Banking online or by phone allows you to make banking transactions such as transferring money, paying a bill, checking your balance or setting up a regular payment on your bank or building society’s secure website. Online banking is accessible via a computer/tablet or a mobile phone. Also known as internet banking.

 

What would I use this for?

You can make a range of payments:

  • Pay a utility bill.
  • Pay a credit card bill.
  • Make a one-off payment to an individual, business or tradesperson.
  • Transfer money to other bank or savings accounts.

 

How do I use it?​

Online payments

  • You will need to contact your bank to set up an internet banking service.
  • You will need the name, sort code and account details of the person or company you want to pay. You will also be asked to provide a reference so that the person or company receiving the payment knows what it is for.
  • You will need to log on to your bank or building society’s internet banking service. Although different banks will structure their websites in different ways when making a payment, you are likely to be asked to select the recipient from a list of previous payees (or recipients) or to input a new payee’s details (there may be additional security checks before you can add a new recipient). You’ll then be asked to enter the amount you want to pay, and to verify that the amount is correct. Your payment will be confirmed.

Phone payments

  • You will need to contact your bank to set up a telephone banking service.
  • You will need the name, sort code and account details of the person or company you want to pay. You will also be asked to provide a reference so that the person or company receiving the payment knows what it is for.
  • Your bank will have a designated phone banking number, and you will need to answer some security questions before you use it.

 

How long does it take to process?

  • One-off online or phone payments are processed using one of two systems: Faster Payments or Bacs.
  • The Faster Payments Service is the default service for phone and internet banking payments and the vast majority will be processed through this system. Faster Payments enables a payment to be processed 24 hours a day, seven days a week and once you’ve made the payment it should be with the recipient within a couple of hours, often almost instantaneously.
  • Some banks set value limits for the amount you can send via Faster Payments and the maximum amount that can be sent through the Faster Payments system is £250,000. Individual banks and building societies can have their own lower limits – these are published on the Faster Payments website: www.fasterpayments.org.uk/consumers/how-much-can-i-send 
  • Some accounts, such as savings and deposit accounts, won’t enable you to send Faster Payments or accept them. It can take longer for funds to be shown on the recipient’s account if they are held at some smaller banks and building societies that are not directly connected to the Faster Payments Service (a list of current members of Faster Payments is available here: www.fasterpayments.org.uk/membership/access-options/direct-membership/current-members). If speed of a payment is critical you should check with your bank before sending it.
  • Any payment that cannot be processed as a Faster Payment will be processed via Bacs. If it goes through this system it will take three days for the payment to reach the recipient’s account. 

 

Security

  • It is vital that you ensure that you give the correct sort code and account number. If you give incorrect details your money may end up in someone else’s account and it may be difficult to get it back.
  • Some banks use hand-held Chip and PIN card reading devices to add an extra layer of security.
  • You can find more information on how to stay safe online here: www.getsafeonline.org.

 

Useful information

  • Whether a person can make or receive Faster Payments will always depend on whether the payment is within a bank’s limits for sending faster payments and whether both accounts involved are set up to send or receive them. If speed of your payment is important you should check with your bank.
  • In addition, some accounts such as credit cards and utility bills may not be able to receive Faster Payments, and some savings accounts may not be able to send or receive them. Phone and online payments will be processed via Bacs if they can’t be processed as Faster Payments.
  • This Sort Code Checker shows you whether the account you’re sending money to can receive the funds through Faster Payments.
     
Faster Payments

The Faster Payments Service allows customers to make electronic payments almost instantaneously, seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

Find out how to avoid common pitfalls and what to do if you’ve made a mistake in our handy guide.