There is a major revolution in the way people are managing their money. Today, around 1,800 transactions are conducted each minute on Smartphones across the country, and this figure has doubled in the past year.
New research from the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) – which is to date the most comprehensive study of consumer habits – has shown that in total, 12.4m people have downloaded banking apps. These allow them to check their balance and make payments at the touch of a button.
As a result, 18.6m bank transactions were made a week last year – up from 9.1m in 2012.
Anthony Browne, chief executive of the BBA, said:
“Several senior bankers I have spoken to say they are astonished by the strength of take-up of this technology, which has already led to a noticeable dip in customers contacting call centres.”
Concerns are rife that technological developments and the growing popularity of banking apps could accelerate the closure of local branches. This would greatly affect those who do not use mobile phone technology to do their banking.
Derek French, founder of the Campaign for Community Banking Services, said:
“The Government has made it clear that new technologies must not reduce the options for customers in how they transact. But currently we are faced with the scenario of many more closures without a cost-effective and sustainable solution for the most vulnerable.”
In 2013, nearly 40m mobile and Internet transactions were made each week, and the BBA research found that the average Barclays customer now uses mobile banking 24 times a month.
Meanwhile, downloads of the RBS/NatWest app are expected to hit a million this year, increasing its total by a third in just 12 months.
Further developments in mobile banking are due to take place over the next three years. In particular, many banks are aiming to allow customers to pay in cheques by taking a picture of the payment on a mobile phone and sending it through a banking app.