Mobile banking overtakes desktop as customers turn to apps
Mobile banking via apps is now the most popular way for UK citizens to digitally interact with a bank, far surpassing web log-ins on desktop devices.
A report by the British Banking Association (BBA) said that banking app log-ins reached an average of 11 million a day in 2015, a 50 per cent increase on 2014, as apps become more functional and log-ins more easy owing to the use of fingerprint scanners.
Conversely, desktop log-ins fell by two per cent from 4.4 million in 2014 to 4.3 million in 2014 as customers of major banks such as Barclays, RBS and Halifax are able to get what they need from a banking app.
The report cites Halifax as reporting that 80 per cent of all payments made in the final quarter of 2015 were digital, and that 62 per cent of these were made on smartphones on tablets, an 11 per cent increase year on year. However, desktop transactions fell nine per cent.
Overall, the market has seen payments made via apps rise 54 per cent over 12 months to £347m. Desktop payments remain ahead of this at £417m, but this is just a two per cent increase on 2014, again showing the clear switch to app-based banking.
BBA chief executive Anthony Brown said that consumers are clearly voting with their thumbs by interacting with banks in the most efficient way possible.
“Customers are harnessing new technologies because it’s fast and convenient, allowing us to manage our money when and where we please. It’s helpful innovation that also reduces stress," he explained.
Despite this rush to mobile, though, some leading digital banking executives quoted in the report believe that desktop banking will still remain relevant, as customers are likely to prefer it for higher-value transactions.
“There is a clear move towards mobile. But would I, as a customer, expect to complete a mortgage application end-to-end on my mobile? Maybe I wouldn’t. Maybe that’s something I want to do in the privacy of my home, on a laptop or desktop,” said George Charalambous, head of digital transformation at HSBC Retail Banking and Wealth Management.
“Putting a process like that on the app could make it feel bloated. Could we keep it as responsive as we know customers want? So, just as banking in a branch will still have its place, I think specific banking use cases on a PC or laptop will do too.”
The report's findings no doubt chime with the experience of many organisations, banking or otherwise, that see customers becoming increasingly comfortable carrying out bookings, payments and other transactions on a phone.