How do I set up online banking?

Written by Tom James on 8 July 2019

Online banking

Gone are the days where popping into your local bank was the only way to pay your bills, manage debt, or withdraw and deposit money into your account. Online banking has brought convenience to everyday life, and although the initial research and admin may feel daunting, it’s actually quite easy to get set up with a new account.

What is online banking?

Online banking does what it says on the tin…you can bank online! This is a much more convenient way of reviewing your finances, and you can do it on the go or from the comfort of your home. Most banks will have a website and a mobile banking app so you can access your accounts with incredible ease.

You will be able to see what you are spending and where, as well as view any standing orders or direct debts you have active. You won’t be bogged down with paper statements but you will be able to download these at your leisure should you need them.

Choosing a bank

There are many reasons for wanting to have a bank account and different types of account cater towards different needs. You may want:

  • A savings account
  • An ISA
  • A joint account
  • A student account

It’s important to do your research and work out what type of account you need. After that, see which bank offers the best interest rates or offers alongside it. You may receive introductory perks and incentives with some banks, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for these. However, make sure you don’t get stung by monthly or annual charges on your account as some accounts penalise you for not depositing enough each month, or not having enough savings as agreed in your terms and conditions.

Register with a bank

It’s quick and easy to register with a bank online. First, you’ll need to enter a few personal details on the online registration page of the bank you wish to sign up to.

Next, you’ll need to create a username and password, along with a security question. Make sure you make these memorable as forgetting them could keep you locked out of your online account. If you do forget these, you’ll need to ask the bank’s customer services team for support.

Once you have entered your details, you may be sent an activation code by text, email or automated phone call. If so, follow the instructions and your account will be set up as soon as possible. Once your account is ready, you’ll be able to explore the range of accounts on offer and start to save, send or spend!

What documents will I need to set up an online bank account?

To get set up with an online account, you’ll need to prove who you are and where you live. Your bank is likely to ask you for:

  • Proof of I.D. This could be a passport, N.I card or a driving license
  • Proof of address. You may need to provide a few examples and this could include a recent bill, a bank statement, a mortgage statement or a medical letter

Should I switch bank accounts?

If you are with a bank that isn’t up to date or doesn’t make your money work hard enough, you may want to consider switching to a bank that can offer you better, higher interest rates and perks. This could earn you more money in the long run, but you should read the terms and conditions first to make sure you don’t lose money from monthly fees.

If you prefer a face-to-face service, you may want to consider switching to a bank that has a branch local to your home. This will enable you to have the best of both worlds – online and in-branch services.

Get help today

If you aren’t in control of your finances and have found your bank accounts are in the red, you will need to seek advice. To speak to our friendly, knowledgeable experts about our online debt management plans and to get impartial advice on which debt solution is right for you, call FREE on 0800 280 2816.


Filed under Living in Debt

This article was checked and deemed to be correct as at the above publication date, but please be aware that some things may have changed between then and now. So please don't rely on any of this information as a statement of fact, especially if the article was published some time ago.

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