Two forms of ID
eg. passport, driving licence
With an online bank account, you can manage your current account 24/7 from your smartphone or tablet – whether you’re at home or on the move.
Online bank accounts are available from most current account providers, including household High Street names, as well as newer ‘digital-only’ brands.
MoneySuperMarket makes it quick and easy to compare online current accounts so you can find the one that suits you best.
Enjoy 24/7 access to your account via your smartphone, tablet, or computer – often with 24/7 call centre support
Check your balance online any time, download bank statements and get real-time spending notifications, alerts and forecasts
Transfer money, manage direct debits or standing orders and deposit cheques all via your mobile banking app
Facial recognition and fingerprint scanning can be used to access online accounts and keep your cash safe
Apply for an arranged overdraft, freeze and unfreeze lost or stolen cards, move money between linked savings accounts and ISAs
Choose an online account offering FSCS protection up to £85,000 per person. Covers you in the event the bank goes bust
Think about how you’ll use the account. Do you want interest paid on your balance or low overdraft rates, do you want extra perks or branch access?
If you’re often overdrawn on your current account, your priority should be to choose deals with the lowest rates on agreed overdrafts
Some online account providers reward new joiners with switching incentives, others have permanent reward and cashback schemes
Online accounts are available from traditional and challenger banks. You may prefer an established brand or be happy with a new player
You can open an online current account if you have a low credit score or have struggled with debts in the past.
Many basic bank accounts, designed for people with a poor or no credit history, offer access to online banking. But you won’t be offered an overdraft with a basic bank account. If you want an online account with an overdraft, you’ll need to do a credit check that will determine if you’ll be accepted and how much you can borrow.
Check your credit score for free with credit monitor and see how you can boost your rating.
eg. passport, driving licence
a scan of a recent utility bill, for example
nationality, previous addresses etc.
if you’re applying for an overdraft
View a range of online accounts in one place, meaning most of the legwork is done for you
See accounts that offer the features you need, whether it’s high interest rates or rewards
Once you've found the account you want, click through to your chosen provider to complete the switch
Banks go to great lengths to ensure your online banking details are secure, with most using two-step authentication methods such as facial or voice recognition and fingerprint scanning. Online banking apps also help to protect your cash by allowing you to immediately freeze lost or stolen debit and credit cards, and by offering another way for you to confirm – or block – transactions the bank finds suspicious.
All UK regulated online account providers are also members of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which protects the first £85,000 of your money should the bank go bust.
There’s no limit to the number of online bank accounts you can have. You could, for example, have one for personal use, one joint account for household bills, and another for business expenses. However, some of the best accounts require you to pay in a certain amount – for example £1,000 – a month. If you’re bad at managing money, having several accounts could also make it even harder to keep track of your finances.
Some online accounts are limited to one account holder. But most current accounts can be held as joint accounts - with two or more accountholders. You will have to provide personal details and ID for all account holders to open a joint account, and most banks will require all individuals to be over 18 and UK resident. Find out more with our guide to joint bank accounts.
So-called digital or challenger banks provide most of their services through the internet or a mobile app rather than in branch or over the phone. They do not generally have bricks and mortar branches like traditional High Street banks.
You don’t need to tell your bank when you switch current accounts. When you’ve completed the Current Account Switch Agreement form, the bank you are switching to will take care of the rest.
Any payments in and out of your old account are automatically switched thanks to the Current Account Switch Service, and your new bank will contact the person sending the payment or the person due to receive the payment to let them know your new account details. They’ll also contact you if there are any problems.
If you created any regular payments using your old account’s debit card then you might need to manually change them.
Many banks will let you add another name to your current account – you’ll normally both have to go into a branch and show ID to do this, as well as fill out some forms.
However, some accounts might only be limited to one account holder, and others could say the additional person needs to be a certain age. They may even need to make a payment into the account to be added – read more with our guide to joint bank accounts.
If you want to change the personal details on your account you’ll normally be able to do this by filling out a form or going into a branch. You’ll need to bring in some sort of proof of your new personal details, for example a marriage certificate if you’re changing your name for marriage, an amended birth certificate or another form of identification – you can ask your bank or check online to see what they need you to do.
