we might not have to pop along to our local branch ever again.

We can receive money electronically and send it in the same way and even if we do need to get our hands-on some cash, we can use the many ATM terminals dotted around.

Mobile banking apps have now made it even easier to bank online, with current account holders able to check balances and transfer money from their smartphones.

Day-to-day banking through your current account can be done exclusively online although there can be a few exceptions where taking yourself along to a physical branch is necessary.

Depositing Cash and Cheques

So many of our financial transactions are conducted electronically now, from the money we receive through wages and government benefits, to the payments we make each month to cover bills like electricity, phone and internet.

However, there are still some instances when we may receive cash or a cheque and paying that into our current account will involve a trip to your local bank. 

Many high street banks offer the option of depositing cash or cheques through a specially equipped ATM terminal, although these are usually located within the branch itself, so you will need to physically set foot in the bank to conduct your business, even if you don’t have to interact with any of the staff.

Problems With your Current Account

Many people may find it easier to talk to someone directly if they have a problem with their current account. However, most banks and building societies offer phone support and you can also chat to someone online about your issue. 

Sometimes phone lines can be unreliable and you find yourself in a lengthy queue, but think about the time it may take you to walk or drive to your local branch, get parked and then potentially queue up in the bank itself.

Mobile Banking Units

The move to online banking has seen a huge rise in the number of branch closures across the UK, particularly in rural areas. However, some banks have special mobile units which will travel to remote towns and villages to meet the needs of customers who feel cut off and unable to bank online.

What About Other Banking Products?

While you open a current account and conduct almost all of your banking online, what about other banking products which may involve larger sums of money? 

Many banks do now offer the option of applying for loans and mortgages through online banking and you may even be able to do it through their app.

Mortgage applications may require you to supply previous bank statement, but these can usually be accessed online or requested from your bank by post. Some personal loans may even be in your account a day or two after application if they are with the bank you hold our account with.

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