Why some payday and short term lenders ask to access your internet banking

Here are the reasons why some popular payday and short term lenders will request your online banking login information during the application process.

Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to moneyhelper.org.uk.

Please note: High-cost short-term credit is unsuitable for sustained borrowing over long periods and would be expensive as a means of longer-term borrowing.

Let’s be honest: Payday lenders don’t have the best reputation, despite being forced to clean up their act in recent years. So you might still be alarmed if a payday lender or personal loans company asks for your internet banking logins, or asks you to authorise it to view your transaction history. So should you panic and hold down the power button on your computer/phone, or is there a legitimate reason for these request?

Looking for SafetyNet Credit? Read our review here.

There are two ways lenders may want to access your transaction data:

  1. By requesting your internet banking logins and then “scraping” your account history.
    Although not illegal, this is the less legit of the two approaches. You’ll hand over your login details so that the lender, with the help of third-party software (Yodlee is a popular company that has helped businesses do this for a number of years) can access “read-only” copies of your transactions. This is done almost instantly and more importantly, securely – using encryption. Some lenders (for example Savvy explicitly state that “No person can access your internet banking details” – so they’re more likely to be analysed by an algorithm.
  2. By asking you to authorise a connection to your account using “open banking”.
    The newer and more legit of the two approaches takes advantage of a government-led initiative called open banking. Banks can make customer transactional data available to an FCA-regulated company, but only when the customer themselves requests this.

OK, but why does the lender need to see my online banking?

There are three main reasons why a lender might ask for visibility of your bank account:

  • 1. To assess affordability.
    Along with a traditional credit check, lenders can use your bank account transactions to get an idea of your income and outgoings to help them decide whether a payday/short term loan would be suitable, and what credit limit would be affordable.
  • 2. To make deposits to your account when you’re at risk of going into unauthorised overdraft.
    Overdrafts can be expensive – especially when they’re not authorised. If yours is more expensive than the interest on a short term loan, then you may decide to set a balance limit at which a payday lender should automatically issue credit to your account. Lenders should never initiate a loan without you asking them to do so first.
  • 3. To collect repayments when there are sufficient funds in your account.
    Some lenders can use visibility of your online banking to automatically take a repayment if they see money come into your account.

I don’t want to share my login details… do I have an alternative?

Absolutely, although it may rule out some potential lenders.

You’re right to hesitate: after all, your bank almost certainly wouldn’t approve of your internet banking login details being shared with a third party, and could even hold you liable if there are any unauthorised transactions, or fraud, as a result of you giving out your banking details.

The good news is that most of the lenders that previously used services like Yodlee to effectively login to your internet banking and scrape data, including SafetyNet Credit and Tappily, are now switching to the more legitimate approach of requesting you to authorise a secure connection through open banking.

With open banking, your bank can legitimately share transactional data with third parties, if you give it permission to do so. In this situation you won’t need to hand over your internet banking login details, but you will be prompted to give your bank permission to share transactional information with the lender. If you decide to do this, your bank will verify that the lender is authorised, before securely sharing your data via an API (application programming interface). You can then revoke your permission at any time (although if you’re still using a lender, be aware that this may invalidate the terms of your agreement).

Unfortunately it’s not likely to be a case of simply saying to a prospective lender “Can we do this via open banking instead?” – if it doesn’t suggest this method itself, it’s almost certainly not geared up for it yet.

Most payday/short term lenders still don’t use either of these approaches, so if you don’t need the automated deposits/collections, there are plenty of lenders who aren’t going to ask for your online banking information. These lenders may still request to be emailed copies of your bank statements, however.

Compare short term loans

Table: promoted deals, sorted by total payable

You can compare how much the loan that you have in mind would cost from a range of lenders by using the table below.

How much do you need to borrow?

How long do you need to borrow for?

