Access to Banking

Last updated: 18th May, 2012

So, what is access to banking? To put it simply, it is how easy you find it to manage and withdraw your finances as well as get in touch with someone to talk to about your student bank account. This can obviously mean anything from the physical location of your bank to their online presence.

This guide takes a look at some of the issues you need to consider with “access to banking” as well as what each bank offers. After reading this you may want to check some other factors affecting your account but most importantly you can see who has been voted top with the 2012 best student accounts.

Location, Location, Location

This isn’t the most important factor but there’s no point in having a student account with a bank if your local branch is miles away. If you need to pay cash in or cheques then you will need to go to your branch.

Also, some people may prefer to talk about any problems face to face rather than over a telephone. Make sure your nearest branch is within each reach of you before choosing an account. Some universities have branches on campus. Natwest has 55 branches on campus at the biggest universities in the UK.

If you are between 2 banks that have a great overdraft and other perks then you could make location a deciding factor but it should not be the most important. Travelling 10 minutes further for an increased £500 overdraft with a certain bank can be worth it.

Many ways to bank

Of course just going into your local bank is the most traditional way of banking but there are many other ways which make it convenient for you in this modern day and age. You can manage your money from the comfort of your own armchair using internet banking. This is ideal if don’t go into town much and want to manage your money with ease.

Telephone Banking

If you want to talk to someone about your student account without having to go to a branch then telephone banking is convenient. And you can even manage your money on the go with many banks using mobile banking. This is ideal if you’re out and about and need to check if a payment has gone out or need to transfer money urgently. HBOS and Co-operative are the only mainstream banks which don’t offer mobile banking so if you think you really would make use of it then this is something to consider.

Mobile Banking

This method of banking is slightly straightforward and it can be seen as midway between the internet banking and an app. It allows you to do a lot more things on your phone as well as receive text alerts when you are going overdrawn or just simply a reminder to tell you that your student loan has come in.

Obviously each banks service will differ on this and not all banks will offer it as standard with the student bank accounts.

Smart Phone Apps

Student Apps for BankingBanks using smart phone apps is a relatively new initiative and some have taken to it better than others. You could argues that mobile banking is just as simple and there is no need for an app to access your account details.

However, those of you who like to look at your account details in one quick flash will be in luck. The mobile apps are currently quite restrictive but they can help you make a decision with an on the spot purchase….(can you afford it?)

Online Student Banking

Online banking allows you to access your account information as well as make balance transfers and payments to people such as your landlord, all in a few simple clicks. What’s more, internet security is at its height meaning that you are unlikely to be scammed.

For most students, online banking is almost essential. Most things are online now in this technological age and you could save yourself a load of time simply by making a transfer online rather than queuing up for ages to sort it all out.

What’s more, you will find it much easier to budget when all of your information is online. Gone are the days of tree killing statements every single month and now you can check your accounts for years in the past. This makes it really easy to see where your money is going and exactly what you have coming in.

Customer Service

This point is not entirely to do with access to banking but it is obviously and important factor to consider. You don’t want to be stuck with a bank that can’t answer your questions, take ages to answer your calls, charge you to ring call centres and also make mistakes with your balance.

As a customer of the bank, you should feel loved and respected and poor customer service can be really off putting.

Last year in 2011/2012 Co-Op came out with some of the best customer service thanks to their ethical style but Santander did not come out of it so well. Their poor customer service led to many complaints. Not only this, but Natwest’s confusion and dropping of the student railcard as a freebie led them to loose out too.

Overall, access to banking should be one thing to consider when choosing an account but it’s not the be all and end all!

By students

Hello! This website has been written by student money experts Save the Student! to give you an overview of student bank accounts and what they have to offer you.

The studentsWe review the benefits and catches of all student accounts so you can make an informed choice and avoid the traps!

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