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Services / features available with an online bank account

Last Edit: 06/09/18

The services / features available with an online bank account will depend upon: the bank in question (major high street banks tend to have more features); whether the account is a current or savings account; if the current account is a business or personal account; and the type of current account (standard, advanced, premier etc). For example, business current account holders with HSBC can transfer money using CHAPS (Clearing House Automated Payment System), whereas personal current account holders cannot -- CHAPS enables payments to be transferred on the same day, and can be used to transfer large sums of money. Current accounts are designed to administer everyday banking demands, and therefore need to provide a wider variety of services. On the other hand, fixed rate savings accounts are only designed to generate a higher rate of interest, and typically only provide the ability to view: monthly statements; the interest rate for the account; and the option to transfer funds to a nominated current account. Banks provide some/all of the following services for current accounts:

  1. Check recent transactions.
  2. View previous statements/transactions.
  3. Download recent or historical statements.
  4. Make payments via BACS, Swift, Standing Orders etc.
  5. Transfer moving between nominated bank accounts.
  6. Handle / organise regular payments aka direct debits etc.
  7. Order foreign currency for travel.
  8. Let the bank know when and where the account holder is traveling.
  9. Order credit cards and other financial products.
  10. Faster applications for opening new savings accounts or credit cards.
  11. Altering contact details: address, telephone and email address.
  12. Altering contact preferences, and how the account holder receives their monthly statements.
  13. Speak to the banks Live Chat team.
  14. Temporarily block or unblock a debit/credit card.
  15. Report a debit/credit card as lost or stolen.
  16. Request a replacement for a damaged debit/credit card.

Due to the popularity and convenience of online banking, the list of services is ever expanding: recently HSBC launched the "Connected Money" app, which allows customers to view all their bank accounts (with different banks) in one place. Security is one concern that people have when banking online, so receiving alerts to a mobile phone is another service being launched by UK banks. Expect the interconnectivity of mobiles and bank accounts to increase. With banks closing their branches, the list shown above is bound to be the bare minimum that online banks will provide.