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How to Open a Bank Account During a Pandemic

During a chaotic situation like this pandemic, managing money becomes a significant challenge for many of us. Every dollar counts and needs to be stretched for most of us in this economy.

Banks know that and are now offering plenty of incentives and offers to open a new account with them. Some will even offer to cut their fees to gain you as a new client.

Whether it is to receive a direct deposit of your wages, start saving, or even have the convenience of touchless tap pay methods (like credit and debit cards with taps), the reasons to have a bank account are aplenty.

But, how do you go about opening a new bank account to avail of some of the best deals in the market today? When was the last time you went into a bank in-person to open an account? How do you do that during a pandemic?

In this article, we will explore answers to all of the questions above.

Why Do You Need an Account?

While you may think you are perfectly capable of handling your own money without using an account, you will come to realize that life is more stress-free with the aid of one. Having a bank account is necessary for so many reasons.

One great reason to open a bank account (if you don’t have one already) during this pandemic is to have access to government income support every week. Yes, many governments worldwide are offering income support to laid-off workers in sectors that were shut down due to the pandemic. 

If you have an account already, here are a few more reasons why you may want to consider opening up a new account:

Rise of New Banks.

Some banks have not yet figured out how to deal with the pandemic situation, which can be very exasperating. The good news is, in the midst of all this, many new banks have emerged with a digital banking services.

In 2018 new online-only banks like Vivo banks and Challenger banks were launched, which have become the most popular type of banking during this pandemic.

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Manage Your Finances.

Amid this anarchy, you can quite rapidly lose track of where all your money is going. Having a bank account will provide you with bank statements and online budgeting tools and spend trackers – all of that are added perks to help you keep track of all your spending.

Cash Bonus Opportunities.

If you are a new customer, you may just end up getting a cash bonus on a checking or savings account. Nevertheless, savings accounts come with the opportunity of interest. Which means you get free money! That’s why it is essential to shop around and choose the right plan for you.

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No Fear of Theft.

You may be that person who believes in the traditional ‘walk into an ATM (or a physical bank) and walk out with cash’ method. How many times have your credit or debit cards ben stolen while you walked right out of the ATM booth? That fear will no longer exist once you have shifted to an Online Banking service, which isn’t possible without an account.

 Where to Start?

As the situation deteriorates, banks have stepped up as helping hands to provide easily accessible service to their customers. Before you jump right into creating an account, there are some things you need to evaluate.

Find a Bank That Fits You.

With so many offers and options, it can be quite intimidating to figure out which account options best suit your needs. To ease that process, you can start by researching your options.

You need to choose a bank that will be more accommodating to your financial needs. In most cases, community banks and credit unions happen to be the better option than national banks.

Knowing the Type of Accounts.

Once you have selected a bank, the next thing you need to determine is what type of account you would like to open.

Basic Accounts

They do not provide any overdrafts. These accounts are suitable for only saving money and may provide you with a debit card to make purchases. They do not have any extra benefits like the standard bank accounts.

Current Accounts

If your needs require frequent transactions and have a higher deposit and withdrawal rate, this is the kind of account you want. With this account, you can make unlimited withdrawals and deposits anytime without any extra fees or hassle.

Checking Account

This account is almost like a current account. It is not only for business transactions. You can easily withdraw and deposit money for daily transactions.

This type of account allows you to deposit a received check, set up a direct deposit for a paycheck, and withdraw money using a debit card.

Savings Account

It is an interest-bearing account. It allows you to save money on different occasions.

Most banks do not address their accounts directly using these names. So don’t forget to double-check before choosing one.

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Things You Need to Open an Account

The final step in this process is applying for a bank account. Most Banks have applications on their website, which can be filled out instead of having to do it face to face. To do so, you will need several things.

Personal ID

Banks require photo identification like your passport or national ID that has not expired. If you don’t have one, you can use a benefit eligibility letter that includes your national insurance number and the amount of money you will be receiving.

Proof of Address

You can use your tenancy agreement, utility bills, or phone bills (must not be more than three months old) depending on your bank’s requirement.

Make sure that the name on both documents matches exactly. If you have not resided in that area for more than three years, then make sure to have proof of your previous address, just in case.

Once you have filled up the application, you may be required to go to a nearby bank with your ID card for verification that the ID holder is you and not an imposter.

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The bank may also call you and ask you about the information you have provided in the application for confirmation.

Once all of these processes have been completed, you will be given their terms and conditions. Upon agreeing to it, you will receive your bank account information and PIN for your debit card.

Use Your Account Wisely.

Go ahead and open your bank account today. What are you waiting for? Once you have opened an account, all your future payments and withdrawals will be made more efficiently and quickly.

Remember to keep track of your bank statements, the amount entering and leaving your bank account, and any new services being provided to you.


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