Mobile and internet banking more popular with older customers

Rebecca Gibson
Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson on 28 January 2015
Mobile and internet banking more popular with older customers

Around 2.3 million UK customers aged between 70 and over 100 years old are now using internet and mobile banking, according to a report from the British Banking Association (BBA).

The BBA’s Way We Bank Now report has been compiled with figures from various banks including the Bank of Scotland, Barclays, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Metro Bank, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Santander. All of the numbers compiled by BBA relate to October 2014.

The report indicated that 2,267,597 customers aged over 70 have registered to use internet banking services and more than 600,000 of these people are aged over 80. In addition, around 457,031 people aged over 60 have downloaded banking apps to use on their smartphones and tablets. Almost 20,000 of these customers are aged over 80. Plus, more than 306,000 customers aged over 60 have signed up to receive text alerts from their banks.

The study also found that older customers who use mobile and internet banking typically use it as frequently, or slightly less often, than younger generations. It shows that some banks are currently experiencing faster growth rates for digital services by customers aged between 70 and 80 than for younger generations.

“These figures shatter the myth that this technology is only for younger generations – millions of older people are avid users of banking websites and apps,” said Anthony Browne, chief executive of BBA. “Customers of all ages like the fact that they can now make payments, check balances and do other banking tasks from the comfort of their home without trudging into town. It’s precisely because these technologies are so popular with people of all ages that banks are investing so heavily in them."

BBA’s report showed that the most frequent users of HSBC’s internet banking service were customers aged over 70, while customers aged between 60 and 79 used Lloyds Bank’s internet banking service around 2.1 times a week, compared with 2.7 times per week for those aged between 35 and 49.

On average, Barclays’ internet banking customers aged over 80 on log into the service 0.46 times per week, while those aged between 35-49 accessed their online accounts 0.47 times per week.

Meanwhile, RBS customers aged over 80 logged in to internet banking on nearly 400,000 occasions in October 2014, while the oldest person to access the service was 100 years old.

Banking apps that enable users to pay bills, transfer money and read account statements securely have been downloaded more than 12 million times by customers aged over 70 in recent years.

In 2014, 93% more customers in this age bracket downloaded the RBS banking app and 130% more people used HSBC’s banking app, compared to 2013. Now, the oldest HSBC customer to have downloaded its banking app is aged 108 years old.

Between 2013 and 2014 there was also a 41% increase in the number of customers aged over 80 years who had downloaded the Barclays app.

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