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Smart phone banking popularity rivals listening to music

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

Almost as many Britons use their smartphone for banking activities as listen to music, a study has found.

Some 42% of consumers now use a bank or building society’s mobile app for basic banking transactions on their smartphone making banking just slightly less popular than playing music (46%), the study from research firm Consumer Intelligence revealed.

Aside from phoning, emailing and texting, social media topped the list of most popular smartphone activities (54%).

The use of mobile banking is set to expand rapidly with the launch of The Payment Council’s mobile payments scheme in the spring which will enable customers to make payments directly to or from an account without the need of a sort code and account number.

Barclays Pingit app has already been used to put down a £23,000 deposit on a house and other banks and building societies including Santander, RBS, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Cumberland Building Society, Metro Bank and Danske Bank have committed to offering the new service.

Cumberland – the only building society involved – launched its Pay2Mobile service in January this year.

David Black of Consumer Intelligence said: “The popularity of banking apps highlights how a growing number of people are able to handle their financial dealings wherever they are.

“For banking to be joint third on the list shows just how much consumers trust their banks to provide a secure app through which to access their accounts. Many banks are reporting a surge in mobile banking usage with, for example, Barclays reporting a 150% increase in 2013 and Lloyds Banking Group now having more than four million mobile banking users.

“However, the low number of consumers using their phones to work with documents illustrates how smartphones are not quite the complete package just yet.”

Most popular smartphone activities

Social networking                                                              54%
Listening to music                                                             46%
Banking                                                                             42%
Shopping                                                                           42%
SatNav/directions                                                              39%
Watching videos                                                                35%
Working with documents                                                   13%
Gambling                                                                            9%