Who can apply for an icount?
You have to be resident in the UK and 18 years old or over to apply to open an icount account. It is particularly of benefit to those that have a poor credit rating as no credit check is carried out.
Although it is only possible to open an account in one person’s name, you can have as many as 4 other cardholders who must be at least 13 years of age.
There are two plans to choose from – Pay As You Go or Pay Monthly.
What is the application process?
Online applications are accepted that should only take 2 or 3 minutes to complete. If your address and identification can be confirmed electronically you should be notified of your sort code and account number straight away and provided with “Total Access” to your icount. Your icount prepaid MasterCard should be with you in 3 to 5 working days after that.
There may be occasions when it is necessary for you to send certified paper documents to icount to confirm your address and identity. Pending these being provided and approved, you will have “Express Access” to your account that has limited services. The upgrading process to “Total Access” takes 5 to 10 days.
What does the icount current account offer?
You can arrange for your salary, pension or benefits to be automatically paid into your icount once you have “Total Access” to your account. In addition, it is also possible to have transfers made into the icount current account from other banks and pay in using PayPal.
You can use branches of the Post Office to place cash directly into the icount Prepaid MasterCard with these monies being accessible straight away. There are also 1,600 Cashplus outlets at your disposal where you can load the above card with monies.
The prepaid card can be used at ATMs to withdraw cash and buy items in shops, by phone or online worldwide where the MasterCard Acceptance Mark is shown. An added free benefit is Purchase Protection.
Regular bills such as your council tax, mortgage repayments and your gas and electricity bills can be paid by standing order and/or direct debit. A useful feature is that, if there was not going to be enough monies in your icount current account to meet a direct debit payment, both an email and SMS message would be sent to you to let you know, giving you the opportunity to pay monies into your account to cover the direct debit payment. Furthermore, if you don’t have enough funds to meet such a payment and you are approved for the Debit Protect scheme, a one-off emergency loan of up to £1,000 may be provided to cover the payment.
It is possible to access and manage your icount 24/7 online. You may also find the Mobile App useful in this respect.
Subject to approval, an overdraft facility of up to £250 may be available.
It may be possible to improve your credit history with the credit reference agencies if you take up Creditbuilder that is a free option.
If you purchase goods through icount’s dedicated shopping website using your icount Prepaid MasterCard you could benefit from a cashback or a discount.
It is not possible to pay cheques into the account, you are not paid interest and no cheque book is provided.
Are there any fees for the icount?
Yes, there is a range of fees such as: –
- Card Issue fee – £4.95 (£5.00 paying via SMS). (Pay Monthly and Pay As You Go options)
- Management fee – £9.95 pm (Pay Monthly option only)
- Transaction fee for UK purchases in Sterling – 2.5% with a minimum of 25p (Pay As You Go option only)
- UK ATM withdrawal fee – £0.50 per withdrawal (Pay Monthly option) and £0.75 per withdrawal (Pay As You Go option).
- Overseas ATM withdrawal fee – £1.50 per withdrawal (Pay Monthly and Pay As You Go options)
Refer to icount’s website for the full range of fees and charges before applying.
The icount current account is one of several current accounts for bad credit rated individuals available in the UK although there is nothing to stop someone with a perfect credit rating applying. It offers many of the services of a standard bank account such as being able to pay funds in, pay regular household bills by direct debit and the use of a card to withdraw cash and make purchases. It also has some useful potential options such as Creditbuilder, the Debit Protect scheme and the possibility of an overdraft facility.