You’ll probably be using one already: the money you spend comes straight out of your account, but instead of carrying around money, you use your card. You’ll be required to enter your PIN when paying, though for anything up to £30 you can simply tap and go (contactless). Money spent using your debit card will come straight out of your student account – just as it does when you take cash out from an ATM – so be careful to only spend what you have.
Use for: day-to-day purchases such as food, books, toiletries, travel and entertainment
Increasingly, we shop or bank online and many bills can be settled via an instruction you set up. This may be a standing order, which you set up to transfer a regular payment for a fixed amount to someone else. Or it may be a direct debit where you allow a variable amount to be taken automatically from your account. It may also be a one-off payment that you make yourself. The beauty with banking this way is that online transfers tend to be instant so you can see exactly how much you’ve got left in your account.
Use for: regular bills such as rent or utilities (gas and electricity, water) or for sending money to family or friends
To manage your money on the go, you might want to register to make payments via your mobile.PayM (‘pay em’) is a mobile banking system provided by banks and building societies in the UK. By linking your bank account to your mobile number, you can send and receive money using only your mobile phone digits. Use for: making a quick one-off payment when you realise you have no cash
For an easier way to pay, turn your phone into your purse and never fumble around for cash or cards again. Simply add your debit or credit card to your smart device, and then tap the app to pay wherever you see the contactless symbol. Safety and privacy is assured since neither Apple nor Android actually share or store your card details.
Use for: everyday shopping such as food and toiletries, in-app purchases when you don’t want to input your card number
* Apple and Apple Pay are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries
** Android Pay™ is a trademark of Google Inc.