Skip to content
Two girls are in an exercise class, lying down on their fronts, with their legs pulled up behind them - it looks good fun

Introduction to online banking

Stay safe online

It's really important to keep your finances protected. A really good way to do this is to set up a separate bank account for your group.

This promotes transparency, and makes sure that your group's money doesn't get mixed up with anyone else's. 

If your club already has a bank account, then ask if they'll give you online access. Otherwise you'll need to set up an online account from scratch. 

What next?

This guide give you advice on protecting your group's money. It's advisory only. 

The facts

An adorable young boy with missing limbs is supported to cross a platform between trees - he looks so happy, it's a very moving picture of courage

Online banking is increasingly popular - almost 70% of us in the UK use it to manage our money. This is why you should consider it:

  • You can check your group's finances when you're on the move, wherever you are, and whatever time it is. 
  • It won't stop you from managing your money in a more traditional way.
  • You'll get faster and more flexible access to your accounts.


The benefits

School children scramble around a pitch, playing a game with plastic discs

The benefits of online banking include: 

  • Making it quick and easy to manage your group's account. 
  • Being able to see, in seconds, what the balance is and if any payments have been received. 
  • Being able to raise a cheque, get a statement, make a payment or stop a payment, without going to the high street. 
  • Ensuring that any spending is transparent - this helps to protect you from risks such as fraud, maladministration and mistakes. 


Getting set up

One boy demonstrates a judo move, while other children look on

If you're setting up an account for the first time, look out for any special accounts for community organisations.

Be aware that:

  • You may need proof of your group's existence, such as meeting minutes, or trading address. 
  • You may be asked to forecast your turnover, show how many employees you've got, provide any previous accounts and VAT registration.  
  • You'll need to nominate a few people as account signatories and may be asked for proof of their identity, address, financial situation, banking history and evidence that they've been nominated. 

Safety worries

Two men in pink tops run around a football pitch, looking happy - it's night time

Some people worry that online banking isn't safe. It is, if the correct security measures are in place.

To protect your account: 

  • Set up strong passwords. 
  • Provide additional security questions to access the account. 
  • Never reveal the full password details or security details to anyone, including your own bank. 
  • Put dual authorisation in place. 


Benefits of dual authorisation

A boy smiles broadly - he wears the full fencing gear and has just been practising his techniques

'Dual authorisation' means that two or more people have to authorise payments from your account. Ideally they shouldn't be related or living together. This helps to reduce the risks of fraud or mistakes. 

One person has to make a payment request. Then the other person will need to authorise it or refuse it. 

Having this in place means that you'll meet Requirement 6 from 'A Code for Sports Governance' (Tier 1). This is needed by some grant-giving organisations, including Sport England. 

Requesting dual authorisation

A skateboarder shows off his skill in an urban environment

Check that your bank offers dual authorisation - about half of all banks currently do. 

If they don't, think about moving your account. 

You can get tips on how to do this later in this guide. 

If you've already got this in place for an offline account, you'll need it for online banking too - ask your bank to help you with this. 

Ask if it will change how you manage the general running of your account (it might do). 

How to set up dual authorisation

two young women laugh as they practice their boxing in a gym

Work out what sort of account your group needs.

Then follow these steps: 

  • If you need to set up an account from scratch, then check that the bank you're considering can offer dual authorisation for online accounts. 
  • If you've already got an online account, then find out if you can add dual authorisation - if not, you may want to move banks. 
  • Nominate signatories - the bank may do credit checks and other checks on them. 
  • Look at your governing documents, to check that online banking is permitted - if not, then update them.
  • Set up dual authorisation for your online account, asking the bank for support if you need it. 



Further information

A woman smiles as she practices her curling, stretching towards the camera

You can get lots more info and support here: 

Buddle's finance section. 

A guide to online banking. 

A guide to switching bank accounts. 

Advice on safe online banking.