29th June 2017

An app-etite for banking

A new consumer-led revolution is underway in the way we access and manage our money, with the trend in customers using their banking apps continuing at pace.

Over the past five years customers’ activity on banking apps rocketed by 354% with apps now an increasingly popular way to access current accounts, rising from 21% in 2012 to 61% by the start of 2017. There were 19.6 million users across the UK in 2016 with 159 logins occurring every second. People are also increasingly using banking apps to access a broader range of services, such as savings, credit cards and mortgage/investments accounts, rising by 30%, 46% and 86% respectively from 2015 to 2016 alone.

New technology is transforming the way that we handle our finances, from apps which turn our mobiles into a bank branch, to text alerts, cheque-imaging, biometric identification and contactless cards. ‘Banks on wheels’ physical mobile branches are helping some customers in rural communities get better bank access. These changes have empowered customers in the way they choose to manage their finances.

Greater choice in communication is also creating new, easier and faster interactions between customers and their banks. People can now access a range of services on their sofa, on the go or at work. There were 4.4 million customer-to-bank contacts made using web chat in 2016 – 510 every hour. Video chats are also growing in popularity, up 92% during 2016. 434 million text alerts helped customers track their spending and be better informed about their bank balance.

Innovations are also transforming the way we pay. 2016 was the year contactless cards truly took off. Nearly two-thirds of cards are now contactless. Transaction volumes and spending soared by 174% and 225% respectively during the year. With more than 450,000 contactless terminals now spread across retailers from pubs to supermarkets across the UK, 2016 might be seen as the year a quick ‘touch’ on a card reader started to replace notes and coins altogether.

These innovations are helping us to manage our finances more easily. Whether we want to visit our local bank branch, use a mobile or internet-bank, there are more ways we can now choose to access and manage our money than ever before.

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