Online banking is a really secure and convenient way to access your bank's services. Most banks and building societies also have apps that you can use to keep track of your accounts that you can access using secure log on details or even your own face or fingerprint.
Another bonus is being able to access your accounts 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year so you can stay in control of your finances at any time, wherever you are. You'll usually still have the option of calling your bank or visiting a branch (unless you bank with an online only provider) but online banking allows you to skip the queues and make payments or change standing orders or direct debits in a fraction of the time.
If you'd like to learn more about online banking, Moneyhelper have a helpful guide about how to stay safe when using online banking.
You might already be familiar with online banking but if you have accounts with more than one bank, then you might consider open banking. Open banking lets you share your account information through apps and websites so you can keep track of them all in one place. It's completely secure, and all companies are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, so you're protected against fraud.
Be scam aware! As we try to return to normal after the cost-of-living crisis, there have been a lot of changes to government support measures and the way that organisations work. Scammers will always use times of uncertainty to try and trick people into handing over their personal or bank details by pretending to be from trusted organisations. Scams come in many shapes and forms and are constantly changing. Read details on the most up-to-date scams and fraud.
If in doubt, apply the 'scam' test:
S - Seems too good to be true
C - Contacted out of the blue
A - Asked for personal details
M - Money is requested
Trust your gut - if something doesn't seem genuine, don't be afraid to say no and never hand over your personal or bank details. Scams are getting more and more sophisticated so it can be difficult to know what's genuine. Citizens Advice have a useful tool that can be used if you're unsure if something is a scam.
One of the best ways to take a stand against scams is to learn more about the different types of scams out there to enable you to protect yourself and your friends and family. Become a Friend Against Scams today by completing a short e-learning course and learn about different types of scams, how to spot a scam victim and, most importantly, how to report scams.
The Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline can offer advice if you think you've been the victim of a scam. They can be contacted on 0808 223 1133 or you can chat with them online.
Are you worried about loan sharks? Or have you borrowed from a loan shark and not sure what to do? Visit our loan shark information page to find out more.
When making payments
Online shopping can be convenient when you don't have the time to get out and about to shop. It's a great way to find a bargain or compare prices to make sure you're getting the best deal. Unfortunately, as shopping online has grown more popular, so have scam websites that offer fake or counterfeit goods to get your personal and card details. Moneyhelper has a useful guide on how to shop safely online, including safety tips and what to do if something goes wrong.
Have you ever used PayPal or Apple or Google Pay to make a quick payment to friends, family or a business rather than using cash? E-payments are an easy, free way to send money instantly without card details. It's worth bearing in mind that they are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, so you don't have the same level of protection that you have when using a card.
Making contactless payments by tapping your card on a card reader when you have your hands full rather than having to enter your pin is something that makes everyone's life a little easier. The contactless limit is now £100 per transaction for some debit cards, up to a limit of £300 before a pin needs to be entered.
While it is really convenient, it also makes you more vulnerable to fraud if you lose your card or it's stolen. Many banks give you the option to reduce the contactless limit. Find out if you can change your contactless limit.
Learn more about e-payments and contactless.