First direct app any good?

Thinking of giving it a try, is it HSBC’s ‘tech test app’ or have I got that wrong?

The HSBC app is more advanced than the First Direct app.
FD is basically a telephone bank set up when that was considered the way forward for banking.


I’ve been with them for about 15 years. It’s utter shite. Forward thinking bank my arse. They’re like a throw back to the 1990’s.

1 Like

I opened an account with them this year to see how they were like. Oh boy. Theres far too many different passwords you have to ‘remember’, the app is just a list of transactions sorted by date with the facility to make payments. And today, I found out that you can’t send payments through the app after 6pm - you have to schedule them for the next day and can’t see it anywhere in the app until that day.

They lured me with their new card design but that’s the only modern feature they have.

Edit: you can pay in cheques in the app and you have limited card controls (turn off contactless, gambling and general card freeze).

1 Like

I wrongly assumed they were modern then, the £100 switching offer and 1% linked saver was the draw, seems like a waste of time though.


This is true.

Of the HSBC brands; HSBC itself is most modern, First Direct after that and then (the worst) is M&S Bank.

The John Lewis Partnership Card credit card is also provided by HSBC and seems a bit less modern than HSBC and probably on a par with First Direct.

This. It’s an absolute pain in the jacksy if you change your phone and have to reset. It’s a perfect example of when security is forced at the detriment of usability.

1 Like

I would say it is quite basic. It does work with Face ID although I did get caught out recently when I upgraded my phone and forgot to unlink it first. As others said, a bit of a pain to resolve so I won’t do that again.

I don’t personally use it very often, most of my transactions are going into the account for the regular saver and I rarely have to use the features. However, I just had a look and it confirmed my thoughts that it is a very basic app compared to others.


As others have said, it’s awful!


While I prefer the HSBC app to the FD one, it’s quite possible to send payments after 6pm - they use faster payments like everyone else


At around 8pm I was trying to send a payment to one of my other accounts - every time I tried to, the app told me that it was not possible to send it ‘today’ and that I should pick a date in the future. I called first direct to see if they could help me, but after a 10 minute hold they informed me that they don’t process payments after 6pm though they could help me schedule the payment for the next day if I wanted.

Were you trying to set up a standing order, perhaps?

I don’t like the First Direct app, but I’ve never had a problem sending faster payments in the evening.

1 Like

My actions: Move money > [select account] > Existing payees > [select from list] > [enter reference and amount]

At the bottom it has a date picker that says Now. I tried using Now but after i tapped Continue it wouldn’t let me. (I tried using the web app on my laptop and had the same issue)

Not sure what the problem was, but First Direct’s terms and conditions state that the cut-off time for faster payments is 11.45 pm.

1 Like

That’s only 15 minutes before midnight. Set the payment date as the next day and the payment will be there in 16 minutes.

I’ve used both the HSBC and FD apps for a number of years and never once had the payment problem that has been described above.

The user interface for setting up payments on those apps is light years ahead of Monzo and Starling and I could always get someone on the phone within a couple of rings (or less) if I needed to speak with. Customer Service was way better than anything I’ve experienced with the Fintechs.

1 Like

I just can’t understand why this always comes up with First Direct. I never call banks unless they force me to - so are there a significant number of processes at First Direct that require a phone call?

If so, I would consider that a negative.

1 Like

Me neither. When First Direct first started, their telephone service was revolutionary, and I was very happy to ring them. Now that banking can be done on a smartphone, I would only consider ringing any bank as a last resort.

1 Like

OK - makes sense!

Nope. You seem to want this to be a negative reason because such an interaction does not fit your requirements?

Not everyone wants to speak to their bank but when they need to they’ll find it helpful.

My point was, they’re there on the phone if you need them, unlike Monzo and Starling, both of whom have questionable customer service.


Fair enough.

I didn’t want it to be a negative reason, I just questioned why it so-often seemed to come up (when I would assume that quite a lot of people would not turn to the phone by default, so I struggled to understand it in a way).

I think @RobD has answered that based on his experience and your last post, so it’s not a bad thing at all!

1 Like