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Having been a Barclays customer for over 20 years, I was relatively slow to sign up for their internet banking. The service was launched back in 1999 but it was the first of it's type and I remember thinking it would never be something I'd use - I worked opposite the branch so why would I ever risk any online security issues - no, it would never happen! Of course, now I use the site all the time and rarely visit the branch, the site is easy to navigate and I can do almost everything I want to do there.
Security must still be the number one reason for anyone being reluctant to join internet banking, and whilst I'm sure there are horror stories out there, I can certainly say that in my 10 years plus of using Barclays, I've never had a single security-related problem.
In 2007, Barclays issued "PINsentry" gadgets to all online customers, which require you to insert your card and enter your PIN to gain a unique code to sign into your accounts. I have no idea how this works, but it does so brilliantly and is a very reassuring tool. The gadget is also used sometimes for setting payments up and somehow manages to communicate with what you're doing on the site at the same time to verify identity and legitimacy.
The only problem I have with signing in is that invariably there is an intervening screen offering me a loan or other service I don't want before taking me to my accoutns, which I consider unnecessary and a bit of a liberty!
Once through to the home page, this is the place from where all operations can be done...
I have two accounts on my online banking site, and both balances are shown on the initial screen, allowing me to click on whichever account I want to look at or work with. By default, transactions of the last 30 days are listed and there is a tool to search for transactions and also to view previous statements online.
Transfering money is one of two main options presented on the initial homescreen, making a transfer between my own accounts a 3-click operation. I have an online savings account also with Barclays, so I use this a lot. Balances are adjusted accordingly on screen instantly.
=Payments to non-Barclays accounts and paying bills=
This is the other option on the homescreen, and again a payment to someone set up as a payee is just a few clicks away along with the option to add a reference. Paying someone new requires a bit more information but I find that an easy process. When paying a bill, there is a function in the site to find and identify the company, and indicating the format of the required reference to make sure that the payment goes properly.
=Direct Debits & Standing Orders=
Direct debits and standing orders are easily viewed and on the site you can amend or delete them as necessary. This is handy when a direct debit comes to an end to check that it's been deleted, and also for direct debits which vary (eg mobile phone or landline) you can check the amounts due to leave your account, and the date. New Standing Orders can be set up easily via the site.
=Set up card for overseas=
When going on holiday I always take my card 'just in case' and there is a process on the website to register your travel dates and destination so that there is no mistaken alarms or blocks on the card should you need to use it.
This was the last (and only) time I have been unable to complete a task via the site - I needed to pay a deposit for a holiday direct to a property owner, and it wasn't possible online. This was about 6 months ago, but coming to write my review today I discover that it's now been added, which is a positive development. The process enables you to pay into an overseas account in any currency at prevailing interest rates.
For me, the branch is so handy I can easily pop in if I want something such as ordering a paying in book or requesting a statement, but if the branch is not so handy, these things can also be done through the site. There are also tools such as setting up text alerts for balances or certain sized outgoings or payments, and calculators to help you with personal finances (incomings v outgoings for instance).
The site itself is easy to navigate around, and I have found it very reliable. I can remember one (only) occasion when the site was down and I couldn't log in, it was years ago, and bearing in mind I use the site most days, I consider that to be excellent performance.
As a customer of the bank, I really recommend their banking service, I like the security PINsentry set-up and feel confident using it for all my day-to-day banking activities.
---Why I Use This---
.Being way out in the countryside and with no close branches I have been in a way forced to use online banking as a way of accessing my accounts and finding out what my up-to-dae balances are.
Barclays - I have been with them for over 30 years now - mainly because I had an account opened for me by my grandfather - and I have never bothered to move. They do say people very seldom change their banks - unles something dreadful has happened in your account.
An online website to allow you access to your accounts, which allows you to open online savings acocunts and also apply for a loan.
I get weekly and monthly bank statements by post to keep abreast of how our accounts are doing - mainly because with lots of standing orders ging out you need to make sure there is money there to service them.
However there are times when you need to see the state of your accounts in-between times - or when your bank statement desn't arrive.
Over the years I pretty much gave up with using on-line banking as I kept getting blocked out of my accounts. I would ring (India) for a mew passcode - only for that still not to work - so in the end I just gave up - which did seem silly but I could find no way around it.
Luckily they then introduced little PINsentry card machines that we got sent out. I was not very keen to bother trying these as I had had so much bother in the past. It is tedious - you enter your card and then pin in your four diget code. You press 'identify' and you then get given eight numbers - these numbers are keyed into their website - along with a membership number - much more fiddly that using the Barclayard website which I have never had any problems with.
However (touch wood) I am now able to access my accounts and it is good to know how they are doing and if payments have gone in on time - I have even started up an online savings account very easily with £5 going over from another acount - this was done with just a few clicks.
I would not wnat to go 'paperless' as they are trying to get everyone to do incase I ever got locked out again - but for he last few months this has been working fine and is much quicker than waiting for my statement in the post.
I think the Barclays call centre in India must be notorious as I now refuse to ring them at all - you never get any help and my heart would sink every time I tried to make myself undrstood. I was at one time left with a frozen card after using the wrong pin number - after numerous calls - where they kept telling me it was not frozen, failed to sort the problem - I could not access my money and they advised I should transfer money into my son's acount for him to get out for me!
However although on your bank statements there is only one central number to ring I have now obtained two numbers for fairly local branches in the UK so if I have a problem I just ring direct and hey are most helpful - being mostly stuck at home I cannot easily visit branches.
