Most experts agree that physical cash will never completely die out but modern technology now offers an increasing number of sophisticated ways to pay.
Simple credit and debit cards are now one of the most frequently used methods of payment; in June 2013, £1.432 billion was spent on plastic every single day.
Contactless debit and credit cards have been the most recent introduction and according to the Payments Council, there's now more than 31 million in circulation.
Debit cards offer the perfect compromise; a way to access the convenience of paying on plastic, but without the need to borrow any money. Unfortunately, this isn't an option available to everyone. Individuals with a basic cash card account aren't able to purchase goods over the internet – often the cheapest way – and must carry enough physical money to pay for large purchases which can be a real risk.
The good news is that there are now basic accounts with debit cards available. We take a look at how to get a basic current account with debit card attached, and what you should consider.
Which basic bank accounts have a debit card facility?
If you have a history of bad credit, or perhaps are taking out your first bank account, a basic account may be all that's available to you. But banks don't make money on these kind of accounts and as such, can be a little bit mean about the services they provide to customers.
Some banks have taken the step of withdrawing ATM access for basic bank account holders, making it difficult to withdraw cash, particularly if the branch in your town has been closed down. This is another reason why finding a basic bank account online with debit card facilities has become increasingly important.
The facilities on offer from banks change frequently and the eligibility criteria is also subject to variance. Bankrupt individuals for example recently found their choice of bankrupt bank accounts narrowed significantly when one of the biggest high street names opted to refuse new applications, despite having previously offered the facility for some time.
For this reason, the easiest way to find the best basic bank accounts with debit card facilities is to carry out an online search. If you compare basic bank account with debit card you will be able to see all the available options in the market, all lined up in one table. This saves you having to scroll through each individual provider and go through the fine print.
Factors to consider for basic bank accounts
Although it's relatively simple to get a basic bank account with debit card no overdraft facilities will be available. This is because this type of account is aimed at those with a history of bad credit, or a low credit score because of a lack of credit history so borrowing is not offered as part of the package.
A basic bank account with debit card and cheque book is almost impossible to find as banks are not keen on providing cheque books to anyone who doesn't pass their full credit check. Speaking of which, it is possible to find a basic bank account no credit check provider; these typically come with a prepaid card facility and simply require proof of residence and ID.
However, it is worth pausing a moment to caution: not all online providers offering basic accounts are indeed banks, some may be Authorised Payment Institutions instead. This means that you would not be covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if they were to collapse and that you may need to pay a monthly fee for use of the account.
If you carry out a basic bank account with credit card comparison you will be able to see which providers offer this type of account, the facilities they offer and whether you'll have to pay. Then, to get a basic bank account with debit card apply online after you've compared all of the paid and free options available to you. However, you'll need to bear in mind that some banks insist that basic accounts are opened in branch rather than online.
Finally, just because you are opening a basic account only doesn't mean you shouldn't look to get some rewards or benefits. Some providers offer perks such as membership points or easy management via a smartphone app; don't be tempted to take the first one you see as you might find one that offers you more if you compare what's on offer first.