Banking is something that should be simple; however, that is often not the case. Sometimes banking in the U.K. and elsewhere is complicated and downright unpleasant for the consumer, but there have been changes in the past few years that have helped consumers tremendously. One of these is the Current Account Switch Service, in place since September of 2013. Known as CASS, the service helps individuals, charities and small businesses and trusts with their banking duties. It is free to use and allows you to switch bank accounts quickly and simply.
What Is CASS
CASS was designed with several goals in mind. These include more competition on High Street, better choices for those customers wanting to switch accounts and support of new banks’ entry into the current marketplace. Everything related to CASS is now owned and managed by Bacs, which is the same company that developed the U.K.’s system of direct debit and direct credit. Since its inception in September of 2013, over two million customers have switched banks using this service.
The British government launched the program in an effort to help consumers, SMEs, small trusts and small charities switch banks in a more efficient manner. With this service, individuals, and small businesses are finding that their banking activities are resulting in getting a better deal. Currently, the service has been extremely successful, as dozens of banks and building societies are participating in the voluntary service. The government started this program in an effort to increase competition so that consumers and small businesses could get better deals than they had in the past.
The Results of Installing CASS
The Current Account Switch Service has also resulted in numerous other reforms, including:
- Being able to switch your account in approximately seven days, including standing orders and direct debits, which are transferred automatically
- Making it easier to pay with your mobile phone, thanks to the Payment Systems Regulator program
- Mortgages are simpler to obtain, because fees are now explained fully and therefore can be used to the customers’ best advantage
- Online account tools that allow you to compare various accounts to determine which one might work better for you
- Making deposits using your mobile phone will soon be an available service
- There are now more banks to choose from, since the number of banks participating in this service is large and expected to continue growing
- You can more easily learn about all of your lending options when you wish to apply for a loan; the service requires that when you are rejected for a loan, the lender that rejected you must inform you of other lending opportunities
The CASS system proves that increased competition benefits the consumer. Because of this unique service, millions of customers have used it to their advantage and have saved money and time, but mostly they have found that their options and opportunities to save money have increased. It is also helpful for businesses, as it is available to 99 percent of them.