3 stars - it works OK now but I have had lots of trouble getting into my accounts in the past.
---Would I Recommend?---
Yes, but probably no better or worse than other online banking.
They say that you are more likely to change your spouse than your bank account & that certainly is the case with me as really I should have ditched Barclay's a long time ago - but its the hassle.
Their online banking is great...when it works, but it often isn't. It's so s-l-o-w and so often you can't get onto it at all. Also, to be honest, its quite a poor website for such a big business with a huge turnover -perhaps they could take a teeny tiny percentage of the bonus's they pay to their big cheeses and get another hamster for the wheel.
My biggest issue though of course is not an original one - the Indian call centers - I feel a bit mean as these guys really want to help but often their English is so poor that they either have problems understanding you or vica verca. And even if their English is excellent - you ask them anything off script and they cannot help you - full stop.
Last time I rang them, I wanted a copy of an old statement - they said they would send me a statement for the last three months - I explaind (again) that the statement I wanted was over a year old - they repeated their original answer - which ever way I explained it, they didn't get it.
I gave up and went into branch. Then there was the time they suspended my online account for no reason - I was on the phone for HOURS trying to get it re-instated but they would not do it because I couldn't give them the EXACT date my mortgae went out - even though I gave them the amount, which lender it was to and that it was at the "end of the month" - I had also supplied them with my date of birth, mothers maiden name and some other direct debits I had. I had to go totally ape-shit before they put me through to someone in England who did it within 5 minutes (after asking me all the same questions).
I made a complaint about that issue - no one ever got back to me - so I made another complaint - no one got back to me on that either.....
I went into a branch to make the complaint - they said that the complaints went to India anyway.....
In short, Barclays are fine (in my experience) when you want basic banking in Branch - anything else - forget it - its a nightmare
Barclays bank are awful to deal with. Their customer service is very poor. The online site may be fine (i never used it) but if you try and call up you will speak to a call centre abroad. Suggestion: look for the "new customer" line as that will be a normal landline number rather than an 0800 number. You get through to a UK call centre. They care more about getting new customers than retaining their current ones.I am still waiting for my complaint to be dealt with...
I have been using Barclay's online banking for what seems like ages. I think that it's the case for most people that trying to access your local branch can sometimes be a pain. At the moment my 'local' branch is over an hours drive away. However, when I was in a more 'normal' location accessing branches when they are actually open can be annoying. My nearest branch used to close early so there was no chance of getting there after work and if you dared venture in branch on a Saturday you would be greeted with long queues. I have just one word for that: nightmare!
Online banking is definitely there to make your life a lot easier. I know you have the option of telephone banking as well but personally when I set up my account I was about sixteen and now it's difficult to remember what security questions/measures I set. You can't do everything online but you can definitely do a lot, saving you the hassle of going in branch or ending up locking yourself out of your account because you can't remember answers to security questions you made years ago.
I like that Barclays online banking is so secure, for me it is one of the major plus points. You get a twelve digit membership number and a card reader that you need to log in to your account. The membership number has nothing to do with birthdays etc so it would be very difficult for anyone to be able to guess this number. For those of you who have yet to need a card reader for your online banking, it's a small piece of equipment, similar in size to a small standard calculator. You insert your card in to the top of the reader and press a button; you are then required to enter in your cards pin. The reader will then provide a code that allows you to log in to your account. It completely fascinates me how these work as they don't need to be connected to the internet. If any one understands how they work please feel free to enlighten me!
I know a lot of people find card readers annoying, particularly with Barclays as you cant even log on to your account properly without using one, but personally I think they really work and it definitely gives me peace of mind when it comes to banking online. However, if you do ever forget your card reader you can gain access to basic information, like your balance, but you are unable to transfer money etc. My other half banks with the Halifax and it shocks me at how simple it is to log on and also change your passwords etc. After being with someone for a long time you tend to know what passwords and usernames they use and will definitely be able to answer the simple security questions Halifax ask for like your mum and dads name. I can log on to his account quite easily (he knows I do it) but he wouldn't have a clue about getting on to mine as he doesn't know my cards pin. However, at the same time he does also have a Barclays account and I can't get his online access to work. They keep sending out codes to be able to log on for the first time using the scratch the back and then hold up to the light to see the numbers system (if that makes sense?). However, the scratching part always makes the numbers difficult to read so you're never sure if it's a 0, 8 or 9 and if you get it wrong more than three times you're locked out and unable to request a new number for quite a significant period of time without going via their telephone banking (which I wont do as mentioned above plus it would probably end up costing a fortune) it's very frustrating.
After you have logged on to your account you are met by a brief overview of your account. Down the side of the screen there are different buttons to click depending on what you need to do, making the site very easy to navigate. Seeing your up to date statements is particularly useful and very easy to do. Statements are not always 100% up to date but your overall balance is generally kept up to date fairly quickly after any purchases. This is such a good thing for me, I remember when I had to rely on cash machines to tell me my balance and they were always wrong never taking into account recent transactions (and by recent I mean transactions that took place days ago rather than hours), it always used to mess my finances up as I spent money that I had already spent!
You can also mange transfers, payments and direct debits online. Setting up a new payment to someone does require the use of your card reader but it's very simple to do and all the instructions are on screen. After you have set up an initial payment you don't need your card reader to make further payments which is really good as I regularly make transfers and payments each month. Being able to check your direct debits online is also very handy as you can check the dates they are due and also cancel them easily. However, it does annoy me that not all my direct debits show up. This has made me completely reluctant to sign up for free trials as previously I joined credit expert on a free trial and now they take out £6.99 a month as I cant cancel it via my online banking.
