Is it safe to send and receive money via bank transfer?

It’s good to be cautious when it comes to giving out your bank details. Most people in your life – and especially most strangers – don’t need to know your bank account number.

We’ve all seen email scams promising huge lottery wins or inheritances, all in an effort to get your bank details from you, so is it safe to pay by bank transfer, whether you’re the one sending the money, or the one receiving it?

The short answer is yes, it is safe to pay by bank transfer, and it’s also safe to receive money by bank transfer. It’s one of the main ways money moves around, especially when it comes to paying business invoices.

But it still pays to be careful about who you give your bank details to, and when sending money to another person using their account number, too.

Best practice: Get it right

This is obvious but it’s still worth saying – when you send money via direct transfer, make sure you get the recipient’s account number right.

If you’re not sure of their sort code and account number, double check, don’t guess. And if you’re sending money overseas, make sure you get their BIC or SWIFT code and their IBAN number, the international equivalents to sort code and account number.

You will typically also give the accountholder’s name, and this can be used to double check that the account number is correct, but once you actually send funds to the wrong account, it can be very hard to recover them.

Best practice: Keep it secret

You only need to know someone’s account number when you actually need to send them money, and the same is true of your own account details.

Only tell your full account details to close friends and family who you trust to pay into your account, or customers when you invoice them.

The general rule of thumb is, if you’re not expecting money from someone – or if a stranger offers you a large sum of money out of the blue – it’s probably best not to tell them your bank details.

Regulation: Who can you trust?

Financial services organisations in the UK are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Although Arro Money is not a bank, we are regulated by the FCA too, as a provider of electronic money services.

Regulation helps you to know that an organisation is trustworthy – but what about the bank at the other end when you send money to someone?

If they bank with any of the major high street financial services providers, then it’s very likely they are regulated by the FCA too.

If you need to send money abroad, then the SWIFT or BIC code identifies the financial institution where the account is held – and this is a good starting point if you want to check where your money is going.

Remember also that Direct Debit is an option for regular bills in the UK. This allows authorised organisations to collect money from your account.

It’s similar to you manually making a transfer or setting up a regular standing order, but there’s certain extra protection, such as immediate refunds if the wrong amount of money is taken in error.

Technology: How Arro protects you

At Arro Money we go further to make sure your money is safe when you move it using our purpose-built online account dashboard.

We built the dashboard especially to power the Arro Personal Account and Arro Business Account – it’s programmed to the highest standards and thoroughly tested to make sure it’s secure.

This starts when you log in, as we use two-factor authentication – this helps to make sure that nobody can gain access to your account by getting one of your passwords, as they would also need to provide secondary authentication.

Our dashboard is programmed in accordance with OWASP guidelines, a global standard for security in software, and all data sent to and from our servers is encrypted too.

You can see this in your browser – just look at the address bar or status bar for a padlock icon or the word ‘secure’ and you know that your data is protected.

All of this means that whether you are just checking your balance, or you want to send payment to a bank account anywhere in the world, the data you send to Arro is safe and encrypted – helping to give you even more confidence when it comes to managing your money.