Telephone banking is one of the fastest and most convenient ways to manage your money. It is usually offered alongside online and mobile banking, and by all major banks in the United Kingdom, to give customers a convenient way to carry out daily banking tasks. It also helps the banking services industry keep costs down, because it reduces the need for customers to speak to a customer advisor.
No matter who you bank with, phone banking is generally the same across the industry in terms of features and performance.
Telephone banking features include:
- Hearing your account balances
- Hearing recent transactions
- Making external payments and internal transfers
- Ordering statements
- Querying bills
- Cancelling Direct Debits and standing orders
When you bank on the telephone, you will also be given the opportunity to speak to a customer advisor. If you choose to speak to an advisor, then you can still get access to all the features listed above, with the added benefit of speaking to a human being.
You can make use of telephone banking by registering with your bank. Registering for telephone banking is quick and easy, although you may have to wait a few days before you can use the service. Most banks will send customers a ‘Welcome Pack’ or a ‘Security Pack’ with a security number you’ll need to activate phone banking. Once you have this, you can complete your registration and manage your accounts on the phone.
One of the biggest advantages to banking on the phone is service availability. With most banks, automated telephone banking services are available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, and staffed phone banking services are available until up to 9pm – as is the case with Santander.
When compared to in-branch banking, that level of availability is excellent, since bank branches tend to close late in the afternoon, and tend to be closed during the holidays.
Something that banks want customers to understand is that phone banking is not designed to completely meet the needs of customers. For this reason, you will be given the opportunity to speak to a customer advisor when you call. This will be necessary if you have a complex query, or if you suspect fraud on your account.
It is also important to remember that many general enquiries you have about your account can be answered for free by looking for a relevant FAQ on your bank’s online help and support page. For example, you can find out how to close your account, how to change your personal details and much more online without having to pick up the phone.