You can also edit some of your contact details online. However, this is limited to mostly your email address and phone numbers. It does annoy me that I cant change my address online, paticularly since using Barclays is so secure. At my previous address my statements used to get sent out to me with no name on because (as I later found out when I updated it for my next new address) when I had been in branch to update it the person who I had seen had filled in my name as the first line of the address. I made do with these statemements appearing like this as I didnt think it was worthy of a trip to a branch but it would have been nice to have been able to quickly change the error online. I'm sure it couldnt be too hard to set up a secure, pain free system to enable you to change your own address.
I do have one slight criticism with Barclays online banking and ironically it's also its biggest plus point: how easy it is to do everything. Applying for loans, credit cards and new accounts are regularly thrown in your face and all you have to do is click on a button to apply. Also you can apply for overdrafts online which for me was part of my downfall in to getting into debt, it didn't take long before my very small overdraft of a couple of hundred pounds, quadrupled in size in a fairly short amount of time with the greatest of ease. I know alot of you will be thinking that you should be able to resist temptation and if I could go back now I would give myself a big slap if I even considered just clicking a button to borrow more money. Whatever I spent that money on (see a couple of years or so down the line and I cant even tell you why I needed that money so badly!) could not be worth the debt I have now, though at the time it didnt seem like that and increasing my overdraft felt like a very easy way to get the money I needed (or more likely...wanted). However, hindsight is a wonderful thing and you dont learn from your mistakes until you make them. Now I just wish that they werent trying to sell all their products to me all the time, even though I have learnt to resist it!
I have used different online banking systems and Barclays is by no means perfect. However, it's definitely one of my preferred sites and it only looses a star because of the ease of being able to get yourself in to debt.
ibank.barclays.co.uk is Barclays' internet banking website. I have been a customer of Barclays for upwards of a decade and have used internet banking for a minimum of six years.
I have watched the ibank go through many incarnations and am very satisfied with the level of security that Barclays employ to combat identity theft and fraud. Barclays has introduced the PINSentry, which is a little white and Barclays blue machine reminiscent of a pocket calculator. It is designed to take a ChipNPin Connect Card in the top slot and is a measure intended to make sure that the only person who can access an account's internet banking is the account (and card) holder.
Although it may seem very inconvenient to have to have this PINSentry and your Connect card at hand every time you want to do a little internet banking it is really to your own benefit. If any other banks take this precaution then I am, as yet, unaware of it. I appreciate that Barclays is trying to protect their customers in this manner. It is possible to access internet banking without the PINSentry reader - however, you do still have to have your Connect card with you (or to have memorised the 16-digit card number which is a bit of an ask for someone like me!).
The ibank's homepage is called 'At a Glance' and allows to you see all of your Barclays accounts, well, at a glance. You are given information such as the account's fully-customisable name, account number, and balance. From this position you can click through into a detailed summary of the last thirty days' account activity. It is possible to see more than thirty days - it just takes a little rejigging of settings.
My one problem with ibanking (so far) is that you can do everything you want to with your accounts over the internet, except close them. I have three savings accounts with Barclays that are basically lying dormant as I cannot close them over the internet and I cannot be bothered to visit a branch when I can complete every other banking task (except paying in actual cash/cheques, which I rarely do) via my laptop. This addition to the ibank's functions would be very gratefully received!
I have held my current account with Barclays now for just over a year and am very happy with the service I have received.
Previously I have had current accounts and credit cards with Halifax and HSBC but for now I have no reason to complain with Barclays and will be sticking with them for the forseeable future.
I was offered an Additions Active account which gave me:
Free Cover with the RAC
Free Mobile Phone Insurance
Free Travel Insurance
Free Insurance for all my cards, driving, licence and passport
All of which I have taken advantage of (they also give a will writing service which I have not used)
I have recently received some correspondance showing changes that will be coming soon. This will give me the extra benefit of being able to use their 'Home SOS' to include emergency cover for:
I think these are all really useful benefits and did not realise that these could be offered with a bank account when I signed up - most impressed.
I have found staff at my local branch to be very friendly and helpful.
The online banking service is excellent, I find it particlarly easy to set up payments to other accounts, pay bills, transfer money to friends and can view all my direct debits and standing orders.
All payments in and out of my account only take 1 working day at the most to clear - what more could you ask for?
Some people have varied attitudes towards the 'pin-sentry' system which is used to log into on-line banking. You are given a small hand held device that looks a bit like a calculator....when logging into on-line banking you have to insert your card into the device and enter your pin number - this generates a passcode on the device display which you then enter into the on-line banking page. The passcode is different each time. It means that you do have to have the device on your person to be able to log in, but I think the added security of this can only be a good thing - I have not found it to be a nuisance at all.
I now have a on-line savers account with Barclays, home contents insurance and a Barclaycard Credit Card aswell as my current account - all of which I am very happy with.
The only complaint I have to make about Barclays is their telephone banking service which (like most large businesses these days) goes through to a call centre in.....I don't know - The Moon?? - where I find it very hard to understand people most of the time and have also been given information that has contradicted what I have been told in my local branch (on more than 1 occasion) and would add that the information given to me by telephone banking was incorrect.
However, this does not bother me too much as I generally use the on-line system which is really useful, so just avoid ringing up if I can help it.
