In the last 20 years, online banking has evolved from being a novelty to being the norm in many countries. The UK is one of these countries, where 80% of people use online banking weekly or more.
No matter what your reasons are for wanting to open a bank account online, this blog post aims to help you by explaining how to do so – with or without having visited the bank in person beforehand.
Is it possible to open account online without visiting bank?
Technically yes. But before anyone starts wondering whether it’s possible or not, let me explain that what I have outlined in this post is the absolute minimum you will need to open a bank account online.
If you want to open a bank account online with a high street bank and all you have is an internet connection, then contact the bank for advice first. There should be at least one primary phone line and you should also be able to communicate electronically (to establish a password and prove your identity). In some countries there may be additional requirements depending on the bank.
What you will need?
To open a bank account online, you’ll need:
A functional computer with internet access A functioning telephone line You (presumably) have a government-issued identity document and can prove your residency in the country you’re opening the account in. Anywhere you’re opening an account, you’ll be likely to need a postcode. Without it, it will be harder for banks to identify where you live. If you’re residing overseas and would like to open an international bank account, then those details will also be required. An email address for correspondence with the bank – this will usually be your own email address as banks don’t want to give away their own email addresses for security reasons.
How to apply?
This process can be split into three stages:
Take a look at the bank’s website to see whether they have a streamlined process for opening an account. It should be easy enough to find the bank’s homepage and then look for a section relating to “online banking”. Some banks do not offer letterbox-friendly forms, which means you’ll need to complete the forms at your own pace, making it a little more difficult for you. Letterbox-friendly forms are used by many banks and designed to be completed at home.You may need an accountant or lawyer if you are setting up a business as part of your application.
Once you have printed off the form, you’ll need to complete it and sign it. The application will usually be accompanied by a PIN number which you should write down as well.
Now it’s time to post it off! Take the signed application and post it off with a cover letter containing your ID documents. In the UK, Royal Mail will deliver your letter to the bank’s address. We recommend sending your documents via recorded delivery or special delivery to ensure tracking in the event that they go missing. If you live abroad and wish to open an overseas bank account, then it may be quicker and cheaper to use courier companies instead of Royal Mail (in some countries).
Once you have sent your documents to the bank, they will then take a while to review them. In some cases they may ask you to email them additional documents or proof of residency or whatever it may be that the bank needs to approve your account.
Once they have processed and approved your application, you will receive a notification from the bank in which you’ve applied for an account. Although the text of this email varies depending on the bank, it will usually include a password and e-mail address for you to use to check whether or not the account was opened successfully. If you have applied for an account via the post then it is likely that the bank will return your hardcopy application to you by the bank, but not always.
It’s really as simple as that! Once you have set up online banking, you will be able to manage all your bank accounts from one place, and you will not have to wait in long lines or go to an office when you are unable to make it. It’s also worth noting that if there are any problems along the way, then the banks are usually more than happy to speak to you about them over the phone.