How to open a Nationwide bank account? (2024)

Thinking of switching banks? If you’re after a new bank account, one of the many options available in the UK is Nationwide.

The building society has a range of current accounts available. This includes two free accounts, FlexAccount and FlexDirect, and a packaged account - FlexPlus, which offers travel insurance and other perks in exchange for a monthly fee. There are also student accounts and savings accounts available at Nationwide.

But just how easy is it to open one of these accounts? Find out everything you need to know about how to open a Nationwide account here in this handy guide. We’ll let you know what ID documents you need, and walk you through the process.

And while you’re comparing accounts, check out the Wise account from the money services provider Wise. It’s an ideal alternative to a bank account, especially if you need to make international transfers and overseas card payments.

Please see the Terms of Use for your region.

Table of contents
  • Requirements for opening a bank account with Nationwide?
  • What documents do you need to open a Nationwide bank account?
  • How to open a Nationwide account?
    • Can you open a Nationwide bank account online?
    • How long it takes to open a Nationwide bank account?
  • How to contact Nationwide customer service?
  • Wise - An alternative to a Nationwide bank account

Requirements for opening a bank account with Nationwide?

Most UK banks and building societies have eligibility requirements for new customers, and Nationwide is no different.

To open a current account with the building society, you’ll need to tick all of the following boxes

  • Be a UK resident
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have no more than 4 Nationwide accounts open already (sole or joint).

As part of your application, you’ll also need to agree that the account is for personal use only

For most Nationwide savings accounts, you’ll need to be at least 16 years old.² Other types of savings accounts such as cash ISAs might have other requirements, such as needing to be resident in the UK for tax purposes.

So before you start comparing features and AER interest rates for different savings accounts, it’s worth a quick check to make sure you’re eligible.

What documents do you need to open a Nationwide bank account?

To apply for a current account at Nationwide, you’ll just need some documents to prove your identity and address. You’ll need one or more of the following

  • A valid UK passport
  • A full UK driving licence.

If you don’t have either of these, you can visit a Nationwide branch with other proof of address. For example, a recent utility bill, bank statement, credit card bill or phone bill. Here’s a guide on how to get a proof of address in the UK for more information on getting proof of address.

If you’re opening a student bank account with Nationwide, it’s likely that you’ll also need a valid form of student ID.

📚 Read more: The best UK bank accounts for international students

How to open a Nationwide account?

Got your documents together? Now it’s time to start your application.

The easiest way to open a current account with Nationwide is online, through the Nationwide website. If you’re an existing customer, you can simply login to your online banking or use the mobile banking app to apply for a new account.

To apply for a Nationwide account online, simply follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Nationwide website and select a current account. You’ll be taken to a new page, featuring all the details and eligibility requirements for the account - read these carefully.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the ‘Apply’ button.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions, providing your details and uploading your ID and proof of address documents when requested.
  4. Check all the details and submit your application.

Can you open a Nationwide bank account online?

Yes, you can open all of Nationwide’s current accounts online.

If you don’t have proof of ID or address though, you’ll need to pop into your nearest Nationwide branch for assistance.

The process of opening a bank account in the UK online works in pretty much the same way as with other major UK banks, and shouldn’t take too long to complete.

How long it takes to open a Nationwide bank account?

Nationwide says that on average, it takes 6-12 days to get a current account up and running. However, it could be much quicker, as around 20% of customers get their account number and can start paying into the account the very same day.⁴

If you’re switching to Nationwide from another bank via the Current Account Switch Service, it should take a maximum of 7 working days.

How to contact Nationwide customer service?

If you need help with any part of the account opening process, here’s how to contact Nationwide customer services:⁵

  • Call 03457 30 20 11 for general current account enquiries, including help with payments and international transfers.
  • Call 03456 07 73 57 for FlexDirect enquiries
  • Call 0800 11 88 55 for FlexPlus enquiries.

You can also get help in a local branch - find your nearest Nationwide branch here.

Wise - An alternative to a Nationwide bank account

While you’re comparing accounts and providers, make sure to check out the Wise account. It’s a fantastic alternative to a Nationwide bank account, especially if you need to spend overseas or send payments between countries.

When you sign up online with Wise, there’s no initial or monthly fee to pay.

You’ll get a powerful account for managing your money in 40+ currencies, including making international payments for low fees and mid-market exchange rates.

For a one-time cost of just £7, you can get a Wise debit card which has no foreign transaction fees for spending abroad, just a small conversion fee for cross-currency transactions. You can withdraw up to £200 a month in up to 2 transactions from overseas ATMs with no Wise fees.

Sign up with Wise today 💰

Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

And that’s pretty much it - everything you need to know about how to open a bank account with Nationwide. You only need a couple of ID documents, and it should be fairly quick and easy to do online.

Sources used for this article:

  1. Nationwide - Flex Direct
  2. Nationwide - Instant Access Saver
  3. Nationwide - How to open a bank account
  4. Nationwide - Service Quality
  5. Nationwide - Current Account Help

Sources checked on 26-Oct-2023.

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

How to open a Nationwide bank account? (2024)
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