Advertising campaigns are now on the runway, from individual banks and from the Payments Council, whose chairman Adrian Kellard, told a recent briefing at Holyrood: "Only 2-3% move their accounts. It is said you are more likely to get divorced. Switching will prompt innovation, and we think it will act as a spur to competition."
The Independent Commission on Banking reported in September 2011 there were "strong barriers" to switching, with banks dragging their heels and unable to guarantee payment transfers would not go wrong and plunge customers into the red, or failing to take responsibility for putting it right.
Two years on, and the new service will guarantee a seven-day switch with automatic transfer of incoming and outgoing payments, closure of the old account if required, and a 13-month window to tidy up any loose ends.
More than 40% of consumers polled for comparison site uSwitch said they would be more likely to switch their account from next month. Only 10% have switched in the past year, but almost 20% are dissatisfied with their present service, 45% citing bank charges, 36% complaining of poor interest rates, and 21% disliking queuing at branches. Yet the survey also found almost half of unhappy customers would stick with a big high street bank brand if they took the plunge.
The Move Your Money campaign urges consumers to "move to more ethical alternatives". But it could be argued that of the major candidates Nationwide was not untouched by the PPI and card protection mis-selling scandal, while the Co-operative is under fire for its treatment of small bondholders in its refinancing - and last week made a new £61m provision for PPI mis-selling and redress.
Apart from Nationwide, only the Norwich & Peterborough, Coventry and Leeds (via branch only) building societies offer current accounts, while first direct and the Co-operative's Smile are the only free-standing internet brands.
Meanwhile, in Scotland there will be a few more choices. Halifax is returning as a brand north of the Border, with branches opening in the major cities giving easier access to a current account that has offered a switching incentive. The account will also have several features not available at its sister banks Bank of Scotland and Lloyds TSB, notably the popular regular saver account for children. Halifax is offering £100 to switch, but you have to close your previous account to qualify.
Lloyds TSB's 185 branches in Scotland, meanwhile, will disappear on September 9 as they convert overnight to the independent TSB.Anyone who prefers to stick with Lloyds can do so, but would have to pay a fee to bank cheques at their old branch (though not at Bank of Scotland branches).
As well as the "challenger" banks led by Santander, Nationwide and the Co-op, there are the English banks HSBC and Barclays, which will be upping their game to retain customers, and two new kids on the block, M&S Bank and the Post Office. Only fee-paying accounts are on offer at M&S, although the account has incentives that may appeal to diehard M&S shoppers.
The Post Office challenge is still in its early stages south of the border and will not reach Scotland until next year. First Direct, which like M&S Bank is owned by HSBC, has upped the ante with a rise of £25 in its usual £100 incentive for customers to switch, but you must pay in £1000 a month.
When Andrea Stone, from Strathaven, Lanarkshire, was tempted by First Direct's £100 switching offer to move her account, it was not her first experience of a transfer.
"I switched to RBS a few years ago and did the same thing, so I thought I knew it was a reasonably easy thing to do." She has not regretted the move to First Direct. "It has online banking and is very easy to operate ... you have to have your salary paid into it and it has to be a certain amount, although I have kept my other account going as well."
Stone admits she was not particularly dissatisfied with her previous banks, saying: "I think they are all the same really - it was First Direct that had the offer on."