Digital Banking: Is Your Money Safe and What to Do When It Goes Wrong


Digital banking can mean a lot of different things, but today we’re focusing specifically on day to day banking done via an app on your phone rather than in branch or over the telephone. App-based banking has really taken off over the past few years, with banks competing to provide the best tools to their consumers. Many high street banks now offer a range of innovative tools including the ability to pay in cheques through your phone as well as budgeting tools and better access to savings.

Inevitably, though, there are days when the tech goes wrong. This month, Virgin Money customers have been complaining about a range of issues which have left some customers unable to make transactions or access their accounts. And while Virgin is in the spotlight at the moment, realistically these are problems that all banks seem to occasionally face.

It’s no wonder that these issues leave people wondering whether mobile banking is for them – but it’s still one of the most secure and convenient options for managing your money. Here are a few facts and considerations.

How secure is your money?

App-based banking is not considered to be a security risk. When Which? looked into banking security, they rated almost all of the most popular banks very highly on factors such as encryption and login security. This means that you shouldn’t need to worry about people accessing your account or stealing your details.

There are lots of things that you can do to make online banking even safer. For instance, avoid banking using public WiFi networks which are less likely to be secure, and ensure that you are using strong passwords that aren’t easy for others to guess.

Still the most convenient option

Even though online banking can go wrong from time to time, it’s still far more convenient than sitting on hold for half an hour or trying to get to your nearest branch. Whether you like it or not, more and more banks are starting to see digital tools as the future. This means that they’re closing down branches and pulling resources away from more traditional methods of banking.

Even if you choose to do your banking in the branch or over the phone, we recommend ensuring that you have online access. This ensures that you have access to your account digitally should you ever need it.

What to do if something goes wrong

If you have any problems with your online banking technology, you should speak to your bank so that they can help you resolve it. You may need to go into the branch or give them a ring – if you’re struggling to get through, you could even contact them via social media (although don’t share your account details!). In some cases, people have lost money due to issues with online banking. This might occur if the problem means that you’re unable to make a payment on a debt or a bill. In that case, your bank should offer compensation, but you’ll need to write to them and make a formal complaint first. Be sure to say exactly what you did to try and resolve the problem, what losses you incurred, and what you expect from them in terms of compensation.

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