Name Product Available Amounts Monthly repayment Total payable Link
Lending Stream Instalment Loan
£50 to £1,500
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Representative example: Borrow £200 for 6 months at a rate of 292% p.a. (fixed). Representative 1,333% APR and total payable £386.61 in 6 monthly payments of £64.44.
The Money Platform Short Term Loan
£250 to £1,000
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More Info
Representative example: Borrow £500 for 6 weeks at a rate of 255.5% p.a. Representative APR 839.20% and total payable: £647 in 1 payment.
QuidMarket Short Term Loan
£300 to £1,500
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More Info
Representative example: Borrow £300 for 3 months at a rate of 292% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 1297.6% and total payable: £454.37 in 3 instalments of £151.46.
Mr Lender Short Term Loan
£100 to £1,000
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More Info
Representative example: Borrow £300 for 6 months at a rate of 292% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 1,256.4% and total payable £552.00 in payments of £122.00, £110.00, £98.00, £86.00, £74.00, and £62.00.
With this loan your monthly repayment decreases over time. Our 'Monthly repayment' above is a representative figure designed to help compare lenders side by side.
Moneyboat Short Term Loan
£200 to £1,500
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More Info
Representative example: Borrow £400 for 4 months at a rate of 255.5% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 939.5% and total payable: £597.48 in 4 payments of £149.37.
Fund Ourselves (Welendus) Short Term Loan
£100 to £1,500
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More Info
Representative example: Borrow £200 for 122 days at a rate of 208% p.a. (fixed). Representative 504.7% APR and total payable £286.62 in 4 monthly payments of £71.71.

Compare up to 4 providers

Please note: You should always refer to your loan agreement for exact repayment amounts as they may vary from our results.

We compare payday/short-term loans from

Lending Stream Instalment Loan
The Money Platform Short Term Loan
QuidMarket Short Term Loan
Mr Lender Short Term Loan
Moneyboat Short Term Loan
Fund Ourselves (Welendus) Short Term Loan
We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

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8 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    StevenDecember 22, 2018

    I want a small loan for Christmas. I’ve sent them my bank details but they want my password too. Is this normal?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaDecember 23, 2018Staff

      Hi Steven,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      Yes, in some instances, the lender would need the logins. When you hand over your login details to a short-term lender, they will use it to access “read-only” copies of your transactions. This is done almost instantly and more importantly, securely – using encryption.

      If you are not comfortable with this, you have the option to use other lenders however this would decrease your choices.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


    Default Gravatar
    AcjoinerOctober 20, 2018

    I have applied for a business loan on http://www.accessloan.co.uk and I am unsure if it is a scam as they have asked for the first months initial payment upfront. So, I’m just wondering if they are genuine or not?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniOctober 24, 2018Staff

      Hi Acjoiner,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      Since getting a loan is essential if you have business you must be vigilant in choosing a bank/lender to get a loan with. Here are some tips if you consider getting a loan from a lender or company you have never heard of.

      – Check for concrete details. Look for a physical address on the company’s website. If this physical address is a registered office, even better. Check their website for a phone number – preferably a landline number – then call this to see who answers.
      – Googling a company is a good way to get to know more about who they really are behind their superficial image. Remember that what are said on forums can act as a useful indicator when you are not sure about a company.
      – Search the FCA register. If you are looking at a company that deals in financial services or products, there is one simple way to check out their credentials: look them up on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register.

      As per this FCA register page, Access Loans & Mortgages is no longer authorised, reference number 303753.

      I hope this helps.

      Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other enquiries.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!


    Default Gravatar
    MarySeptember 22, 2018

    Is it normal for an online loan company to ask for your bank pin number if so why?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaSeptember 25, 2018Staff

      Hi Mary,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      Generally, what lenders ask are your bank details as well as your online banking logins. In your case, if your pin is being asked, this means that they might directly use your ATM to withdraw money on the day you are scheduled to pay your debt. If you are not comfortable with this, you might need to find other lenders. Please be sure as well you are working with a licensed payday lender.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


    Default Gravatar
    robAugust 7, 2018

    am nervous about giving my bank details online for a loan .. Is there any loan companies that dont ask for your bank details ?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      joelmarceloAugust 8, 2018Staff

      Hi Rob,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      When reviewing your application, some lenders like to see how much money you have to get an idea as to how you handle your personal finances. A bank statement can easily provide this information. Bank accounts also make it easier for lenders to transfer your requested funds quickly. Beyond this, a bank account can show lenders that you’re financially healthy and not a borrowing risk. The less of a risk you are, the better the chance you have for approval and competitive rates.

      Without a bank account you’re generally limited to short-term loans. Auto title and pawn loans typically require collateral, while other options don’t.


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