Santander announces update for customers who want to access their accounts in-branch

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Santander is contacting customers with its traditional style passbooks to let them know that from March 2022, it will be introducing a new way of accessing personal accounts.

Over the next five months it will be phasing out passbooks and asking people to show their bank card when speaking to a cashier, but if they prefer they can apply for a signature card, removing the need to remember a PIN. For customers who prefer paper, the bank says they will be able to order a personal wallet that can be used in conjunction with their cash card, allowing them to keep a record of their transactions.

How will these changes affect Santander customers?

From March next year, the bank’s customers will need to have their cash card on them when visiting a branch in person. The changes will allow customers to:

  • Sign for branch counter transactions instead of using a PIN if customers prefer
  • Use their card to access money from a Post Office branch counter; and
  • Withdraw money from ATM machines

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Woman passes Santander bank

Santander is slowly phasing out passbooks (Image: Getty)

Although there is a preference to encourage more people to embrace online or mobile banking, older customers who prefer traditional banking won’t be left behind.

Some customers may prefer to have a Santander Wallet to store statement and transaction receipts and customers will still be able to request such print outs during any branch visit.

Further information will be sent to all customers, including those who have a dormant passbook account, between November 2021 and January 2022, with a final reminder to all customers before March 2022.

The bank is reassuring customers that its employees are ready to support customers when it comes to switching over to the new card and wallet, or setting up online or mobile banking.


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Matt Hall, Head of Banking and Savings at Santander ,said he hopes the move will make banking at Santander more efficient in the long run.

“While passbooks are the preferred way of banking for some customers, we know that many also find them frustratingly time-consuming.

“By using new and efficient technology we can improve the experience and not only keep the functionality that comes with a passbook but enhance it, for instance by allowing those who want it the choice to access their account via ATMs.”

Passbooks are currently used on a range of Santander savings accounts including Instant Saver, Easy ISA and Flexible Saver for Kids.

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Nothing else will change and the bank’s customers will still be able to use the same account number and their usual bank card to carry out everyday banking.

Customers affected should look out for a letter from the bank and there will be another final reminder sent to all customers before March 2022.

For help switching to mobile or online banking, customers can contact the bank by phone or pop into their local branch.

Many other banks have already phased out traditional style passbooks but as these are still popular with older customers, Santander is making sure signature cards, that don’t require people to remember a PIN, are available to those who may prefer them.

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Meanwhile, the bank recently launched a new account for students which offers a free four-year railcard and 15 percent cashback on offers at select retailers including Morrisons, the Co-Operative, Costa, Just Eat and Sky.

As well as helping young people to save money on travel fares, the new account offers interest-free overdrafts up to £2,000 for students as well as young people on apprenticeships.

The card also provides savers with discounts on activities and days out such as theatre tickets and restaurants.

In a statement announcing the 1|2|3 Student Current Account, the bank stated: “While end of school exams and assessments have looked a little different this year, many young people are now looking forward to beginning the next phase of their learning at University or in apprenticeships.”

William Murphy

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