A current account is a bank or building society account that lets you manage your day-to-day spending.
You can have your salary paid into it, set up direct debits and standing orders, and negotiate an overdraft. Some accounts also pay interest on balances and offer cashback on spending.
There are lots of types of current account to suit all sorts of personal situations. These include:
Standard: For managing ordinary income and expenditure, usually with a debit card, a cheque book and an overdraft
Packaged: These come with various bonuses, including things like interest-free overdraft, insurance add-ons and discounts for other banking products. They usually have monthly fees and eligibility requirements
Student/graduate: Current accounts designed to cover the particular financial pressures faced by students and recent graduates, normally including larger interest-free overdrafts
Joint: Accounts designed for two or more people, to cover household expenses or couples’ expenditure
Children’s: These have few features and are designed to introduce children to banking and saving
Some current accounts come with extra benefits for the account holder, like a cash bonus for signing up, better interest rates or even breakdown cover. The accounts might only be available to certain customers, like those with high credit ratings.
Some current accounts include fees if you use them in a certain way – some banks might charge you for resending a printed account statement or for accessing your account abroad. You may even be charged a fee for going into your overdraft without telling your bank beforehand.
The traditional idea of banking is being changed by digital or challenger banks, who provide most of their services through the internet or a mobile app rather than in branch or over the phone. Many are designed to be more open and transparent with customers and less focused on banking products.
It’s more attractive than ever to compare current accounts: healthy competition means there are a number of incentives available for those willing to switch. But if you don’t compare current accounts, you could be missing out on a great deal – and some free cash!
Switching current accounts is simple because most of the legwork is done for you and, at the end of it, you can benefit from an account that’s much better for your pocket and lifestyle.
If you’re looking for the best current account, you’ll benefit from a wide range of products to choose from. Many of the best current accounts offer:
High interest rates
Cashback and rewards on spending
Competitive overdraft rates
The best current account is different for each person, as it depends on your spending habits and level of savings.
Switching current accounts has never been simpler, and many providers offer lucrative incentives for moving your account to them.
The Current Account Switch Guarantee makes switching current accounts very easy indeed, and your bank will do most of the legwork for you, including transferring money, direct debits and standing orders, and informing your employer.
When you switch your current account to a new bank or building society, you could get £100 or more in cashback as a reward for switching. Just make sure that you’re applying for an account that suits your needs, not just the one with the highest cashback.
If you tend to stay in credit and never go overdrawn, you could get rewarded regularly by your bank or building society. By switching to a rewards current account, you could get a monthly reward payment and earn cashback on your spending. Some providers will also offer a cash incentive for switching your current account to them.
Many rewards accounts have requirements such as paying in a minimum amount eachmonth, or having a minimum number of direct debits, so make sure you can meet the criteria to get the rewards.
If you’re fed up with getting poor customer service from your bank, switch your current account to a provider that’s known for looking after its customers.
As well as making your life easier, some of these accounts offer extra benefits such as competitive overdrafts or cashback for switching.
It’s a good idea to check your account statements regularly, because this could stop you going into your overdraft without knowing. It can also be a good way to double check whether there are any transactions you don’t recognise.
Look for a provider with good customer service, because you never know when you’ll need to call them up or go into a branch to fix an issue.
Remember to be careful with your PIN and account details; you should keep this information safe and protected. Remember, your bank will never ask you to reveal details like your PIN, either on the phone, in person or through an email.
Your bank will almost certainly have an app that lets you manage your account online, and some may even be based on their app. This is excellent for quick and easy money management.
Each bank has different ways of transferring money. Some require you to use a card reader when transferring any sum of money, while others only use it for transactions over a set amount.
Other banks do not use card readers at all, so if money transfers are something you might be doing a lot of, it’s worth checking the policy details to see how easy it is to make payments on the go.
If your current account comes with benefits such as air miles, you might want to check whether you really need them. For example, if you’re not a frequent flyer, is an air miles bonus worth the extra cost?