Online business banking

In the current climate it's essential to keep on top of your finances and to be able to access your data at all times. Online banking is one of the quickest and most versatile ways to stay in control of your cashflow. It's also one of the cheapest: banks often offer online services at no additional cost. This guide will help to explain why and how you should bank online.

What is online banking?

  • Online banking means you can access your bank account and make transfers 24 hours a day from any computer. It allows you to view your statements, manage your payments and stay in control of your finances from wherever you are in the world - without compromising on security.

How to set up online banking

  • Most major banks offer the option to bank online. To set up an account, you will need to speak to your bank, either by going into your branch or by phone to set up a username or number and password, as well as an additional PIN number for security.
  • Your bank will then send you an access code by post which you will need to type into the bank's log in page, before you can access your account.

Stay secure

  • With security breaches plastered all over the headlines on a regular basis, your biggest priority will be to keep your finances safe.
  • Online banks have security measures, which include a username or number secret password, and PIN number, which you should guard vigilantly. You will be asked only for parts of your password at any one time. You may also receive a card reader which you will e prompted to use when processing payments.

What you can do online

  • You should be able to do most things with your online bank account, from checking statements and balances, to setting up regular payments such as bills and salaries
  • You can order chequebooks and cards
  • You can transfer money between accounts
  • You can download banking information securely to your computer and study it offline


  • Compare different online offerings, weighing up services offered and value for money
  • Make sure your chosen bank has adequate online security measures in place
  • Ensure you have up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware software installed
  • If you are moving from a standard bank account to an online one, plan the phasing in of the new system carefully


By banking online am I making my business account more vulnerable to fraud?
You should be vigilant and guard against phishing scams and other fraudulent activities. However, if you keep your passwords safe and change them regularly - especially if you have turnover in staff - you have every reason to believe your account should remain secure.

Jargon buster

Secure session: when you view your bank account online, you should ensure you are in a 'secure session'. You can easily recognise when you have entered a secure page because your web address will be prefixed by 'https://', and there will be a locked padlock icon in the lower right-hand corner of your browser. In secure sessions, information is encrypted before it leaves your PC so that it is illegible to outsiders.

SSL (Secure socket layer): internet communications such as banking are required to be afforded a high level of security. The SSL encrypts communication between your browser and your server so that account balances, credit card numbers and passwords remains safe.

Phishing: criminal attempts to fraudulently acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy source.


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