Halifax online banking: easy setup & tips

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Halifax is one of the most popular and well-established banks in the UK. It has hundreds of branches that employ thousands of staff. Halifax provides a full range of banking services, from current and savings accounts to mortgages and loans. They also offer credit cards and investment plans, as well as home and car insurance.

Established in 1853, Halifax Building Society converted to being a bank in 1997 before merging with the Bank of Scotland in 2001.

Types of Halifax accounts available online

Current account

A Halifax Current Account is one of the easiest accounts to set up and operate. It is free to use the account, and there is no monthly fee to worry about. It's possible to gain up to 15% cashback on selected purchases using this account, which offers substantial savings for many items on or offline.

An arranged overdraft facility can be activated on this account, and this is at the discretion of the bank. This is subject to an assessment of your financial circumstances and may include a credit check to ensure that you are ready to take this step. 

Contactless payments are also here with a Visa card that allows you to pay up to £100 at the touch of a bank card against a sensor, whether this is in a local shop or international supermarket. 

Halifax reward current account

This bank account is available for a monthly fee of £3.00 unless you pay in an amount over £1,500 each month. With this account, you will receive a monthly reward of your favourite of the following:

  • An extra £5 will be paid into your account automatically.

  • A cinema ticket from Vue Cinemas.

  • 3 x digital magazines chosen from titles like Cosmopolitan and Men’s Health.

Ultimate reward current account

Coming in with a comparatively hefty £17 monthly fee, the Ultimate Reward Current account also offers some extremely decent rewards to justify the inflated subscription fee. These benefits include some excellent perks such as: 

  • Worldwide Family Travel Insurance - this is multi-trip travel insurance for you and your family as long as you are under the age of 71.
  • AA Breakdown Family Cover - this includes roadside assistance. This policy covers the family members, whether they are drivers or passengers, as long as they are within the UK or the Channel Islands.
  • Mobile Phone Insurance - provides cover for your mobile phone whether it has an accidental drop, just stopped working, or a theft. 
  • Home Emergency Cover - When something happens that needs to be taken care of quickly, such as a water leak, a fire or a robbery that leaves your home needing to be secured, this home emergency cover will meet the costs for you up to £250.

Benefits of Halifax online banking

Halifax online banking compares favourably to other popular UK banking providers, as you can see from this comparison table below. 

Account name Interest rate Arranged overdraft interest Unarranged overdraft interest Refused payment fee Monthly fee
Santander Edge Up1 3.5% AER variable 0% EAR 39.94% EAR None £5.00
Halifax Reward2 4.2% AER variable 39.9% EAR 39.9% EAR None £3.00
Monzo Plus 0% 39% EAR 39% EAR None £5.00
Barclays Premier Current 0% 35% None None £0.00
NatWest Premier Select 0% 19.49% EAR 19.49% EAR £1.55 £0.00

Halifax customer testimonial

"I am 44 years old and have been a customer of the Halifax since my parents opened a child account for me over 35 years ago. The reason that I have stayed with Halifax is that they have high-quality and friendly customer service, as well as an online banking app that is easy to use. The functionality is great, and the options allow me to do everything I need to do easily. I have completed two mortgages with the Halifax, and the deals that they offered me were exactly what I was looking for." - Steven M, Edinburgh.


Step-by-Step guide to opening an account online

1. To register and open a bank account, first visit Halifax online banking3.

2. Visit the menu at the top of the page and choose bank accounts, then the type of bank account that you would like to open. 

Halifax.co.uk menu

3. Scroll down the page of information about the account type you have chosen until you find “I’m ready to apply”.

4. Choose "Apply on the website" and read all of the information on the next page, which gives you important information about your chosen account type, then click "Continue"

Halifax informational page

5. You will then be asked if you are a current Halifax customer and whether you already have a UK current account with another bank. Once you have answered these questions, you should choose to continue.

6. Answer all of the name, address and contact questions and whether you are a UK citizen and select continue once more. 

Halifax application form

7. You will be asked to provide a scan of your government-provided ID, such as a passport or a Driver's license, along with proof of address, which can be a Utility or Council Tax bill. You will also be asked to create a password and verify it. 

8. Halifax will then process the information you have sent to them and will contact you if they require any further information.

Required documents and eligibility

The documents that are generally required to open a bank account in the UK fall into three categories: 

Proof of identity - Passport, Driving License or Biometric Residence Permit card.
Proof of address - a Utility Bill, Bank Statement or Council Tax Bill. A lease agreement or mortgage statement can also provide this. 
Proof of income - A P60 end-of-year statement or three consecutive monthly pay slips not more than six months old.

Eligibility xriteriaHalifax's current accounts are only available to those who are over 18 years of age and who are residents of the UK. 

