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As I promised in my Natwest bank I am reviewing the Customer Service they offer through their Internet banking system. For those who didn’t read that opinion I will give you a brief synopsis of my opinion of Natwest Banking.
I started banking with Natwest about 15 years ago. I am very happy with the services and accounts that they offer and am particularly impressed by their internet banking. I have stopped using Natwest as my main bank about a year ago as I could get much higher rates of interest from other banks. However, I still get my main salary paid into Natwest and run my Direct Debits out of this account. The reason behind this is the Online banking that they provide.
You can log onto he main Natwest home page and access information about the online services that Natwest Provides: -
OnLine Banking The simple, convenient and secure way of accessing all your NatWest accounts on-line.
OnLine Share Dealing Join Brokerline, our Internet and telephone share dealing service, and buy and sell shares quickly and easily.
e-savings Save using the Internet and benefit from our highest interest rates.
FastPay The fast and secure way to send and receive money via email or SMS.
NatWest ISP Access the Internet with NatWest, in conjunction with BT.
e-tax NatWest’s tools and information to help you complete your tax return easily.
My review is going to be of the Online Banking Services and of their telephone banking services.
When you decide that you want to register with Natwest online bank they will send you an application form which you must complete. When you return this you will be sent a customer ID number and a registration number.
The ID number will consist of your DOB in 6 digit format followed by a 4 digit number identifying you to the bank. The password that you select will be the same as what you have for any telephone banking services. When you log onto the service you will be asked for three numbers from your pin number and 3 characters from your password. They will then display the last time that you accessed the page and you need to confirm this before proceeding. There is also an option to reduce the qmount of time before automatically logging you out. It is defaulted to 5 minutes but you can reduce this if you require. However you need to do this each time you log on.
The first page that you see when you have passed security is the account balances and mini statement page. The top half of the screen will show each account that you have the account number, the name you have assigned this account, the balance and the available balance. You can add up to 50 accounts in your name to this service. The bottom half of the screen shows a six transaction mini statement for whichever account you highlight at the top of the screen. This will default to the 1st account when you log in.
This is the page which I probably use most often. I log in and just check the balance of my accounts. The page is quick to load and in the 4 years I have been using this service I have only experienced technical difficulties once.
There is a menu of options on the left hand side of the screen the first menu is Account Info. You can choose to view balances and mini statements, view a full statement – you select the account and the time period for this, download a selected statement, or download a group of stamtements at the same time for different accounts or search for a transaction by type, amount or date. You can also view any Natwest credit card balances and information.
I tend to download my statements about once every month onto my PC. You can download in CSV, or OFX (microsoft money) format. You will be able to access 6 months of transactions on your bank accounts and up to 100 days worth of credit card transactions.
The next section on the main menu is manage money. This is the main reason why I have continued to use Natwest bank. I also have an account with Alliance and Leicester. Until recently you have been unable to set up direct debits and standing orders through this facility. I have always been able to set up transactions with Natwest online. The first section is for transferring money between your own Natwest accounts this is instantaneous or you can select for a date in the future. When you do this it shows you the balance that is available to transfer. The next section is for paying bills – this is something I regularly use. Once you have set up payment details you can pay bills regularly. To set them up you will need to re-enter 2 characters from your password. You can select the date you wish payment to be made and can cancel or amend up to 6.30pm the day prior to payment being made.
The next section is Third party payments. I use this to transfer additional funds to my account with A&L. You set up details of an account you are paying into then you can make payemhts to this whenever you require. If the other persons account is a Natwest account it will be available immediately. From my experience it takes around 3 days to be available in another bank.
The next section is for standing orders and Direct debits. You can set up, amend or cancel direct debits online. It takes 48 hours for them to be set up or cancelled but they advise you to call if you require this any sooner.
The final part of this section which I find very useful is the financial planner you can enter a date in the future and they will predict the balance that will be in yoru account allowing for your normal payments, direct debits etc. There is also a section where you can enter any funds that are to go in and out of your account during this time. Very useful for budgeting.
There is also a section where you can apply for additional accounts and credit cards online. However, you will need to download the form and return it by post.
All in all I would recommend this service to anyone. I regularly use this service and find it fast and very easy to use. In my opinion, it is a lot better than the facility offered by A&L online and from talking to firneds better than for some other banks too.
24-hour customer support You're supported by our 24-hour helpdesk, with calls charged at local rate unless you call from abroad. United Kingdom 0845 60 50 789 Overseas +44 8702 430 464
PC USERS Microsoft® Windows 95/98/ME/NT4/2000 or XP Microsoft® Internet Explorer version 4.01 - 6 inclusive or Netscape™ Navigator™ version 4.08 - 4.78 inclusive
MAC USERS OS 8.1 or above Microsoft® Internet Explorer version 4.01 - 5.2 inclusive or Netscape™ Navigator™ version 4.08 - 4.78 inclusive
A 5-minute timer begins as soon as you login to NatWest OnLine Banking. Each time that you interact with the service, for example by selecting an option, the timer resets to 5 minutes. If you do not interact with the service during a 5-minute period, your NatWest OnLine Banking session is terminated. You must then log in again to start a new NatWest OnLine Banking session. You can select this box if you wish to reduce the period from 5 minutes to 2 minutes. This is an additional security feature that can be used if you are accessing the service from a public area, where the chances of your details being overseen by others are greater e.g. the workplace.
Who is liable if I lose money as a result of a hacker gaining access to NatWest OnLine Banking?
If a hacker gains access as a result of NatWest's negligence, or if NatWest breaches its own terms and conditions for the NatWest OnLine Banking service, NatWest is liable for your loss.
If a hacker gains access as a result of circumstances beyond NatWest's control, or if you breach NatWest's terms and conditions for the NatWest OnLine Banking service, NatWest is not liable.