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Online Banking in General
Member Name: sue.51
Online Banking in General
Date: 05/02/02, updated on 05/02/02 (183 review reads)
Advantages: Can do most things on-line, fast loading system, Easy to navigate
Disadvantages: Does tend to fall over now and again
Well, I guess you can if the leads will stretch that far - but you certainly don't have to leave the warmth of house as often as you used to, if you are a lottery winner or an e-worker then you will do so even less, but for the majority of us what On-Line banking does mean is that we should never have to rush to the bank in our lunchtimes or spend Saturday mornings surrounded by screaming kids, or freezing your 'bits' off on your local high-street trying to get a balance from the temperamental cash machine, or spend hours punching your way through those irritating automated telephone systems - one day we might even have virtual paying in systems, now wouldn't that be nice!
I am actually going to be looking at Woolwich Open Plan Internet Account -but firstly:
WHO ELSE DOES IT?
Well it seems to be these days everyone is at it:
* EGG - run solely internet accounts - you can do everything from take out a mortgage, operate your ISAS, credit cards, you name it they offer it - with EGG credit card - they don't even send you a paper statement - just notification via e-mail that your statement is available for viewing - they charge you £2 for the privilege of obtaining a paper statement, although I guess the sensible option would be to print your statement monthly (unless you are like me and keep forgetting to buy ink because you never leave the house)
* SMILE - the dedicated internet bank -never meet anyone, never talk to anyone, just SMILE and get everything done for you
* MARBLES - Again Credit Cards - you can do EVERYTHING over the internet, including transferring balances, making paymentsm view and query transactions - you can apply on-line, close your account on-line, increase your credit limit on-line, you name it the choice is yours.
These are just a few of the companies intruding on the world of internet banking in some form or other.
But back to the THE WOOLWICH - who have recently relau
nched their open-plan internet banking site on an unsuspecting public in the form of a more user friendly system capable of doing most things - previously you could check balances and make bill-payments, nowadays you can do a whole lot more - although the hardest part particularly in the early days is remembering all the extensive security information required to access the system in the first place.
On entry, you will see all your accounts grouped together including
** Current account
** Savings Accounts
** Investment accounts
** Borrowing accounts (assume includes mortgage, loans and credit cards)
** Protection accounts (? don't really know what this is as I haven't got one)
So what can you do once you get there?
* Well you can view your balance
* Check transactions on a 'live' basis, including see what direct debits have gone out, where you drew your money out from last night in a drunken frenzy - what bills you have paid and which ones you haven't, whether all your direct debits have gone out (Sorry Egg but I didn't think to check whilst sunning myself in Lanzarote)
* Move money around from account to account
* Make bill payments, AND dictate what date you want the money to leave the account - ADVISE CAUTION - I made a payment to my credit card account and set the month to 3 months later accidentally, luckily I realised what I had done, otherwise I could have had a nice £20 charge from the credit card supplier
* View all your direct debits in one go
* Check what money is due to go from your account
* Cancel direct debits and set up new standing orders
* Set up new bill payments - for this you will need the sort code and account number of the destination account - your credit card number/account number will be the reference - once you input the account details the system will identify the supplier for you - so less risk of making a mistake - new payee
s will be added within a few minutes of submission, or the next working day if outside normal business hours - so much for 24 hour service - I guess if it is that urgent you can always phone the call-centre.
* Make product enquiries - providing the Woolwich with the date and time you want them to call you - saves you a few bob on an 0845/0870 number
* The site includes a range of FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions) so if you do have a query, check here first.
* Identifies all regular payments, the reference details and the date of the last payment made from the account
* Print summary statements - although you will still receive monthly statements encompassing all your accounts with the Woolwich if you are on Open Plan
* For queries, on the previous account there used to be an instant ring back-facility - but they have removed this, providing you with a list of contact telephone numbers instead, and referring you initially to the FAQ's to determine whether these can answer your question.
As far as I am aware this service is only available to Open Plan account holders with the Woolwich, I am not aware, what if any internet banking is available to standard current account holders - if there are any left.
How do you find out more? including a demonstration?
All facilities can also be accessed via Sky Digital and over the phone.
Although I must confess that this launch was only made available after the takeover by Barclays, so it could be this was originally a Barclays service subsequently made available to Woolwich Customers - in the early trialling days it used to fall over quite regularly, but more recently has proved its reliability and seldom causes any problems (famous last words) - the system will automatically log you out if your account is idle for longer than 15 minutes.
I suspect that this s
ystem is probably little different to the on-line facilities available from most high Street Banks - but for me, it was the catalyst to keep me (again) at a time when I was becoming disillusioned with this company and ready to move on.