Newest Review: ... was easy enough, and the girl was very friendly and helpful). I had to wait for the bank to send me out my Banking 365 PIN. When that a... more
How to bank while sitting on your arse.
Banking 365 Online
Member Name: The Duke
Banking 365 Online
Date: 25/01/02, updated on 25/01/02 (10420 review reads)
Advantages: Easy, Quick, Free
I don't know how many of you have online banking facilities, but I hope if you find yourself applying for your banks version that it doesn't take as long as my application did.
I decided ages ago that I really needed Internet banking. Urgent money making plans (for a holiday in the summer) were going to require me to have instant access to three bank accounts (all at one bank, but separate branches) and a credit card, and to be able to transfer money between them.
So, I picked up the leaflet for "Banking 365" which is the telephone/Internet banking facility for Bank of Ireland (BoI). It was nice and pretty and easy on the eye. I took it home, and settling down with a cup of coffee, I had a quick look through to see if there were any charges for having this facility and how to go about setting it up.
Well, first of all, it's difficult to miss the phone number - by the time you get to page three of the leaflet, it's already been mentioned about four or five times. The blurb is quite positive "Welcome to 24 hour banking services, 365 days a year".
The leaflet tells you that you can call 08457 365 555 or log on at htpp://www.365online.com, but they're lying. If you don't have any sort of telephone/Internet service through Bank of Ireland, you must first get in contact by phone and speak to one of the staff (assuming you already have a Bank of Ireland bank account/credit card).
The member of staff will ask you various questions about you, your accounts and your transactions in order to ascertain that you are who you say you are. Once this has been accomplished, you are asked which accounts you wish to be made available for the 24hour service. You can include all types of bank accounts, plus any Bank of Ireland credit cards you may have. My advice here is to have your last statement for each account you want included because as well as account numbers, you may also be asked to supply
the last transaction on a particular account and it is handier to have this information in front of you rather than trying to recall it.
Unfortunately, this wasn't the end of it (although the phone call was easy enough, and the girl was very friendly and helpful). I had to wait for the bank to send me out my Banking 365 PIN. When that arrived, I had to phone back, and use the PIN to activate the 24-hour service by quoting my PIN and answering some personal questions. Only then could I "apply" for the Internet service.
If I can remember correctly, it was just under a week from phone call to PIN arriving. I was straight onto the phone again, setting up the Internet service. This is accomplished by phoning the above phone number, quoting your PIN and asking for the Internet option to be activated. Once more, I was required to wait for a week while the bank set up my account, and the posted out User ID that I was to need (on top of the PIN). This arrived within 5 days, which was quite quick (the girl had said at least a week) and so I logged on to the site.
The first page at http://www.365online.com provides you with several options. You get various links to other parts of the Bank of Ireland online like a site search, ATM locator and some special offers on loans or savings schemes. You also get a trial of the online banking service, how to register for online banking, and a login link.
The login page is basic, and only really has the bits for your login information which would typically contain your User ID, certain digits of your PIN and a further piece of personal information that you provided during your initial phone call.
The main page, again, is quite basic. No flashy graphics or effects ? just a two-colour (green and blue) page with a list of your accounts and their balances with a few options in a menu down the left hand side. In the case of the credit cards, you are also given the amount of credit left
If you want further details on any of your accounts, you simply click on the account name (which is a link) and you are taken to a similarly bland page with more details of the transactions etc. on your account.
The blandness of the site isn't a problem (at least, not for me) because the site is quite quick on most occasions and this is quite helpful given that one of the security measures means that if you log onto the online banking, if you're inactive for 5 minutes you're automatically logged out again.
Options available to your bank accounts include things like searching for cheques, customising your statements, reviewing standing orders etc. These are all easy to do, and there are onscreen instructions and notes making things very clear.
From the main accounts screen you can also pay your credit card bills (if they are Bank of Ireland credit cards), transfer money between accounts and even transfer money to other UK bank accounts (although for this latter option, you must make arrangements with Bank of Ireland beforehand).
So now we get down to the nitty gritty. Is it any good? Well, I think it is. Apart from one night where I couldn't log in for some reason (it kept telling me that details were incorrect, but they were fine), I have had no problems with the site. Even at peak Internet times (6 - 8pm) the site loads quickly, and the information is displayed clearly and without fuss.
There are several points of contact marked out clearly in various places on the site which include phone numbers, email addresses etc. if you ever run into trouble. I can't offer any information on this help as I've never needed it.
The security measures seem to be very good, even if it does mean at least 2 weeks between initial contact and getting online. The actual site itself is protected by encryption etc. and so they recommend that you use Netscape 6.0 or Internet explorer 5.0 (or h
igher) to take advantage of the 128-bit encryption. As further measures for security, BoI do not send out customer or account details over the Internet.
I like Internet banking - it saves me a lot of time and effort simply to be able to view all my account details from the comfort of my own home. The added bonus of being able to pay (or maybe that should be "having the option to pay") my credit card from the account is also a bonus. If you are a Bank of Ireland customer, I wholeheartedly recommend this.
Those essential details:
Republic of Ireland: 1850 365 365
Northern Ireland: 0845 7 365 555
Great Britain: 0845 7 365 333
Outside these locations: +353 1 460 6400 (A Republic of Ireland number)