Online banking is a service that allows people to have access to many of the things you could do in a bank branch, from a device at home such as a smartphone, tablet or computer.
Services you can do with online banking often include:
Checking your account balance.
Sending and receiving money.
Account and card management.
Banks are adding more online services all the time and with many branches on the high street closing, online banking is an alternative to travelling to a bank or using telephone banking.
You will need an internet connection and a suitable device. There are two options to consider depending on your device.
Using an application: An application (or app for short) is a programme that is available from the app store of the smartphone or tablet device you are using. Banking apps are made and controlled by the bank you are with, in order to offer a safe and secure environment.
Using a website: On a computer, tablet or smartphone you can go to your bank’s website to access the services they offer.
For either of these options you will need to set up an online profile. As well as the usual details about name, address and date of birth you will need to enter your account details and set up a secure way to log in. This might be a long password with letters and numbers which you must be careful to memorise. Some people find it hard to remember the username and password sent by the bank and instead they prefer to choose their own. Tell your bank if you want to do this and they will explain what information they need for you, for example by answering a series of security questions set by yourself. Some smartphone banking apps use fingerprint ID which is secure and easy.
When banking online there are some simple things you should be aware of to make sure your transactions are as secure as possible.
Ensure the website you are using is safe and secure. One way of checking this is making sure that the website has a padlock symbol, which means it is using encryption and security suitable for this task.
Use only the authorised app of your bank as these are designed with security in mind. Often your bank can help you install the app and get signed up.
Use home secure broadband, or a personal data plan whilst out of the home. It is recommended that public wifi is not used in any instance, as this presents a security risk.
Email communication should always be authenticated. Many banking apps use the last 3 digits of your postcode, or a personal identifiable piece of information. Never click on links or open attachments in an email unless you are certain it is genuine.
Where available, security software is recommended to be installed and up to date on the device you are using.
If you get a telephone call that asks for your personal details, do not give anything out. Hang up immediately. Only contact your bank using a trusted number. Many banking apps or websites allow for direct communication with them, such as online chat or messaging.
This video, made by the Barclays Digital Eagles team, gives some useful tips for ways to avoid fraud and scams that apply whether you bank with Barclays or another bank.
Many banks have worked to make sure their online products and services are usable and accessible for people with sight loss.
Discuss your needs with your provider in order to make sure they can give you the most relevant information to their products and services. They may be able to help you install their app or show you how to use their website.
Technology can be adapted to provide larger fonts, colour contrasts and screen reading technologies that will interact effectively with these online banking products. This means a blind or partially sighted customer can access online banking with the adjustments that match their requirements.
There is support by selected banks also available on the Be My Eyes service. Reaching Lloyds', Halifax's or Bank of Scotland's customer support is simple. Start by accessing the Specialized Help menu from the Be My Eyes home screen and select Lloyds Bank, Halifax, or Bank of Scotland. From their respective company profiles, just tap the call button and you’re on your way. Calling any of these three banks works just like any other Be My Eyes call, except that an official representative will assist you instead of a randomly selected volunteer. Through the video feed from your camera, the bank representative will be able to assist you with your questions.
Updated: January 2022