A new report called “The Way We Bank Now”, from the BBA, a trade association that represents the UK banking industry, reveals how popular mobile banking has become, as UK consumers increasingly rely on online services and new tech to access and manage their finances.
In fact, mobile banking is actually now ahead of desktop banking, in which 417 million payments were made, but mobile use is surging ahead at a much faster rate – 54 percent, in contrast with just 2 percent for desktop. Mobile is also ahead in terms of the number of daily sessions, with apps reaching 11 million per day last year, an increase of 50 percent, with websites falling 2 percent to 4.3 million. And it’s not good news for brick-and-mortar stores, as visits to branches fell by a third since 2011 to around 71 each day.
In terms of downloads, banking apps grew by a quarter to 40,000 each day, totalling almost 14 million in the past year.
“We are in the midst of a consumer-led revolution in the way we do our day-to-day banking”, says BBA CEO Anthony Browne. “Customers love the new technology that is allowing us to bank around the clock. You can set up standing orders while standing in the queue for the bus and check your balance while checking in at the airport. The choice now on offer from banks, from state-of-the-art branches to cutting edge apps, has put customers firmly in the driving seat on the way we bank”.
The report also highlights a boost to contactless payment cards, with around 15 million being issued last year, a growth of 54 percent, with actual use of the technology growing by 250 percent.
Mobile banking and the availability of apps has changed the face of how banks interact with customers. And the trend is continuing at a rapid pace. Last month, several of the UK’s banks (Halifax, Lloyds and Bank of Scotland) announced support for Zapp’s Pay by Bank app, which is designed to provide safer and more convenient payments using a smartphone. Unlike Apple Pay and Android Pay, the service uses the bank’s security systems to authenticate users.
It seems too that most of us are pretty satisfied with banking apps, as according to Juniper Research, 98 percent of British consumers are very happy or quite happy with their current mobile banking services.
One of the firm’s predictions was that payments by mobile, tablets, desktops and connected devices would reach 125 billion by 2018, around 60 percent more than the total made in 2015.