Internet current accounts
Nowadays there are more and more current account providers that exist only online.
All of your banking can be done over the internet with this sort of account, meaning that you can sort out your finances anywhere that you can get online.
We’ll go over the main benefits and drawbacks associated with these internet current accounts so that you can work out if one is right for you.
In This Guide:
- What are internet current accounts?
- Advantages of using an internet current account
- Disadvantages of internet current accounts
What are internet current accounts?
The major banks all offer internet current accounts but there are a growing number of purely online based banks operating in the UK at the moment, including First Direct and Smile, owned by the Co-operative group.
These banks are based entirely online – there are no branches to visit. This can be a pro or a con depending on your outlook but the banks themselves view the 24/7 access and the simplicity of not having to leave your home to sort out your finances as key benefits.
Advantages of using an internet current account
Banking with a purely online based bank means that any kind of dealings you have with them are very quick and easy. Anywhere that you can find an internet connection, you’ll be able to sort out your banking.
Another big advantage of online banks is that there are no opening hours – their services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The banks themselves run up far fewer overheads by basing themselves entirely over the internet as they need fewer staff and do not need to buy or maintain any physical branches. Just like with online retailers, this often translates into better deals for the customers.
Disadvantages of internet current accounts
If you are someone who likes to deal with people face to face in order to sort out your banking, then an internet current account is unlikely to be what you’re after.
There is also always the risk of technical issues interrupting your access to your bank. While their website crashing won’t stop you from actually accessing your money, it will temporarily prohibit you from any of the online services you need to use.
Just as with the online services offered by conventional banks, when you open up an internet current account, security should be a priority.
Mostly this just means fairly basic things like never sharing your passwords or any other codes or bits of information that you use to access your account and identify yourself. It is also advisable to change your password fairly regularly just to make sure your money is fully secure.
You should never put any of the above information in an email and your bank will never ask you to, so if you receive an email requesting any of your account details you should report it immediately as the chances are that someone is trying to fraudulently acquire your information.
One thing that you can do to make sure that the website that you’re entering your details into is secure is to have a look at the web address. If it begins with https:// rather than http://, then it is a secure page and your details should be safe.