In today’s digitally connected world, not having a basic bank account can create significant challenges. More and more activities require access to a bank account, leaving individuals without one at a disadvantage. Currently, there are 1.3 million underbanked adults in the UK. This lack of access to banking services can impact various aspects of life, including employment opportunities and financial stability.

If you’ve been rejected by traditional high street banks when trying to open a bank account, you may be wondering about the alternatives. In this article, we will explore why having a basic bank account is important, the obstacles you might face, and the available alternatives.

Debit Cards 

Living without a debit card is increasingly challenging, especially for online shopping and subscription services. Digital payment wallets on smartphones have made shopping even more convenient, eliminating concerns about forgetting your bank card at home.

Current Accounts 

A basic bank account provides access to essential financial services. It allows you to receive wages and pay bills conveniently. Many employers and agencies prefer paying wages directly into a bank account, offering the security of electronic transactions and additional features like savings options and recurring payments.

Money Management 

Consolidating your finances in one place enables better control and understanding of your income and expenses. With online banking, available in secure basic accounts, you can manage your money anytime, anywhere, empowering you to budget effectively.

Obstacles to Accessing a Bank Account

Credit History 

A poor credit history can lead to rejections when applying for a new bank account. Finding a banking provider that offers accounts without credit checks can be a solution for individuals with problematic credit records.

Low Income 

Opening a current account can be difficult if you have a low salary. Many banks require a minimum monthly wage or salary to be paid in. Some banking providers also request a minimum monthly deposit, excluding individuals with lower incomes.


 Having an existing current account with a large overdraft limit may hinder transferring the account to another provider, especially if you consistently live within your overdraft.

Lack of Proof of Address 

Proof of address, such as utility bills or tax documents, is often required by banking providers. This requirement can pose a challenge for individuals living with their parents, in shared accommodations where bills are not in their name, or recent migrants to the UK.

Defaulting payments

Defaulting on payments, such as loans, credit cards, or finance agreements, can negatively impact your credit score and limit your access to certain banking products.

Alternatives to Basic Bank Accounts

Credit Unions

 Credit unions operate for the benefit of their members, similar to building societies. They typically serve specific geographic areas or industries. Some credit unions offer cash cards for ATM withdrawals but not for purchases in stores or online.

Prepaid Debit Cards

Prepaid cards function similarly to basic bank accounts. They provide an option without credit checks or proof of address requirements. Money must be loaded onto the card before use, and they lack overdraft facilities. Prepaid cards offer the convenience of online and in-store spending, usually with the ability to set up direct debits and manage finances on the go.

Suits Me® Prepaid Debit Card ® is a suitable banking solution that you can use regardless of your current financial position, personal circumstances, or credit score. Opening a Suits Me® account takes only ten minutes and provides you with:

• A contactless Mastercard® debit card accepted worldwide

• Secure online account and mobile app for convenient money management

• Payments, transfers, balance checking, and spending monitoring capabilities

• Exclusive cashback rewards with discounts automatically credited to your account when you shop at top UK retailers

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