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Learn what the most-used banking terms mean with our handy A-Z glossary.
You can use Internet Banking to give any of your accounts a nickname. You can name your account after what you use it for, like 'Spending money' or 'New trainers'. The nickname can be any letters or numbers you choose up to 39 characters long.
AER stands for Annual Equivalent Rate. When you see an advert for a savings account that shows an interest rate, you will see the AER. You can use the AER to compare accounts. It shows what the interest rate would be if your interest was paid and compounded once each year.
Balance is the amount of money you have in your account at a particular time. Sometimes the balance will include money that is not available to spend. This is because the money hasn't been received by the bank yet, or cleared. The money that you can spend is called your available funds or available balance.
Cheques bounce when there is not enough money in the account the money is being taken from. It can also happen if the account holder cancels the cheque.
Card protection is there in case you lose your debit card or if it is stolen.
Your Card Security Code is the last three numbers that are on the back of your debit card.
This is where you use your debit card to ‘buy’ cash when you are paying for other things. The extra money is taken from your account at the same time as your purchase. You can do this in supermarkets and shops.
A cheque is a written request to the bank to pay an amount of money to a person or business. The bank will take the money from your account and pay it to the person or business. Read about how to pay in a cheque on a mobile.
Chip & PIN is a system that allows you to approve purchases made with your debit card. Your PIN is a four-digit number that only you know. This is more secure than using a signature that could be forged. For security, you shouldn’t write your PIN number down or tell it to another person.
When money is paid into an account, it takes time for it to be ready to spend. This is known as clearing time.
Cookies are small files that are sent to your PC, mobile phone or tablet when you visit a website. They stay on your device and are sent back to the website when you visit it again. Cookies collect data, such as your choices and other details. Read more about cookies.
Our data privacy notice explains how we collect, use and share your data. Read about how we use your data (PDF, 62KB).
A deposit is money paid into an account. You can make a deposit in cash, cheque or online transfer.
A debit card is a plastic card that you get with your Money Smart account. You can use it to pay for things in shops. You can also use it to withdraw money from your account at a cash machine.
A direct debit is when you let a company take money out of your account on a set date. They are normally set up to pay for something each month. This could be a monthly subscription, or mobile phone bill. Payments made by direct debit are protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee scheme.
The Direct Debit Guarantee scheme says that:
If there is a change in the amount to be paid or the payment date, the person receiving the payment (the originator) must notify the customer in advance.
If the originator or the bank/building society makes an error, the customer is guaranteed a full and immediate refund of the amount paid.
Customers can cancel a Direct Debit at any time by writing to their bank or building society. This guarantee is offered by all banks and building societies that take part in the Direct Debit scheme.
Gross rate means that we will not deduct tax automatically from your interest. You are responsible for paying any tax due to HM Revenue and Customs.
Identity theft is when someone steals your personal information and pretends to be you to commit fraud.
Interest is the money we pay you for saving with us. How much money we pay you is driven by the amount of money you have in your account. The interest is shown as a percentage of the money.
Internet or online banking is a way you can manage your money using the Internet. You can view your account details online and transfer money.
The first time you log in to Internet Banking, we will ask you to select your memorable information. This will be a word, place or phrase that is easy for you to remember. Each time you log on, we will ask you for three random characters from your memorable information.
When you transfer money from your account to someone else's UK bank account, this is called a payment. The person or business you send the payment to is called the beneficiary.
Phishing scams are emails that look real but aren't. They are used to gather your personal information and commit fraud. It's important not to click on a link or enter any personal details. If you receive a phishing email, delete it or report it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shoulder surfing is when fraudsters look over your shoulder to steal your information. Always be careful when you enter your PIN or look at personal information in public places.
Your bank sort code can be found on your Smart Start debit card and bank statement. It's made up of six digits and grouped in pairs. For example, 00-00-00.
A standing order is a payment that’s always the same amount, going out of your account at the same time. You choose when and how often. For example, you could make a payment to your account on the 1st day of every month. You can set an end date for it to stop or it can be ongoing until you cancel it.
A transfer is a way of moving money between your own accounts in the same bank. If you are paying money to someone else's account or your own account in a different bank, this is called a payment.