A report by the British Bankers Association (BBA) has found that 77% of British consumers use online or mobile banking at least once a month, amounting to transactions worth £6.4 billion a week – up from £5.8 billion last year.
It’s in Your Hands also found that banking apps for mobiles and tablets have now been downloaded more than 14.7 million times, at a rate of around 15,000 per day in 2014 – a 2.3 million rise since January. Similarly, the report states that spend on contactless cards is expected to rise to £6.1 million a week this year – up from £3.2 million in 2013.
The news comes as Juniper Research also announces findings from a report that predicts mobile banking users will in fact exceed online banking users for the first time by 2019. Mobile & Online Banking: Developed & Developing Market Strategies 2014-2019 suggests the rise in mobile and online channels is putting pressure on traditional business models, which is confirmed by the decreasing number of branch visits by consumers and also the closure of physical bank branches over the past 12-24 months. For example, RBS UK announced the closure of 44 branches across the country in April 2014 following a 30% fall in branch transactions over the last four years.
The findings highlight the need for banks to ensure they offer a consistent experience across multiple channels, and financial services experts are reluctant to suggest that bank branches will disappear completely. It’s in Your Hands states: “Day-to-day branch use is falling sharply and while the size of these networks will decline, high street outlets will remain important for those bigger moments, such as when a customer takes out a mortgage, wants to assess their financial options or resolve a complaint.”
“This report shows just how enthusiastically the British public is embracing mobile banking, contactless cards and a range of other consumer-friendly banking technologies,” said Anthony Browne, chief executive of the BBA. “The way we bank now has made it a lot easier for us to keep track of our finances, with far more options about how we spend our money and talk to our bank. This study shows that banks have, are and will continue to compete against one another to offer customers innovative technology to win your custom. It’s a revolution putting more power in your hands.”
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