News & Views - Savantor

Encouraging the growth of internet banking

Saturday, 09 August 2014
According to figures issued recently by the Office for National Statistics, although 53% of the general population use the internet for banking, a breakdown of this number shows a large disparity between the different age groups. Whilst 71% of 25-34 year olds have used internet banking over the past 3 months, this figure drops to only 23% in the over 65's age group. Even though these figures suggest that there is a large proportion of the population who are not using online banking, there has been a steady increase since 2007, when just 30% regularly used the internet for banking. Whilst the level of many internet activities surveyed between 2013 and 2014 has stabilised, internet banking is one of the few activities where there has been an increase in usage – from 50% in 2013 to 53% in 2014. This growth is not limited to the younger age groups, with the proportion of adults aged 45 to 54 using the internet for banking rising from 50% to 62% over the same period. Although high street banks actively encourage the use of online banking, there needs to be a more focussed approach to encouraging customers to adopt and use it on a regular basis. Whilst many older people are internet savvy and comfortable with using digital technology for tasks such as banking, there are also many people who are nervous of or do not understand how to get to grips with the newer technologies. Much of this hesitation is due to not necessarily being in a suitable environment on a regular basis to be able to gain an understanding of both how to use the internet and the benefits it can bring. It is therefore encouraging to see Barclays rolling out their free 'Tea and Teach' sessions, where practical advice about the internet is apparently on offer without any 'confusing jargon.' Although the Bank will obviously take the opportunity to introduce their banking services to customers, they are also happy to cover other internet activities such as emails, shopping online and privacy. It is to be hoped that this holistic approach will be adopted by other Banks and companies pushing internet services – a 'win-win' situation for all concerned.
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