Barclays.co.uk is obviously Barclays Bank's website. The majority of visitors will go there to look up information on products, find contact details, apply for products and to use the online banking service. The site has quite a lot of information on the home page but different types of products (Current accounts, Insurance, Loans, Savings, etc) and different user groups (i.e. Personal, Premier, Business, Commercial Banking) and divided into separate sections so you can filter down into what you're looking for. There are usually a number of banners and graphics advertising current offers.
I think the site looks quite professional, with the exception of one thing. At the moment, I see a number of light green links linking to products of certain categories of products. These are over a white background and although this is something that most people will have no problems with, I can imagine that people whom have bad eyesight or are visually impaired (i.e. red-green colour blinded individuals, in particular) would have great difficulty reading those. Hovering over those links simply underlines them and doesn't change colour so that would not help those who have difficulty reading those links. I'm sure good website design guidelines state you're supposed to use dark text over light backgrounds and to not use such light colours on white backgrounds. All other links are either dark blue or light blue throughout the site though, so do follow the site colour scheme.
Most reviews will probably jump straight into the Internet banking side of such sites but I thought that it's worth mentioning some of the other uses of the site. Aside from being able to apply for products, which I've only ever-down in a branch so can't comment, you can look up information on the products. On clicking into a link for a product, they do lay out the information in an easy to read manner with the key benefits in bullet lists. Further down, they do provide links to useful information for applying such as what ID is required if applying in a branch, rates and charges, etc. Naturally, like all banks, the information that they don't want you to know but are legally obliged to tell you somewhere, is hidden away in the terms and conditions, which you would need to search for.
One feature that I do like is their branch locator because it is so accessible. The branch locator search box is located on the home page down the left so I can enter my postcode straight away to search for Barclays branches near me. Sure enough, it returns a list of results in a new windows (or tab) giving me the distance from the postcode and the branch address. A 0845 telephone number is on the results but is the same for each branch. Clicking into a branch, it also provides an interactive map (courtesy of MultiMap.com), with the opening hours, which I often look for, especially on a Saturday. If you enter anything else (or leave it blank) and then search, it gives you more specific search options, which is very good for those looking for Business and Premier counters or Financial Planners that are only available in certain branches. The search option for Barclays Cash machines seems a bit pointless though as I'd expect all Barclays branches to have external ATMs (this is probably for Barclays customers with accounts that can only be serviced using Barclays ATMs and branches, including withdrawing money, daft, I know).
The search function on the site is pretty good. I can type a question in or just a product name and it will throw up a bunch of results in order of what it thinks is most relevant. It doesn't give me what I want every time but that just means I need to use a different search term. Either way, I do usually manage to find what I'm looking for so no complaints here. Contact details can be found fairly easily under the Help sections and the search can also bring up relevant results.
Lastly, they have nice Flash Demos of the Internet banking and Mobile banking platforms showing you how to register, log in and use them. Nice feature to have for those new to Internet and Mobile phone banking.
This is what most people will use the site for to check statements and perform transactions from any Internet enabled computer. It was a bit of a pain for me to set up as I waited 2 weeks before getting my PINSentry device. This is the little calculator-looking device that you need to use to log in, used in conjunction with one's debit card.
Once registered for online banking, to log in, one needs a 12 Digit membership number, which they assign to you. (This is different to the telephone banking one, which they also assign to you). You enter your last name, membership number, last 4 digits on your debit card, and an 8 digit code that the PINSentry generates after you press IDENTIFY and then your debit card's PIN with the debit card slotted into it. I find this process to be rather inconvenient, as it means that whenever I want to log in to make a payment, I would need to have my PINSentry with me. Doing anything like setting up new Payees, changing anything needs the PINSentry. This is all for the added security but I still find it inconvenient as I don't want to carry the thing around with me. My solution is just to use the online banking facilities of my other banks and only bother with Barclays when I'm at home.
Without the PINSentry, you are still able to log in so long as you are in possession of your debit card (or in the unlikely event of you knowing the long number and 3 digit security code), but anyway, you can click the Forgot PINSentry reader link and then enter your Last name, Date of Birth, Debit card number, card security code, and then choose a memorable word, which lets you log in to the online banking but limits you to viewing the account and transferring money to your own Barclays accounts. Better than nothing I guess.
Once logged in, I have found that on many occasions that I'm kicked off the site (well, logged off) and given the following message.
"1320 - Sorry - we have had to log you out of Online Banking because a button was clicked twice or the browser 'Stop' button was used. Please enter your membership number below and click on the green 'next' button to log on again"
It doesn't always happen but does every so often, which is annoying. Quite often, I use the keyboard and press the Return/Enter key. Other times, I click but I've not had this problem on other Internet banking sites so I don't see why I should on Barclays.co.uk. The layout of the online banking site isn't great and isn't that intuitive to navigate around unless you read what all the links say but it works and isn't difficult once you get used to it. Site loading speed is generally very good and in terms of site up-time, I've not experienced any problems. Just that they are down some evenings around midnight for maintenance, which is the norm. The online banking site times out after so many minutes of inactivity, which is also normal as a security measure in line with other banking websites.
