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More Brits than ever use banking apps over branches

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
UK bank customers logged into banking mobile apps 5.5 billion times in 2017, a 13% rise from the previous year.

They also took part in 5.5 million webchats with their bank, the equivalent of 622 per hour, using Twitter, Facebook and Whatsapp. This was a 24% increase from 2016.

The research from banking trade body, UK Finance, revealed that customers use mobile apps to do more than check their balances.

More than half pay bills, 62% transfer money to friends and a quarter set up standing orders.

Customers also received 512 million text alerts, from notifications on new payments, to warnings ahead of annual payments, and useful reminders to cancel subscriptions.

According to the data, tech isn’t restricted to the younger generation as almost half of 65-year olds are banking online. Uptake on mobile banking is most popular for ‘millennials’ with almost six in ten of 16-24 year olds and 69% of 25-34 year olds using their smartphones.

Given the new found reliance on tech, UK Finance said the industry is adapting to consumers’ demand for 24/7 banking, and this means there are fewer transactions through branches.

The average bank branch saw a 26% drop in visits since 2012, equating to 104 visits per day in 2017.

Stephen Jones, chief executive of UK Finance, said: “Technology is changing the way we communicate, work and shop and, as a result, the way we choose to manage our money. The industry has responded to this seismic social change, which is very much led by customers looking to make the most of digital innovation for convenience. The assumption that British consumers shy away from talking about money looks to be consigned to the last century, as webchats and video banking prove increasingly popular.

“Banks are looking at analytics, the internet of things (IoT), virtual assistants and other technologies as customers’ desire for convenience drives a shift towards an increasingly digital world.  Over the next few years Open Banking and artificial intelligence will change the relationship we have, not only with our banks but also how we fundamentally access and utilise financial products and services.”

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