[Back to Join page]    Online Banking

It's time to consider setting up Online Banking, which will, apart from other benefits, allow you to renew your Membership the ‘paperless’ way via the Internet. Your Bank will help you do this; here, we explain the sort of actions that you need to take. You should check with your Bank if it seems complicated.

First, visit your Bank's website. Just typing (for example) 'Natwest' or 'Barclays' into the address line at the top of your Browser screen will do this. Or Google will find it for you. Don't type (for example) 'Barclaycard' – we are looking for 'Online Banking', not Credit/Debit cards (which can be added later).

The screen will ask you to 'Login' or 'Sign Up'. You want 'Sign Up' to get started. They must first identify you, and ask you for your Current Account and Sortcode numbers (they don't need the address of your Branch). They will ask you to create a password, which you must keep secret. Usually, it must contain upper and lower case letters, and a number. They will advise you if it is a secure enough password. They need to know your PIN number (the one you use with your Bank Card).

The Bank may want your mobile phone number (your mobile phone doesn't need to be a smartphone). They may, during a transaction, send you a text containing a number, which you then enter into a box on the screen and send back to them; they can then check that they have the right person.

The Bank will probably, at this point, contact you by post and send you a "Card Reader" or "Pin Sentry" (it will arrive within 5 days). They go to great lengths to be sure that you are really who you say you are. The security of the system is now very strong.

First Logon
If all the above steps have been carried out without error, you are ready to "Logon" (or "Login") for the first time. The instructions on the screen are easy to follow. You can check your account and see what's gone "in" and what's gone "out". You can add a Creit/Debit Card. If you want to pay a bill or send money to somebody, you may need your Card Reader and you should have your mobile phone switched on. When finished, you should "Logout". If you do nothing for a set number of minutes, it will "Logout" automatically.

Online Banking allows you to check your Current Account (or any other account that you have) simply by visiting the Bank's website. You can easily transfer money from your account to any other account. Nobody else can do this, because they don't have your secret password or PIN. Others can transfer money to you, and they only need your Account Number and Sort Code.

You no longer need a cheque-book. Increasingly, many companies and shops no longer accept cheques. A cheque-book is still available, but you have to ask for it.

You can have more than one Account. You might, for example, have an ISA Account. You can have a Credit Card linked your Current Account. And you can set up Direct Debits or Standing Orders, all from your armchair. In this way, your utilities bills cease to be a chore; they will be paid automatically.

You should consider this new way of banking. It's not for the future; it's for NOW.

Security
Be Alert. If you get a phone call from somebody who claims to be your Bank, and they ask you for any of these secret numbers, put the phone down, make a note of who rang you, contact your Bank (or visit your local Branch) and explain what happened. Banks never ask for secret numbers over the phone.
Stay Alert. If your Bank contacts you by phone or email and tells you that, for security reasons, your money will be moved to a temporary Account, don't believe them. Contact your local Branch.

When you have it set up correctly, every visit to the website will proceed smoothly, without error.