Managing your Halifax online banking: features and tools

Halifax online banking offers both a mobile phone app and a web-based version of their online banking service. Both use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) for enhanced security, and the first screen you will see when logging in is your list of Halifax products and services. This may include a Mortgage and Home or Car Insurance if you have them through Halifax, as well as any bank accounts you have with them. 

You can click on each account to see it in more detail, and you can see the latest status of your bank accounts at any time. It is easy to use the tools available to transfer money either to another one of your accounts or to someone else. The interface is intuitive, and most people who are familiar with using the internet on their phones or computers should be able to navigate the different features successfully. 

A useful feature that is sometimes offered at the login screen is the ability to see your credit score. This can help to see exactly where you stand in terms of eligibility for personal loans and how likely you would be to get approval if you were to apply for one. You may also be prompted to accept a credit card, as this is another service that Halifax provides, and there is often cross-promotion of their other services through their online banking. 
A credit card is not for everyone, but for people who have some restraint when it comes to spending, it can be a good way to improve their credit score.

Safety and security in Halifax online banking

Halifax provides various layers of security for your bank account. The App can be set up to use facial recognition on the iPhone and several other handsets that now incorporate this technology. 

The Halifax website will ask for three different letters and numbers from different places in your password, so it is highly recommended that you don’t forget the password you used when creating the account. 

You should also always ensure that the phone number they have on record for you is up to date, as 2FA is a feature that they recommend that users enable to enhance the security of their accounts. 

It is also possible to set up VoiceID if you want to access your bank account verbally. Having your spoken words recognised is an added layer of security and is one that more banks are adopting to ensure the safety of customer accounts. 

It isn't only the logins for your account that are protected. You will sometimes be asked to verify purchases that you make online by logging into your bank account and verifying that it was you trying to make the purchase. Many banks now have this technology in place to help cut down on fraud and identity theft in online shopping. 

If the bank believes that a transaction may be suspicious, you will have to confirm that you wish the transaction to proceed. If no permission is given within the required timescale, the transaction will be cancelled. 

The safest way to shop online is still with a credit card, as the companies will refund any fraud that slips through the net.

International banking with Halifax

Halifax does not offer an international banking option but instead refers users to its partner Lloyds, which is a partner within the same group of companies. 

If you are transferring money from your Halifax account to someone in another country, you won't be charged a fee if it is in Euros, but all other currencies incur a fee of £9.50 per transaction.

Withdrawing money from your Halifax bank account in another country will mean you will be charged 2.99% of the transaction in fees plus £1.50 for each withdrawal. Again, this excludes when the target currency is in Euros. 

Halifax makes it very easy to find your IBAN number to enable the making of international payments. Some UK bank accounts have it relatively well hidden within your account, but it is easy to find in Halifax's online banking solution. 

Although BOSS Revolution does not provide money transfer services in the UK, its international mobile top-up and call services can be valuable for Halifax customers with international needs. Being able to easily and flexibly call business partners and potential clients in other countries can help your business in the UK to thrive. Networking and making contacts can bring ever greater success, and the best way to achieve this is through open and direct communication. 

Customer support and resources

There are very helpful resources at the Halifax Help Centre that answer most of the questions that anyone could think of asking. This is one of the most comprehensive help sections that we have seen on a banking website, and it should be easy to find the help that you need without having to contact an actual person. 

If you do need to talk to someone about your account, phone lines are open from 8 am to 6 pm, so those working from 9-5 should be able to contact them before or after work. This makes a real difference to people and means they don't have to take time during their precious lunch break to resolve banking matters. 

Final thoughts: uniting finance and communication

Finance and communication go hand-in-hand. No successful business can thrive without a solid backbone of communication and the knowledge that its finances are in good hands. Halifax is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which means that your money is protected against even the worst of eventualities.

Halifax has been a fixture in the UK financial sector since its inception in 1853 and is still going strong today. If you are looking to open a UK bank account, look no further than Halifax. 

Sources: all third party information obtained from applicable website as of April 08, 2024

  1. https://current-accounts.comparethemarket.com/standard-accounts
  2. https://www.halifax.co.uk/bankaccounts/current-accounts/reward-current-account.html
  3. https://www.halifax.co.uk

This article is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to address every aspect of the matters discussed herein. The information in this article is not intended as specific personal advice. The information in this article does not constitute legal, tax, regulatory or other professional advice from IDT Payment Services, Inc. and its affiliates (collectively, “IDT”), and should not be taken or used as such by any individual. IDT makes no representation, warranty or guaranty, whether express or implied, that the content in this article is current, accurate, or complete. You should obtain professional or other substantive advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the information in this article.