One thing which really annoys me is how you can only bring up transactions of up to a month back (unless I'm missing something). This is rather pathetic and I do not understand why this is the case. Other banks give you access to historic statements up to 12 months back. This means that you would need to look through your paper statements to find what you need. Big problem if you've lost the one you're after but either way, it's also a lot less convenient if you have to trawl through your folder of statements. Some people may not be particularly organised so they may be all over the place or in the wrong order. Not sure if Barclays offer the option of stopping paper statements to help the environment but if they did, people doing this would need to contact Barclays for historic statements to locate old transaction from more than a month ago unless they made a habit of printing the online statements each month. Getting old statements from Barclays is chargeable!
I have found creating Standing Orders a pain in the backside with Barclays online banking. I had one person who owed me money and wanted to pay me £50 a week for a few weeks and he happened to bank with Barclays and was registered for online banking. He attempted to set up a Standing Order several times but it didn't work each time so he ended up sending me the money using one off payments each week. Not sure if he successfully created the Standing Order or not with it just not working or whether the thing just didn't get created in his account. This shows that it's not a very user friendly process. I decided to set one up as a test for myself but it has so many different options and boxes to fill that it confused the life out of me. During my attempts, it kept rejecting my submission for various things and I eventually gave up after about 20 minutes. Oh and creating a Standing Order involves getting a code from the PINSentry and every time it rejected by Standing Order, I would have to re-input everything into the PINSentry and the new codes into the Standing Order form each time making the task even more tedious (yes, it's for the added security blah blah blah). I have created Standing Orders on Natwest's online banking site and it is much more straight forward!
There is one good thing I have to say about using Barclays online banking, and that is they give you a one year license to use Kaspersky Internet Security, which is worth around £29.99. Barclays seems to provide renewals for free as well so that is marvellous as Kaspersky, although quite bulky, is a powerful and effective antivirus. There are free ones out there but this is a full package.
- Mostly works.
- Free Kaspersky antivirus software license (worth £29.99)
- Site is informative
- Added security with PINSentry
- PINSentry makes it inconvenient to log in to perform most tasks
- Long membership number
- Site can log you off randomly(?)
- Standing Orders facility not very user friendly
- Statements only available up to a month back
Recommended? No, but it seems to be a necessary evil if you bank with Barclays and don't want to switch banks. The Barclays site can be useful and is still better than having to visit a branch or phone them for everything but I feel that other banks have done a better job with their online facilities, especially as you're limited to viewing a month's worth of statements and nothing beyond that with Barclays. The PINSentry is annoying but I suppose it is a good thing to have for the added security but usability of the online banking part of the site seems to be worse compared to those of other banks. At least they give you antivirus free for a year! Rant over...
Thanks for reading!
I have banked with Barclays since I was a little girl. Like any other bank these days they have their good points and many bad points but for this review I am just concentrating on their online banking service.
Like so many others on this site, you know who you are I am slightly obsessed with checking my bank accounts. It's not just a once a day thing it's a several times a day occurrence. I like to know to the penny how much I have in my account. Some may consider this sad but others on here will know why this is so important to me.
Before the days of online banking I would just spend until my card was rejected or the bank stopped giving me cash. Now as an older and wiser member of society I realise that this is not a good thing and I need to be much more organised with my money. So online banking for me in an absolute god send.
I have been using online banking for several years. The site is very simple to use in my opinion. When you become a member you are sent a 12 digit code which you use to sign in. Previously you set a password too and you were asked for random letters each time from the password in order to view your account however, now you use a Pinsentry device which now provides an added level of security.
The Pinsentry device looks like a small calculator. After you have input your 12 digit code you pop your debit card into the pinsentry device, press a button and the machine will ask for your PIN number, the same one you use at an ATM. Once you have popped this number in the machine provides you with an 8 digit random code which you input into the relevant boxes online and only once you have done this can you access your accounts.
The first page you come to is a summary of your accounts. Here it will list all your barclays accounts and show their current available balance. To the left of the screen you have all the different options available to you such as:
- make a payment
- change a payment
- set up a direct debit
One of the points I really like about this page is you can change the name of your accounts. They will automatically show the bank account number but you can give them a name too, so for instance one of mine is called "Bills Account". I find this really user friendly as I have several accounts and don't always remember the account numbers for some of them.
The current balance is always the available balance at that given time so this often includes items which won't yet show up on your account yet. For example you may have used your card a couple of hours earlier. The money will have shown as having left your account but when you check the actual account the details may not show.
Checking an individual account is simple. You just click on the relevant account and this takes you through to a statement of that account. It usually shows the last 7 days but you can change this to a different time frame if needed. I often look at a whole month at a time to check all my direct debits have gone out.
Using the online service you can cancel direct debits, set up new payments, transfer money between your accounts.
New transfers and payments have to be done again using your PIN sentry machine, again this is a very simple process of simply popping your card in and putting your PIN number in. Once you have done this process once the details are then saved and you no longer need to use the PIN sentry device and any further transfers and then done on the same day.
I honestly can't think of any downsides to this site. The PIN sentry device is a little bit of a pain but as someone who has had her card cloned twice I am grateful for any added security provided to protect my details and more importantly my money.
I like to keep a very close eye on my finances - not because I love seeing my huge credit balances all the time (oh, I wish!), but because things are often quite precariously balanced and I am forever having to juggle the numbers a bit.
So for, me, online banking has been a Godsend. Every morning, first thing, I can log on, and see exactly what is what, and if necessary can move money, make the necessary phone calls, and at least I know what I am faced with. I have therefore been using online banking for several years now, and would be really quite lost without it.
