In recent years, many high street bank branches have closed, and customers are being encouraged to use alternative methods to do their banking. As with other sectors, banks in the UK are turning to technology to help customers use their services in a quick and efficient manner. In 2022, it is estimated that 93% of adults in the UK will do some form of online banking.
Despite online banking largely dominating the market, telephone banking is still seen as a reliable way for customers to access their accounts and perform various tasks. This form of banking is usually popular with older customers who prefer to use their landline to contact their bank than use a smart device for mobile or online alternatives.
There are a number of different security features to help keep your accounts safe and secure while you use telephone banking. However, you may have a few questions about how your account is protected while still making sure that banking is easy for you.
In this guide, we'll look at how you can register for telephone banking, as well as the benefits and disadvantages of doing your banking over the phone.
Telephone banking allows you to access your bank account through an automated system 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can remotely check your bank balance, listen to past transactions and make internal money transfers without having to visit a local branch or use online banking.
Banks usually require a telephone banking number and passcode before you can use telephone banking. You may also be asked to provide some personal information, such as your full name, date of birth and part of your residential address. Some telephone banking systems also use Voice ID to make sure that customer accounts are fully protected.
Continue reading to find out why telephone banking could be beneficial to you and how you can use it to manage your bank account.
You can use many features of telephone banking without speaking to an advisor, as banks use an automated system instead. The features allow you to perform tasks such as checking your available bank balance and setting up standing orders. You can also usually hear recent transactions made from your account, which helps you to keep track of incoming and outgoing funds.
Most banks allow you to transfer funds between internal bank accounts over the phone. For example, you may want to transfer money from your current account to your savings account. You could also set up a standing order to help you pay your bills on time.
There are more complex activities that you can do via telephone banking if you speak to an advisor. They can help you change the personal details connected to your bank accounts, such as your residential address or surname.
The advisor can help you to do many other services that would be offered to you if you visited an in-store branch. This includes arranging a new overdraft, paying bills and cancelling cheques.
Bank advisors can also offer you fraud assistance through telephone banking. This could mean checking recent transactions and freezing your bank cards so that no further transactions can be made.
You may also be able to request a PIN reminder if you are trying to use your bank card but have forgotten the number. Using telephone banking means you can access this information wherever you are rather than seeking a local branch.
You will need to phone your bank to use the telephone banking features. You may be asked to type your customer number into your phone, along with a telephone banking passcode. Alternatively, you may be able to say the numbers at the prompted times, as some banking systems have voice recognition.
Most telephone banking is controlled by automated systems. You can usually navigate the various options by selecting specified numbers on your phone or by answering simple 'yes and no' questions.
For example, if you want to check your bank balance, the banking system may ask you to say or press '1' on your phone. If you want to check recent transactions, you may be asked to say or press '2' and so on.
Most banking systems allow you to speak with an advisor if you have more complex queries or need help navigating the various departments. You may also be encouraged to download the bank's mobile app for further access to your account or asked to visit your local branch.
Many areas in the UK have seen local bank branches shut down due to understaffing and financial cuts, which means that some people struggle to visit their banks in person. By registering for telephone banking, you will have immediate access to various features that help you manage your account from the comfort of your home.
The 24/7 access to your account through telephone banking means that you can easily make transfers and monitor transactions. This can help you quickly detect fraud and freeze your bank cards if you notice anything suspicious. You can block your bank cards if you think someone else has access to them.
Checking your bank accounts regularly can also help you with budgeting and ensuring that you don't overspend. You can find out your current account balance without visiting an ATM or looking online.
You may be able to access help via telephone banking quicker than if you visited the bank in person. There may be limited staff on hand to help at your local branch (especially at the weekend), whereas there is a central hub of customer service team members who can help with telephone banking services. High street branches are also limited by their opening hours, whereas telephone banking offers an automated service at all times.
Many people prefer speaking to a person, but telephone banking is largely an automated service and doesn't always allow customers to speak to an advisor directly. It can lead to frustration as customers are expected to navigate the various options provided by the automated system rather than highlighting their specific requirements as soon as they speak to an advisor in person.
Some people also find that automated systems struggle to understand what they are saying. This can prove a challenge if the telephone banking service is largely based on voice recognition. However, most banks offer alternative navigation by asking customers to press buttons on their phones.
Telephone banking services often experience a high volume of calls which could mean customers are waiting for a long period of time to speak to an advisor with advanced queries, such as action against fraud.
Before you can use telephone banking, your bank will usually ask you to register for telephone access. You may be asked to do this by phoning the bank, applying online or visiting your local branch.
You may be asked to supply a piece of ID and your bank card to set up access to telephone banking. This is to help verify your identity, although your bank might use a different system when setting up your access.
After applying for telephone banking, you will be given a passcode number. This will probably be different from the one you use for online or mobile banking (if you are registered for either). You may be sent the passcode through the post or via email.
It's important to file your passcode so that you can access it whenever you want to use telephone banking. However, you need to make sure that the passcode is in a safe and secure location so that no one else can find it and use the number to access your banking.
Telephone banking, as with mobile and online banking, cannot be guaranteed as 100% safe. Different banks have varying levels of security before customers can access their services. For example, you may be asked to provide your passcode and customer number to access your account. Alternatively, you may have to provide personal information such as your date of birth.
While you should make every effort to keep your account information private, other people may find it and try to use phone banking to gain access to your account. Some banks use voice identification software to protect their customers' accounts to combat this.
You may be asked to set up Voice ID when you register for telephone banking. This may mean that you are asked to repeat a few short phrases so that the system can learn the sound of your voice. When you phone the telephone banking service, the system should recognise your voice and grant you access to your account. The process may eliminate the need for your account passcode.
To help keep your account secure, you should avoid using the telephone banking service in public places. Other people may be able to hear the information you say that gives you access to your account, which they might use to try and access your account.
Remember your account number and passcode so that it isn't written down anywhere someone could see. You should also never give out your PIN or account number on the phone.
Will I be charged for telephone banking?
You will usually be charged at your standard rate for telephone banking, although some banks may offer free calls. It's a good idea to check on the bank's website or visit your local branch if you are worried about the cost of using telephone banking. You could also contact your phone network to find out the cost of calling the banking number.
What is the difference between telephone and mobile banking?
Whereas telephone banking allows you to talk with an advisor about your account, mobile banking is largely independent. You can download your bank's app onto your mobile phone or other smart device and access your account whenever you want.
You will be asked to input personal and banking details when you set up an account on the banking app. It's important that you check whether the app is verified or not so that you don't mistakenly share your bank or personal details on a fraudulent app. After you have registered for an account, you will be given or asked to set up a username and password that you will need to log in
Banking apps have a number of features that give you the same access to your account as you would have if you visited a local branch. This includes checking your balance, looking at your transaction history and accessing past statements. You can also transfer funds, cash cheques, and set up standing orders or direct debits through the app.
Telephone banking is an easy way for you to access your bank account without having to visit a local branch or go online. You can access telephone banking after you have registered for it with your bank. This can usually be done online or by phone, after which you will be given a customer number and passcode to access your account over the phone.
You can navigate the services on telephone banking by selecting the numbers that correlate with the specified department. For example, you may have to press '1' on your phone to listen to your account balance or '2' to hear your previous transactions. Most telephone banking services also offer an option to speak with an advisor if you have more complex queries or prefer to speak with a person rather than an automated system.
Although no banking service can be guaranteed 100% secure, telephone banking usually requires customers to supply passcodes and personal information (such as their full name and date of birth) before they can gain access to their accounts. It's important that you keep your personal and bank information private so that no one else can hack your account.