News & Views - Savantor

Silver surfers don’t do it

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

When you are asked the time, what do you do?  If you look at your watch rather than take your phone out then the odds are mobile or even online banking is not for you.  Around two thirds of UK consumers say online banking is their preferred way of accessing money, with a quarter checking their accounts as often as once a day, according to a survey commissioned by the Payments Council.  However, the poll shows that age is still a major factor, with only a quarter of over 55s (three quarters presumably all wearing watches whilst writing cheques) having ever banked online.  Visiting a branch is most popular amongst older generations, with 42% of respondents aged 75 and over preferring this, compared to only one in five of 18 to 24 year-olds.

The Payments Council commissioned the research to coincide with the launch of an educational campaign called 'pay YOUR way' designed to promote "modern" payment methods.  The campaign comes after the body faced heavy criticism recently over plans to abolish cheques by 2018 and has vowed to ensure that viable alternatives will be available for vulnerable groups, especially the elderly.

first direct says that half of its Silver Surfers use its internet banking service.  However, the bank's text message banking has just 1 in 5 of its over 55s signed up to the service versus almost 43% amongst the remainder of its customers.  Another poll of around 1000 customers at RBS, Lloyds, Barclays, HSBC and Santander shows that:

  • When asked which channel they are most satisfied with, 70% choose online, compared to 17% for the branch, 10% cash machines, 2% call centres and 1% for mobile banking.

  • 10% of respondents are using their mobile phone to bank, and less than 1% have actually used an app.

  •  42% wanting their banks to use the post to contact them, compared to 38% who want e-mail, 11% the Web site and 3% text messages or mobile alerts.

Finally 97% of respondents say they have no interest in friending, following or liking their banks on sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  And I bet they all wear watches.

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