Barclays online works in much the same way as most other online banking services you come across - you apply for a membership number and this is sent out to you by post. It is quite a long number and you can either enter this each time you log into online banking, or can ask for it to be saved. Obviously this will depend on whether you use your own computer or one at work etc, as the fewer people who have any sort of access to any details, the better. You will need this membership number should you ever need to ring the helpline as well, so commit it to memory, or store it very safely, somehow!
You will also be sent a keypad - called "PinSentry" - it looks a little bit like a calculator, and has a slot in which you put your debit card, just like you do when you are paying for something in a shop. You have to enter in the pin number when it asks for it, and it will then give you an 8 digit "authorisation" code. You will need this every time you want to use online banking with Barclays, so don't lose it! Without the PinSentry keypad thingy, you cannot make transfers between accounts, or pay bills etc, although you should be able to view your balances.
So, so far, it is a bit of a faff using the PinSentry gadget - you have to have it with you all the time, which means that you have to transfer it from home, to handbag, to work, etc. It could therefore easily be in the wrong place when you want to check your balance. For example, I am not at home as I type this, but have just had a phone call from my husband saying he needs to pay for something - I have had to get onto online banking to move money into the right account, and if I was not in the habit of taking the PinSentry thingy with me everywhere I went, I would not have been able to do this so easily. Thankfully, in the 18 months or so that I have had this gadget, I have not lost it, but it is very much a case of "purse, carkeys, doorkeys, bank thingy" whenever I go anywhere........which is not ideal for everyone.
I keep meaning to ask for a spare to keep at work, but I have not yet got round to that, and don't know if they would issue one, anyway!
So, once you have got through the membership number and the pin thing, you can see all your accounts on one screen. From this point on, it is quite simple to use - I can see my current accounts, savings accounts (I put money away each month for car costs, emergencies, and Christmas, and can have an online savings account for each) and my loan account. I therefore know, at a glance, exactly where I am. Moving money between accounts is generally instant - if I need to move money from the car account to the emergencies account, or vice versa, I can do so at the click of a mouse and can see that it is where I want it to be.
Moving money to outside accounts is much the same, although you will need to do this inconjunction with the pin gadget thingy the first time you pay someone new. After the first time, though, it stores the details so you can make the payment quickly from there on. Barclays is taking part in the new Faster Payments scheme, so when I transfer money from one bank to another, it is generally there immediately, and no later than 2 hours, which is a huge improvement in banking services, in my opinion.
Generally, I find the convenience and reliability of Barclays online banking to be worth its weight in gold. There are, however, just a couple of minor gripes that I have.....
- I have already mentioned the need to have the gadget thing with you wherever you are.
- I tried to pay off a loan this week - simply moving money from my current account to the loan account, but this could not be done online. I had to telephone and got a call centre in India who could not comprehend why anyone would want to pay off a loan early (!), but perhaps that is as much a review for call centres in general, or telephone banking rather than this one!
- My savings accounts were set up online, and can only be serviced online. That means that if I am in town and need to transfer money to fund a shopping spree by going into a local branch, or like the day I forgot my purse and desperately needed petrol so had to call telephone banking to move money, you cannot do so as they will just turn round and say you have to go online to do it. So, I would suggest always having a non online account too because we don't always have our laptop with us, or access to the internet wherever we may be!
In their defence, Barclays DO seem to be listening to their customers - until recently, you could not put money in your online ISA account by online transfer - you had to ring up the ISA department and ask them to do it over the phone, or you had to send it to them which took ages to reach your account by post (sort of defeats the object really, doesn't it!). As a result of customer feedback, they have now added the ability to fund your ISA online to their online banking service, which makes a whole lot of sense. In addition, when entering in the initial sets of numbers, you originally had to tab through a lot which meant that "boxes" were being missed, registering as a failed attempt to log in. They have now tweaked this, which means that things happen much more smoothly when logging in and you have less failed entry attempts happening.
All in all, this online banking service does what it needs to do for me - it might not be as easy to use as some, but it is certainly not difficult. A bit of a faff in places, but not enough to stop me using it! It is generally reliable, and available 24 hours a day. Maintenance is done at "sensible" times of the day or night so doesn't generally interfere with most people's requirements.
One word of warning though - when you use your pin gadget, you have to enter in your pin number - please remember that people around you can see what you are doing, so take the same amount of care as you would when using a cash machine or paying in a shop.......and shield your pad as you enter in those four digits.
I have banked with Barclays for many years and when my friends told me about the revolution of internet banking two years ago I immediately signed up to this great addition to the service I was already happy with.
In order to sign up to online banking with Barclays you need to phone up their call centre and tell them you want to sign up and they will forward you the log in details. Even though their call centre is based in India and many people have had problems I found the person on the other end extremely knowledgeable and helpful and I was only on the phone for a few minutes. A week later I received my log in details and I set up it up with ease and have been happy ever since!
Online banking in general is a fantastic service which is provided by most banks and is great because you are able to check your balance, review credits and debits and also transfer money at any time of the day!
I find it extremely useful being able to access my account details online as I rarely have time to visit the bank in person as they are only open during the hours I work!
Online banking means I don't have to go to the bank to transfer money or even have to go to a cash point to check my balance. It's also a great way to check any money going out too in case anyone tries to commit fraud!
A great new innovation which is only going to get better!
I have now been banking with Barclays for about three years now as me and my Fiance set up a joint acount and now this is our main bank.
I have found them very good so far and I like to do my banking online as I can access it as and when I need it.
