Almost 20m Britons log onto banking apps as smartphones supersede branches
Almost 20m Britons banked on smartphone apps last year as mobile transactions surged by 57pc, according to fresh data that underscores the technology revolution that has driven the decline in the traditional bank branch.
Some 38pc of the adult UK population used a banking app in 2016 as the number of people turning to their smartphones to manage their personal finances climbed by 11pc on the year to more than 19.6m, a report by the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) and accountancy giant EY has found.
The number of app transactions leapt by 57pc to 932m, equating to 30 each second, the BBA and EY said. Apps were mainly used to check account balances, but were also increasingly used to check statement entries, transfer money between accounts and pay bills.
The report has been released on the eve of the disappearance of the 98-year-old BBA, which is becoming part of a new, bigger financial lobbying group called UK Finance.
The BBA — which was hit by the Libor rigging scandal because it was responsible for administering the benchmark rate — is coming together with the Council of Mortgage Lenders, UK Cards Association, Financial Fraud Action UK, Asset Based Finance Association, and Payments UK to form the new association.
The growing popularity of smartphone apps and online banking generally has transformed the personal finance landscape in the UK, forcing lenders to shake-up their business models.
Britain’s biggest banks have closed thousands of branches across the country in recent years to cope with falling footfall as more of their customers choose to bank over the internet.
“Customers’ appetite for using technology to manage their money on the move is showing no signs of abating, with banking apps now the principal means by which we access our current accounts,” said Eric Leenders, the BBA’s retail and commercial banking managing director.
“And this doesn’t appear to be a fad with more and more people moving beyond payments, increasingly using apps to access a broader range of banking services, such as savings, credit cards, mortgage and investment accounts.”