Internet current accounts, or online bank accounts, give you online access to your money whenever you want
They allow you to perform a range of banking services such as setting up standing orders, paying bills, checking statements and transferring money online.
Customers are given a secure log in and password which they must use to access their online bank account information.
While there are providers who only offer online bank accounts, such as Cahoot, Smile, First Direct and Intelligent Finance, many other providers now offer internet banking services for their “standard” current accounts.
The benefits of internet current accounts
For customers the benefits are:
- It’s easy – as long as you have access to the internet you can manage your banking in the click of a mouse.
- It’s quick – no standing in long queues, no trying to find time between your lunch and work to visit the branch.
- It’s always open – you can do your banking in your time, not when your provider dictates.
- Offers may be better – the reduced costs of running an internet banking service means a provider can pass the benefits onto customers.
The main benefit of offering internet current accounts for providers are:
- Cheaper overheads – with no physical building to maintain and expensive leaseholds for offices, running an internet banking service is cheaper than a more traditional set up.
- Lower staffing costs – as staffing costs are centred on a central rather than multiple locations.
The drawbacks of an online bank account
Before taking out an internet current account you should consider the drawbacks:
- No face to face service – you will only communicate by email or telephone. If you prefer in-branch service and face to face communication this banking may not work for you
- Technical issues – while providers work very hard to keep their sites up and running 24/7, there is no guarantee a site will not crash. To make sure you can still carry out any banking you should keep your provider’s customer services phone number.
Internet banking and security
uSwitch.com only works with reputable, established current account providers, so all the current accounts we show are safe to use. Here are our tips to ensure your internet banking stays secure:
- Keep your passwords and account information safe. Never leave your password with your account details.
- Change your password regularly and do not use something personal like your birthday or pet’s name.
- Do not access your account from a shared computer if possible. If you have to, never opt for the computer to save your log in details.
- Your provider will never email you to ask for personal account details. If you receive an email requesting this information, do not reply to it: it is a hoax. Report such emails to your provider immediately.
- If you’re worried about entering your details into a website, check that the web address begins with ‘https://’ rather than the standard ‘http://’. This means that the website is secure.
- Current Account Guide Your guide to the basics for current accounts
- Opening A New Current Account Opening a new account is a relatively simple process
- How To Find The Best Current Account There’s no such thing as the best current account, just the best for you