It is quite straight forward to set up and use but in the last week they have just started to use chip and pin called PINentry just to access you online bank for extra safety measures. I find this very frustrating as it means you need the chip and pin device (looks like a calculator) and you need your bank card everytime you need to log on. I can imagine all these sorts of devices can be quite complicated for some people to understand and use.
You can view your statements very clearly for the past few months, you can pay bills online and transfer money, you can apply for loans and lots more.
Sometimes if the site is slow and you click on something twice by accident it will log you out which can also be frustrating.
Barclays.co.uk is great for information as it is full of it. You can apply and find out information about, loans, current accounts, insurance, mortgages, savings, barclaycard and it has a branch finder with all the phone numbers you will need. There are different types of accounts and banking to choose from to suit your needs.
I love internet banking! I work 9-5 and like sleeping in on Saturday's so getting to a bank is a bit of a nightmare. Luckily Barclays allow customers to use their internet banking site for free as part of having an account with them. As I write this I'm going to stick in a few warnings about using internet banking and trying to keep your details safe.
**Warning 1 - Never click on a link in an email to access your banking site, always either type the address in or save it as a favourite.
When you go on to the Barclays main site there is loads of information about different products Barclays offer such as Loans, Mortgages, Savings, Insurance etc. There is also a lot of info covering subjects that you would normally phone up your branch about, pick up a leaflet in store or have to write a letter to them about.
You can use the site to manage your accounts if you have a business account, premier account or just an ordinary bank account (current or savings account). On the first page there is a login button which opens a new window for you to key your details into. If you haven't already got internet banking then you will need to sign up first, you can do this by clicking the register button and following the instructions. Your details arrive fairly quickly and come separately in discrete packaging.
You get a 12 digit member number which in addition to your surname becomes your user name. You have the option to save this for future reference.
**Warning 2 - Don't save your banking details on a shared PC.
If you forget anything or lose your ID you can get it resent or reset. Next you need to input the last 4 digits of your card number and your Code... The code is a new thing on this site, and it obtained from a little calculator type thing you are sent in the post. The idea is it works like an ATM in that it is able to read your pin number and match it against what you have typed in. It then provides you with a code which you must key in reasonably soon after it is provided otherwise it times out for security (as has just happened to me). You will also find your card is locked if you key your pin wrong 3 times in a row, this is again for safety in case your card falls into the wrong hands.
Once in you have the option to view your accounts and carry out various other tasks. Again don't leave it too long in between actions as you get automatically signed out after about 10 minutes (for security obviously). You have the ability to name each account which is quite handy as it makes it easier to know which account you are looking at if you have a few in your own name.
At first glance you see your current balances and by clicking on any account you can see your recent transactions (last 30 days normally, but it can be changed). You then have the ability to pay bills, transfer money between your accounts, set up/amend standing orders/direct debits, and a few other bits. You can also set up an e-savings account currently which pays about 4% gross. You can set up as many of these as you like for different purposes such as saving for a specific purchase, holiday, wedding etc, and as I said earlier you can name each one individually. Transferring money between your own accounts is instantaneous and between other Barclays accounts I think is overnight or 1 day. Between other banks is still the usual 3 days though.
I like this site as it enables me to do all my banking easily online. It can occasionally be quite slow, even at times you might not expect. However it is very easy to set up new transactions and to manage your accounts. Everything is very clear and there is a confirmation before anything involving money is actioned. Again there is lots more useful info and again this saves going into a branch.
Warning 3 - Always log out when you are finished.
There's been a lot of bad press about online banking as people keep getting tricked into giving out their details to dodgy folks who send them emails.
Warning 4 - Your bank will never ever ever ever send you an email saying that they've lost your personal logon details. So if you receive one then delete it. If you feel the need to then you can log on to your banking site using the correct address and see if you have any messages.
You can usually tell a fraudulent email from the fact that most time it's from the wrong bank (one you don't have an account with), or it's sent out with bad spelling or from a personal email account. Also, it's sent to lots of people with really similar email addresses to you.
If you feel the need for a loan or other product then there are links to many of these over the site and you are able to apply for a lot online (if you are logged in). You can also get a rough idea about mortgages, and get them to call you. You can also open savings accounts and Cash ISA's online.
All in all it's a good site that is like a branch that's open 24/7. I've used it for probably about 5 years now and will continue for many more.
How I came to use the site.
At the start of this year, I decided to upgrade my "simple simon" Barclays cash card for a current account and card. This was due to the fact that I have become bit of a recluse of late (Ok I m not a recluse, just lazy the bank is nearly 2 miles away). The other reason I got it was because everything now days is done by chip and pin, so would benefit from having it.
I made my application for the card, in branch and was given the offer of having online banking, which seemed to be a good option as I would be able to transfer money, pay bills and check my balance all from the comfort of my arm chair. It's also cheaper than calling there 08457 55 55 55 number for a balance.
I was told to wait for the card, and also a PINsentry machine and PINsentry authentication card. And like promised after a few mix ups, and a few weeks I did receive everything I needed to access the site.
As I click through to Barclays bank online I noticed that there homepage is very Barclayish, with lots of the traditional Barclays blue on a white background and some green and that blue text, with a few pictures to go with the latest offers.
There are 4 tabs at the top of the page personal, premier, business and commercial banking options. But I do not need to use these as there is also an option on the left hand side top corner to login to your personal banking account. On the home page they have links for current accounts, loans, savings, mortgages, insurance and much more. I ignore this as usual and click the personal banking link on the top left.
