If you are one of the million people in the UK who doesn’t have a bank account it can feel like there is nowhere to turn. However, there is an alternative banking trend that, over the last decade, has taken the UK by storm – Prepaid based Accounts.
Gone are the days that prepaid cards just offered you a card to top up and spend on. Now they come complete with many of the features you’d expect from a high street bank current account and much more. If you’ve been turned away by the high street, are looking for an alternative to everyday high street banking, or simply need a second account, read on to find out what Prepaid Current Accounts could offer you.
I have a bad credit history
Your past credit history, whether it be poor or non-existent, has no bearing whatsoever when opening a Prepaid Account as no credit checks are required when opening the account. This can be ideal if you have a chequered credit file or if you have never obtained any form of credit before and you are taking your first steps into banking services.
A facility called Creditbuilder™ is provided by ICOUNT Money’s service provider Advanced Payment Solutions Limited , can be applied for and could improve your credit score. It comes at no extra cost and could be ideal if you are looking to improve your credit score. You can find more handy tips to improve your credit rating here.
But I’m on the Individual Insolvency Register
Prepaid cards do not discriminate against people who have fallen on hard times and appear on the insolvency register. In fact icount Money’s CEO Samuel Mond created the first instalment of icount, ClearCash, purely for the debt management market to provide an account for people who had their accounts closed by the banks. He says;
“We identified the genuine need for an alternative to mainstream banking. What prepaid based current account do is put you back in control of your finances without the associated risks that come with a bank account. Think of it as financial first aid!”
I used to have a prepaid card but I couldn’t set up direct debits so what’s the point?
Prepaid cards are just that, a card that allows you to top them up with money and spend the money you’ve loaded. A Prepaid Current Account is totally different. They come with their own sort code and account number so you are able to enjoy very similar functionality as a high street account. You can set up direct debits and standing orders as well as make one off payments. As well as sending money, you can also receive money by having your wages or any benefits you receive paid into the account.
Wait. There’s more!
It’s worth noting that some Prepaid Accounts come with Purchase Protection, meaning you have greater security whilst shopping. This is doneby way of chargeback and/or enhanced chargeback rights with their cards.(chargeback rights are managed by the card schemes). You normally need to report the relevant transaction to the card issuer within 120 days (e.g. the non-delivery of goods, or details of the faulty goods)
Some also give the option of a free currency card aimed at travel outside the UK that can save you plenty of cash in withdrawal fees and transaction charges whilst you’re enjoying your holiday.
Ready for the alternative?
Whatever your need for a payment account, it is worth giving Prepaid Current Accounts a check to see if they can not only fulfil your needs, but also offer more. From teaching children financial education to using them as a separate bills account, the Prepaid Account is so much more than a card.