If you think high street banking isn’t what it used to be, you’re right. In the last five years, more than 3,000 bank branches have closed their doors across the UK.
With fewer bank branches on the high street, now could be a good time to consider your banking options. If you switch to a challenger bank – as many of us are now doing – you may find you don’t need a conventional branch-based service after all.
Challenger banks are looking to break the monopoly of well-known high-street banks by capitalising on a wave of enthusiastic payment trackers.
Challenger banks promise branch-free banking and customer service at the tap of a button, all ready and waiting on your smartphone.
What is a challenger bank?
Challenger banks are smaller banks that offer services via an app or through their websites, allowing you to do all your banking digitally. If you need to do something that you’d normally visit a bank branch for, such as depositing a cheque, many challenger banks will allow you to use a Post Office.
One of the big draws of challenger banks is that many of them offer services that high street banks don’t, or are still developing. These include up-to-the-minute notifications on your spending, and budgeting tools. They also do away with fees such as charges on overseas spending.
If you decide to open a challenger bank account, the good news is that it’s now easy to switch banks, thanks to the Current Account Switch Guarantee. This means it’s down to the banks to do all the legwork of switching your account to a new provider for you, and they have to complete the process within seven days. If you’re not ready to make the leap to a challenger bank completely, you can keep your high street bank account and open an additional account with a challenger bank to see how you get on! Some RBS users are being offered £3000 incentive for the switch.
For more information on challenge banks, please contact me, Max Whiteley, at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0161 2366936.