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Easy management of my account.
Member Name: thehonesttruth
I'm a bit muddled financially - I'm not the sort of person that keeps statements lying around the house, and I tend to lose track of ym direct debits and standing orders, sometimes not leaving enough money in my account to cover them and then having to pay a charge . Now, I hate paying the charges, but thats another review - this one's just about the Halifax online banking, located at www.halifax.co.uk.
I've been using the Halifax online banking for two years , and signing up was fairly simple - I signed up on line, creating a username, giving them my account number, and answering 5 security questions . A password was then sent to me by post, which I could then change to anything I wanted . I liked this touch - as it meant that no one could successfully sign up in my name without having access to my house to obtain that initial password .
I liked the 5 security questions they ask - because in addition to your user name and password, when you sign in you'llhave to answer one of these each time , and they rotate . One day it might ask you for your mothers maiden name, the next for the name of your first school, or your dads first name etc . I like this, as I feel it adds another little layer of security.
Security can be a worry when banking online - so many people share computers, or perhaps access them at work, and in addition there are many phishing scams operating by email that lead you to a false login page and get your details from you that way. So , it's nice to know that the halifax gaurantee that any customer who is the victim of online fraud will not lose any money as a result, and will be fully reimbursed any money . It's a nice gaurantee, but I still recommend if you ever DO get an email looking as though it's from the Halifax, that you don't click any links in the email, and instead go directly to the website .
Funnily enough, Halifax is the only bank I bank with, and also the only one I've never recieved a phishing scam in its name .
So, what can you do on the site ? Well, it's all very clearly laid out and easy to see where the different aspects you might need are located . You can apply here for loans, upgrade your account, set up, cancel, or amend standing orders, direct debits, and money transfers . You can also report missing or stolen cards here, view your statement, or request your statements to be sent to you by email rather than by post .
I've used this often to check my bank statement, and find the information it usually up to date, although sometimes by account balance and amount available to withdraw differ , which can be a bit baffling. This is usually due to a direct debit or standing order going out but not having been put onto my statement yet, so it does seem as though this element of the site is not always up to the minute . It's a small niggle, but nothing major. The statements are just as detailed as they are in the post - telling you exactly when and where you withdrew your money, who's been paying in what, and who has been taking stuff out.
I've also used this to cancel standing orders, or to amend the dates for them, and again, I've found this very easy to do, and it's much nicer than contacting the companies individually over the phone to try and do this . I recently had to cancel several charity standing orders due to a change in my financial circumstances, and it was nice doing it over the internet rather than over the phone with some sweet young girl making me feel guilty , or trying to get me to set up smaller standing orders, as happened the one time I did cancel one over the phone .
Overall, I'm pretty happy with the site . It's nothing fancy, but it does the things I need it for, and saves me walking to the branch or spending money on a phone call . There is no charge for internet banking, so it's a good free service and I really can't complain .
Definitely recommended if you are a Halifax customer and could do with having your account information at your fingertips but don't want bank statements lying around the house!