News & Views - Savantor

Apps, Payments and Banking

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Figures sourced by the main banks and building societies illustrate how the use of mobile phones for payments is increasing not only for payments but is also evolving, via the use of apps, to include other banking services including budgeting and personal finance management. This evolution is being customer-led by the trend in the use of banking apps.

Apps are proving to be an increasingly popular method to access current accounts, rising from 21% of customers in 2012 to 61% by the beginning of this year. There were 19.6 million regular users of banking apps in the UK in 2016, equating to 37% of the adult UK population and showing an increase of 12 % over the previous year. Figures for 2017 are likewise anticipated to demonstrate significant growth.

Consumers are also using banking apps to access a wider range of services than just current accounts to manage their finances, such as savings, credit cards and mortgage/investment accounts. According to data from Payments UK (now UK Finance), the proportion of current account customers using banking apps to transfer money their own bank accounts, pay other individuals or bills and set up standing orders increased significantly from 2015 to 2016.

Banking apps’ share of channel interactions to access current account services rose from 21% in 2012 to 61% in 2017. However, the growth in use of apps to manage other products showed an even greater increase of 30% for savings, 46% for credit cards and 86% for mortgage/investment account management. The increase in banking app activity is forecast to continue through to 2022.

A recent survey undertaken by Visa shows that more than half of UK millennials now regularly use their mobile phones to keep on top of their financial affairs.

Whilst consumers’ activity on banking apps to access current accounts has risen dramatically – showing an increase of 354% from 2012 to 2017 - web and contact centre activity declined by 11% and 17% respectively.

With increases in banking app utilisation anticipated to continue in 2018, the picture is likely to evolve even further next year with the introduction of open banking, which will allow customers access to all bank accounts using one authorised third-party app.

It seems incredible that a decade ago banking apps did not exist. Yet, like the rise in use and popularity of contactless, their use has relatively quickly become a ubiquitous part of the payments world of today.

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