Some banks and building societies require a deposit to made into the account before it will become fully functional; this can be an issue if the bank does not have a local branch or no branches at all. First Direct is an example of a bank with no branches, where accounts are administrated over the phone or the Internet. Therefore, if a customer cannot visit their local bank branch and hand over cash to open their account, what other payment options are there? Generally, every financial institution will accept deposits via the following options:
Alongside the above, banks with real world branches can also accept deposits into a new account via the following:
Banks in the United Kingdom were planning/hoping ( 2012) to phase out bank cheques; therefore, this payment option may not be available in upcoming decades. If a customer is transferring funds from another financial institution via a cheque: it will probably take between 3-5 working days to clear in the new bank account. The quickest way to transfer funds into a new account is via cash or an electronic transfer (such as BACS, CHAPS, Faster Payments). CHAPS payments are sometimes only available (online) to business account holders, owners of personal bank accounts will probably have to visit their branch to deposit via CHAPS. CHAPS allows for large bank deposits (over £50,000) but there is a charge of around £30 for a CHAPS payment. CHAPS promises that the payment will be made same day, as long as the payment is made before a cut off point (around 3.30pm). BACS and Faster Payments can take over a day, and if its a larger payment it may be delayed a day while the bank performs fraud checks.
One drawback to banks moving online/telephone, is if a customer (teenager/student/immigrant/bankrupt) doesn't currently have a bank account, then the options for making an opening deposit into the new account are limited. The obviously advice would be to only open an account with a bank with a local branch. If a person has their heart set on opening an account with an online bank, these banks still provide alternative payment options: First Direct, for example, allow their customers to use HSBC branches (HSBC own First Direct) and they can use the Post Office to deposit via a credit slip (cash or cheque), from a paying-in book. The Post Office currently has around 11,500 post office branches across the UK, and if banks continue with their branch closure, every bank may be forced to use the Post Office to facilitate cash deposits.