The difference with U

When we created U Account, we wanted to be different to the traditional banks. We wanted to be there for people who have been failed by those banks. And we aimed to create an industry-leading, all-digital account that offers the flexibility, functionality and service that is designed for everyone, regardless of their financial history.

We also made sure that listening to your feedback was a big part of everything we do. We take all your emails, messages, comments, tweets and reviews — positive and negative — on board, to make sure we’re doing everything we can to bring you a service that you’ll love.

Part of that involves keeping a clear line of communication with you and making sure you’re always informed about your U Account service. A big part of our ethos is that, unlike traditional banks that can hit you with overdraft charges or other fees, there are no hidden fees or nasty surprises with U Account.

One of the bits of feedback we’ve received is that while we’re good at showing what U Account is, we can be clearer in telling you about the things that U Account is not. In this post, we’ll run through a few things that you might not know, and why they work the way they do.

No call centres 📞

We know how frustrating it can be to sat in a call queue for half an hour or more. Instead of call centres for customer support, we have a live chat for an instant response from one of our in-house support team, or you can send us a secure message and we’ll reply within 24 hours. We’re committed to bringing you a fully-digital service with your U Account, but rest assured our aim is to get your issues sorted as quickly as possible.

App payments 📱

Right now, our Balance+ app doesn’t allow you to make payments. You can use the app to stay on top of your spending by checking your balance, transferring money into your Extra Accounts, and checking on service status. We’re working to bring new features to our app in the near future — you can stay updated on the latest news by following us on Facebook or Twitter.

Instant payments ⏱️

Another area that we want to give you more information on is how U Account handles payments into, and out of, your account. Payments are not necessarily instant — we have windows throughout the day in which your payments get processed.

Payments into your account are processed every hour. Payments out of your account are processed 4 times a day. That means that when you make a payment using your U Account, it may take up to 4 hours before it is processed and sent to whomever you wish to pay.

U Account Payment Processing Times

If for some reason your payments take longer than these time slots, please get in touch with our Unbanking Team.

Standing orders are processed at 09:23 daily.

Prepaid card compatibility ⛽

Your contactless U card lets you make purchases online or in-store, and comes with every U Account. However, there are a few places where your card will not be compatible, including pay-at-pump terminals and offline ATMs — we wanted to make sure you know about these in advance.

When you use a pay-at-pump terminal, the terminal places a temporary authorisation cost on your account. The idea is to ensure that you always have the funds to pay for your fuel — but it can mean you temporarily go overdrawn if you don’t have enough in your account to cover the authorisation cost, which can be up to £100. Naturally, this can be a big problem and one we want to protect you from.

It’s a similar case with offline ATMs. When an ATM is offline, it can’t communicate with your account to check your balance. This could lead to a situation where you withdraw more cash than is in your account at that time, leading to a negative balance.

Transaction fees ℹ️

Our ethos when we created U Account was that our customers should pay for what they use, not what others use. To meet this, we have three pricing plans which you can easily move between to find one that suits you. One of these — the £10 per month plan — gives you unlimited free payments, ATM withdrawals and other transactions, completely free. Our £5 and £0 plans have a small charge for transactions — 50p and £1 respectively. It’s up to you which plan you’d like to go with — pick the one that best fits your lifestyle and you’re free to change price point every 30 days. To find out more about these plans, head to our pricing page.

Velocity limits 📈

A velocity limit is another security feature built into your U Account designed to protect against suspicious activity. Your account security is our primary concern, and something we pride ourselves on: this is just one more step we take to make sure your money stays safe.

What this means is that there’s a maximum amount that you can withdraw or transfer across a certain time period. For example, you can withdraw up to £300 per day from an ATM, and make daily direct debit payments up to £3,500. See the full table below for a breakdown of these limits.

U Account Limits

Thanks for taking the time to read, and we hope this shows you clearly how some different areas of U Account’s service work, and why. If there’s anything that’s not on this list that you’d like more information on, please do get in touch — we’d love to hear from you.