Basic Bank Account - Jargon Buster
Some key words and phrases explained to help you understand the
world of banking.
Automated Credit Transfer (ACT)
Payment of wages, benefits pensions and tax credits directly
into a bank or building society
The total amount of money in your account, or the amount you owe
the bank if you overdraw.
A small amount of credit/overdraft that a bank may give
you. So you can get money from a cash machine
even if you don’t have enough money in your account.
A service that allows you to get cash from your account in
supermarkets or other shops, using your basic bank account debit
A card you can use to check your balance or withdraw cash from
your account at cash machines or post office branches.
You cannot use a cash card to pay for goods or services.
Chip and Pin
The name for using a personal identification number to authorise
a payment from your account.
A search of your borrowing record, also known as your credit
history. A bank or other organisation carries out a
credit check on a person when deciding whether to lend them money
or to open a bank account in their name.
A card issued by a bank that you use to pay for your shopping.
The money is usually taken from your account immediately.
A way of paying bills directly from your bank account. You
sign a form allowing the company you are paying to take the money
directly from your account on specific dates. They then take the
money from your account automatically on the agreed
dates. They have to notify you in advance before
changing the amount or the dates of the payment.
A charge for borrowing money or a reward for saving money. It is
usually shown as a percentage of the amount borrowed or
The process people go through to disguise and hide money made
A facility allowing you to spend more money from your account
than you have in it. The bank will usually charge you
interest if this happens and sometimes other fees as well.
A way of paying bills from your bank account. You sign a form
sent to you by the company you are paying. This sets out the amount
to be paid and the payment dates, you then give this to your
The bank pays the amounts from your account automatically on the
agreed dates to the company you are paying. You must tell your bank
if the amount or the dates of payment need to change.
A detailed list of all payments in and out of your account over
a period of time, for example three months. Ask your bank how often
it sends statements.