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Mobile Banking Surges As Internet Banking Slows

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

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There’s an app for that. Mobile banking surges as BBA warns of a “consumer-led revolution” in personal finance

Mobile banking apps are increasingly being used in favour of Internet banking, a new study has shown.

The ‘Way We Bank Now’ report from the BBA, a trade association for the UK banking sector, has revealed the popularity of mobile banking, as consumers increasingly use digital banking and new technologies to manage their money.

Banking Revolution

mobile banking appsThe report revealed that in general people are increasingly using the telephone, Internet and mobile banking to interact with their banks. Indeed, the report found that customers are using mobile banking apps more than 7,610 times a minute, or 4 billion times a year.

Among the main findings in the study are that payments via mobile apps soared 54 percent in 2015 to 347 million transactions, compared to just 122 million in 2014. Meanwhile payments via Internet banking 417 million last year, a 2 percent increase or 9 million from 2014.

The arrival of contactless cards has driven a 250 percent increase in their annual usage, with £1.1 billion spent in March 2016 alone. Indeed, the report found that banks have issued 15 million cards with contactless technology in 2015, up 54 percent on the year before.

Meanwhile people are increasingly using their mobile phones, with more than 13.8 million banking apps downloaded in 2015, up 25 percent from 2014.

Mobile app growth

And it seems that people are now favouring mobile apps instead of using the bank’s own website. The report found that internet banking logins fell slightly last year, from 4.4 million in 2014 to 4.3 million a day in 2015.

Compare this to the fact that mobile banking apps were used 11 million times a day in 2015, up from 7 million a day in 2014. That’s equivalent to 7,610 times a minute.

“Our influential Way We Bank Now report shows a staggering increase in people using mobile apps, proving it’s now easier than ever to interact with your bank,” said Anthony Browne, BBA CEO. “We are in the midst of a consumer-led revolution in the way we do our day-to-day banking. Customers love the new technology that is allowing us to bank round 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,” said Browne. “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.”

And it seems that people physically visiting their local bank branches is on the wave, with 476 million visits in 2011 to 278 million in 2016. This is expected to continue for the next five years, with 185 million visits in 2021, the BBA warned. So expect more branch closures.

Mobile Banking

Natwest TouchPay 1Mobile banking is certainly transforming the way banks and technology interact. Last month Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland all announced their support for the “Pay by Bank” app from Zapp, which claims to offer quicker, safer and more convenient mobile payments.

The app differs from other mobile payment services such as Apple Pay and Android Pay as it uses the bank’s own security methods to verify the user.

Earlier this year a study from Juniper Research study found that 98 percent of Brits are either “very happy” or “quite happy” with their mobile banking service. However, trust and reliability still remain a key concern for many consumers, as a larger number of respondents said that they would be prepared to switch providers if certain standards were not met.

Juniper also predicted that the number of annual purchases made via mobiles, tablets, desktops and other connected devices should reach 125 billion annually by 2018 – 60 percent more than the total number of transactions in 2015.

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