New figures reveal 'staggering increase' in use of mobile banking apps


Customers are increasingly preferring to use mobile banking apps to manage their cash "on the go" over banks' websites, a report has found.

Mobile banking apps are being used around 7,610 times a minute as part of a "revolution" in the way people are monitoring their money, according to the British Bankers' Association (BBA).

Its Way We Bank Now report, which charts changing customer habits, said there were 347 million payments made using mobile apps in 2015 - up 54% on the previous year.

By contrast, the number of payments made using internet banking was up by just 2% in 2015 compared with 2014, with 417 million payments.

New figures in the report show mobile banking apps are increasingly preferred to banks' websites, reflecting the trend of people using their phone to manage their cash while they are out and about rather than sitting at a computer.

Internet banking logins fell slightly last year - at 4.3 million a day in 2015 compared with 4.4 million in 2014 as more customers migrated to apps.

Mobile device apps were used 11 million times a day in 2015, up from seven million a day in 2014 - equating to around 7,610 times a minute.

More than 13.8 million apps were downloaded in 2015 - a 25% increase on 2014.

There has also been a 250% annual increase in contactless card use, with £1.1 billion spent in March 2016. Banks issued 15 million cards with contactless technology in 2015, up 54% on the year before.

The report also highlighted new data from marketing consultancy CACI which projects the number of visits to bank branches has fallen from 476 million in 2011 to 278 million across 2016.

This is expected to continue for the next five years, with 185 million visits projected for 2021. CACI figures also suggest that average visits per branch a day have fallen from 104 in 2011, to 71 in 2016 and 51 in 2021.

The average number of visits to a branch per customer per year has also declined from 13.7 in 2011 to 8.1 in 2016, and is forecast to drop to 5.3 in 2021.

But according to CACI the number of overall customer interactions - from visits to branches to phone banking and using apps - with their bank has risen since 2011 and is expected to rise into 2021, from 2.3 times a month to 6.3 times respectively.

The BBA said this showed digital innovations were helping people bank round the clock more easily and quickly.

Anthony Browne, chief executive of the BBA, said the figures showed a "staggering increase" in people using mobile apps.

He said: "You can set up standing orders while standing in the queue for the bus and check your balance while checking in at the airport.

"The choice now on offer from banks, from state-of-the-art branches to cutting edge apps, has put customers firmly in the driving seat on the way we bank."

Robert Cubbage, UK banking and capital markets leader at EY, which supported the report, said: "It's a challenging but truly transformational time for banking.

"The sector is evolving fast, with almost all areas of financial management becoming simpler, more accessible and more dynamic for consumers."