When you click the login page it opens up a new window, here is gives you an option to ask a question or enter your details.
The first detail you enter is your surname the press tab and go to the next box and enter our very long membership number.
You can save your membership details but I never do this. Once you have completed these two steps you go down the page slightly and click the 'next' button and it will load the next page in the same window.
On this page you enter the last few numbers from your PINsenry card and the Password that little machine generates for you.
The PINsenrty machine.
Right I will be totally honest with you, I have no idea how the computer knows what pin number is going to issued by the machine. I did ask the nice man at Barclays when I was on the phone to them, and he told me it was some kind of "Pixie Magic" which sound very interesting, maybe they the pixies are related to the ones that work in that cereal bar factor...... well you never know strange things do happen.
The PINsentry machine is white with again Barclay blue coloured buttons, it also has a green and yellow button and a little screen.
The machine is looks very much like a calculator it has an indent at the top on the front and a slot for you to slip your authentication card in. It is not very big around the size of a pocket calculator being about 3 by 2.5 inches.
The machine is issued to you with a card and 4 digit pin number.
A bit like a small chip and pin machine, you have the numbers 0 - 9 on the front and 3 buttons above the 1,2,3. Above the 1, you have the 'Identify' Button, 'Respond' is over number 2 and 'Sign' is above 3.
The 'clear' button is below 7 and you have 'Enter' on the right below number 9.
To login to the site you side the authentication card into the to and the machine will give you the 3 options to Respond, Sign or Identify.
For logging in you have to push identity, this is when you will have to put your pin number for the card (this is different to your normal pin number). Once you have put in your pin it will generate an 8 digit pin number for you to log in to the site with.
Doing this only takes a minute, so is not much bother unless you can't find your machine.
Now your logged in
Your now taken to the at a glance page, this will tell you of your balance of all your barclays accounts, including sub account. I have 3 sub accounts on my page witch belong to my 3 children, I am not sure if it show's an barclay cards as I don't have any.
On this page you also have a heading called 'I want to' here you can make a payment, pay a bill, transfer money, change your details and so on.
Under these options is another 2 headings 'more stuff' and 'intrested in' these give you options about loans, insurance, stockbrokers, e-savings, ask questions and lots more.
To view a statement is easy just click on an account you would like to view and hey presto you are there and you have your balance for that account and statement information.
I do think this has one fault though, as you never get a full statement. For security reasons they only put so many transactions down for you to view each day, so something you are looking for may not be on there.
What I do like is though, that you can change the names for each account to make it easier for you to identify which account is which, you can also choose what dates you would like to view.
I have never had to use the make a payment button, but I do transfer money on a regular basis to my sayings account and to the kids account. I find that this is very simple, you just click transfer money pick the account you want it to leave and the account you want it to go into. Once you have done this you type in how much you want to send and the date you want to do it (you can also choose the immediately option, by ticking a box). Transferring money between Barclays account is automatic and reaches the account straight away, but transfers to other banks can take a few days.
My thoughts and experience with Barclay.co.uk
I think that online banking is a good idea as it helps me balance my money better, and helps a lot when it comes to saving.
I found the site easy to navigate and easy to use, there is however, a lot of loan and other adverts for the products that they are selling. This may not help those that are easily tempted, and may actual make you worse off (getting Barclay cards ect... ect...) but I don't get tempted so it is not a problem for me.
For me I can do what I need to on the site, and it does save me walking miles and money in phone calls for balances.
So I am going to give Barclays.co.uk 4 out of 5 stars.
I have deducted a star as I find the site quite bland, due to fact that they use to much of the same colours, and that you can't view a full statement.
Keep your cards and pins safe, even with the pinsentry stuff.
Don't let your kids play with the pinsentry machine, entering the wrong pin number a couple of times, locks it out like an ATM machine. (I have never experienced this but the staff at barclays did tell me this).
You will need the pinsentry machine stuff, to by some stuff online having using it like a chip and pin machine to sign for stuff.
If inactive on the site for longer than 10 minutes you are automatically.
At the moment Barclays are offering a chance to win holiday vouchers for logging in.
Be careful not to be tempted by their offers.
Other site features special offers, ISA's, loan calculator, branch finder, important information section, about scam emails, anti - virus software, how to make a complaint, Barclays premier league football and a whole lot more.
08457 55 55 55
Well I hope I haven't missed anything out, if so let me know.
Thanks for reading all.
I used to bank with barclays before transfering to abbey my reasons for transfering are as follows.
I payed a cheque into my bank account on a monday morning and was told it would take 7 working days to clear so the following monday i telephoned barclays to check that it had cleared, they confirmed that it had so i went to the bank to collect my money.
When i got to the bank i was told that the cheque had not cleared and it would be another 5 working days so i went home and phoned again only to be told again that the cheque had cleared and the monty was waiting in my account.
They gave me the direct number of the branch i had been to so i phoned them to explain what i had been told and they still insisted that the money was going to take another 5 days to clear.
Later that day i went to the cash machine which also stated that the money was there and allowed me to with draw £250 as that is there daily with draw limit at cash machines which is why i had tried to get it from the bank as the cheque was quite a large amount.
The second problem i had with barclays was that one of there sales team phoned me trying to sell me life insurance i said no and thought nothing more about it untill next month there was a diredt debit showing on my statement for barclays.
There advisor had set up the life insurance although i had said no as it was the same company i banked with they had access to my account details which i think is realy wrong, they did refund the money but that was the final straw for me i moved to abbey.