An online bank account allows you to carry out your everyday transactions through the internet. These often called app-based bank accounts and are a recent industry innovation where the bank has no physical branches that you can visit.

It's a truly online bank account, where the bank exists as an app on your smartphone, which you can use to conduct most of your usual banking.

How to open a current account online

If you want to open a bank account online, it's simple and takes just a few minutes.

  1. Visit the website of the bank of your choice, and filling out the application form for the type of account you want.

  2. Provide your personal details such as your name, age, nationality and address, as well as supporting documents as proof of these.

What supporting documents are eligible for proof of ID and proof of address?

Supporting documents thats are typically accepted include:

Proof of ID documents:

  • Drivers Licence (UK/EU/EAA)

  • UK passport, Foreign passport & Visa

  • EU and EEA National Identity Card

Proof of address documents:

  • Drivers Licence

  • UK utility bill (gas, electricity, water, home telephone)

  • Mortgage/rental agreements

  • Bank/Building Society statement

  • Council tax bill

Some online banks may also ask for additional details such as your occupation, income and expenses. Though this is not legally required, many banks often use this information to provide you with offers about other products and services in the future, such as credit cards or savings accounts.

How to choose the best online bank account

When comparing online bank accounts to decide on which one to get, here are some of the features you should look out for:

  • Monthly fees: Some banks may charge a monthly fee

  • Overdraft facilities: It can be useful to have an overdraft facility just in case your balance drops below zero

  • Earning on your balance: Some banks will pay you interest up to a certain amount of your balance.

  • Additional features: Some banks, especially app-based banks include budgeting and savings tools that help you manage your finances better

  • Add-ons: Some packaged accounts come included with facilities such as mobile phone insurance or breakdown cover.

  • Rewards: Some accounts offer rewards on your spending such as cashback or discounts on certain retailers.

You can find out more about what you need from your bank account here. Once you have found accounts that offer these features, check what their internet banking service includes.

What are the benefits of app-based bank accounts?

These accounts also offer several unique features such as:

  • Spending notifications

  • Ring fencing savings

  • Free cash withdrawals overseas

  • Budgeting tools

  • Rewards/add-ons

Online bank accounts FAQs

Q

Can I open a bank account online?

A

Yes, you can apply for most current accounts instantly using the bank's website. Here is how to choose and apply for an internet bank account.

Q

Can I get online banking on an existing account?

A

Yes, most current accounts offer an online banking service, so ask your bank what features you can get. If not, you could switch to a new account.

Q

Can I use online banking when I am abroad?

A

Yes, in most countries, but make sure you are using a secure internet connection, preferably with your own phone, laptop or tablet.

Q

Can you use internet banking on a joint account?

A

Yes, most joint accounts offer online banking. Some let either of you use it to make withdrawals, but others require both of you to authorise transfers.

Q

Can I use internet banking through my phone or tablet?

A

Yes, most banks have a mobile app you can use, although it may not offer all of the same features.

About our current accounts comparison

Q

Who do we include in this comparison?

A

Our comparison tables include providers we have commercial arrangements with. The number of listings in our tables can vary depending on the terms of those arrangements, as well as other market developments. They are all from lenders regulated by theFinancial Conduct Authority (FCA). Here is more information aboutHow our website works.

Q

How do we make money from our comparison?

A

We have commercial agreements with some of the companies in this comparison and get paid commission if we help you take out one of their products or services. Find out more here.

You do not pay any extra and the deal you get is not affected.

Further Information

Last updated: 14 May, 2021