Advantages Best non ISA interest rate around and quick, easy, safe, and all from the comfort of home
Disadvantages Takes 3 working days to move your money
I was always rather dubious of internet banking. For some reason it just seemed a rather iffy proposition. I didn’t feel entirely safe. Then, whilst looking for a place to store my pennies (hopefully to build a deposit for a mortgage - but I live in London, so… weep!) I was recommended ING Direct by a friend and so thought I’d look into it, there wasn’t really much to lose by looking at a website except maybe five minutes of my time.And so what was ING Direct? I’ seen the ads, but…
After having read the blurb and looked over the information on the website I decided to give it a go. It didn’t seem an onerous task to open an account unlike most bank accounts I’ve ever had to open, where I’ve had to come and go as I’ve been told I need this, then that, and oh, what about… etc. till I’m ready to scream and give up.In this case it was simple. All that is required to start with is for you to fill in your date of birth, address and bank details and for to choose your PIN number and Password. Thena send a check to ING Direct payable to yourself and wait for it to clear. After which they will send you some general information and details of your customer and account number, which you need to be able to log in over the internet.
You can also open your account by phone but as I didn’t take this approach I’m not entirely sure what is necessary, though I would suggest that it is no different than registering over the internet except you’re talking to a live human being. Customer Services are open Monday-Friday 7am-11pm and Saturday-Sunday 9am-9pm. - on 0800 376 8844 – so it’s free too, which is always a good sign!The first payment via cheque is from as little as £1 so you don’t have to worry about building up a sizeable amount before opening your account as some high interest accounts appear to be.
So after everything has arrived and you can log into your account you have the choice of having different sub-accounts, each named differently. So if you want to have two accounts, one for a deposit for a mortgage (like me) and one saving for a rainy day then you could call them “Mortgage” (not very inspired I’ll grant you) and “rainy day,” so it is clear which account is for which purpose. As far as I’m aware there is absolutely no limit to the number of named accounts you can open. These can be opened form the log-in section so it’s no time consuming or difficult to do at all. Though it seems if you own a joint account you have to do this over the phone.An added bonus (to my mind anyway) is that Interest is paid monthly and for which you are not penalised. Often bank accounts seem to penalise savers who open accounts that pay monthly but no such churlishness here!
How about moving your money? This is simplicity itself. Simply log into your account and choose the amount that you want to move from your current account into which ING Direct account (or vice versa) and click ok. You can do this to make one off transfers on that day or another specified date or set up regular direct debits between accounts.You can also move money into your ING Direct from another bank account which ING Direct does not have the details of, by either posting a check to ING Direct or by contacting your bank directly. The details are all on the website when you’ve logged in.
It usually takes about 3 banking days to move money which is maybe the one drawback because in this modern age of instantaneous information transfer you would have thought this rather to be a more speedy process, but apparently not.Personally I have had absolutely no problems with ING Direct and would recommend them to any one as it is easier to sit down in comfort at home and click the mouse a few times than have to trudge down to my local bank and queue.
But see what you think.But lastly, and most importantly! The URL.
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