Lack of Banks and Building Society branches in Forest Hill

I normally pop to London Bridge on the train for all those banks. Much easier than buses to Beckenham.

Or people who think that dependency on one device - for financial transactions, travel tickets and payments, communications, replacing maps with GPS etc - is extremely risky and undesirable. If you are dependent on your phone for so much, the impact of loss, theft, breakage, running out of battery etc is life-threatening.

Another thing is the quality of life argument. I would like to walk to my bank and take care of a few transactions where I do not have to input date of birth, PIN number, password, generate a one-time code or receive one by text.

I am not looking for more things to do with my phone.

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But the alternative is being dependent on a single physical wallet full of things that are very difficult to replace and damaging if lost or stolen.

If I lose my phone, I can be reasonably confident it can’t be used by another person (activation lock and biometric security help ensure this), and I can get a new phone set up easily from a backup. Not to mention the tracking features that help the owner find lost devices.

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Rather dramatic of you DF - loosing my two year old iPhone is hardly a life threatening event…

The best form of ‘biometric security’ is that local bank staff recognize you as a regular customer.

A friend followed their stolen iPhone to Heathrow, where the staff were less than helpful, and the tracking then disappeared.

This risk has been worsened by contactless payment cards, another ‘improvement’ given to us by progress and technology.

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Disagree. I don’t want the security of my life savings to depend on the memory and integrity of a min-wage bank clerk.

How does that compare to your ability to track your physical wallet? I’ve had personal experience of digital tracking reuniting me with my iPhone on more than one occasion. I’d rather have tracking than not.

For me, contactless payments are an acceptable trade-off between convenience and risk. But plastic contactless cards are a risk, I admit.

Luckily, technical progress means I can now avoid carrying plastic contactless cards, and instead use iPhone and Apple Watch instead, both of which authenticate before transacting. My watch is secured with a pin code when I first use it, and locks if removed from my wrist. The phone uses Face ID. Neither device requires an internet connection to make payments.

But do require to be charged. I’ve had an unfortunate experience not too long ago where both my watch and phone failed to charge overnight on their usual cradle and come the morning were both as dead as the proverbial.

Now, my morning routine is very tightly timed and the gap between rolling out of bed and needing to be at the train station doesn’t allow for sitting around while things charge.

Luckily - my Oyster and cash cards don’t need anything fancy as electricity to work, so was able to get into work, but a coffee and blag a charger to carry on the rest of my day.

In summary - phones / watch’s etc… all very good and handy, but shouldn’t be your only means of accessing cash / services that are needed on a day to day basis.

Technical progress will, again, save the day, when phones support passive NFC/RFID (where all power comes from the reader, and not the phone). It’s only a matter of time.

My elderly neighbours who have never used computers, and the very many illiterate and innumerate adults, are being frozen out. A proliferation of social fragmentation is being facilitated by technology.


What about elderly and disabled people who cannot easily get to a physical bank branch to carry out transactions?

My nan loves her smartphone. It makes banking (and keeping in contact with family) more accessible for her.

Seems a shame to imagine people cannot use technology simply because they’re old?

And the illiterate and innumerate are going to struggle to bank no matter whether it’s phone-based or branch-based. We should accommodate these people as far as possible, but to hold back technical progress on account of a tiny minority? That would be a shame - because technical progress may ultimately deliver solutions that make their lives much easier.

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Passive cards are also getting smarter too. Perhaps you’ve already seen this stuff:

Basically the passive NFC card can harvest enough power from the reader to run a fingerprint ID reader and tester in the card itself (and some also have a LED in the card to show success/fail). No more chip and pin, just chip and fingerprint. Batteries not required.

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Not a matter of imagination, I’m referring to actual real embodied human beings known to me. Also maybe people could do it, but don’t want to.

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Just listened to “From our own correspondent”. A journalist was back in China and discovered that it was pretty well impossible to use cash - it was all done on phones. And the irony of this happening in the country that invented paper currency.

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I Personally find it a real pain not having the local Barclays.
I dont do telephone banking or Online Banking intact same goes for my OH which means whenever we want to pay in a cheque (yes we still use cheques occasionally ) we have to use our free time waiting in line at Lordship lane or Peckham, ditto if we need to move money about same again.
The queues in LL Barclays are ridiculous!

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I have good news for you. You can make deposits into a Barclays account at the Post Office. They have a service called ‘Everyday Banking’ which allows account holders of participating banks to make withdrawals and deposits.

Maybe you don’t need to if your bank is a participant in the scheme - click on the above link for a list of banks in the scheme.


I never knew that! brilliant news- thanks for posting this info

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Thanks for the info, Never knew any of this.

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Thanks. I did not know that.

I only found out a couple of days ago, when I was looking into opening an account at the Post Office. They have stopped opening accounts and all their own current accounts have been closed, but apparently they are still offering the ‘Everyday Banking’ for customers of other banks.

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