British give lukewarm reception to idea of mobile-only banking


Britons are among the least likely people in the world to want to try mobile-only banking, a global study suggests.

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of Britons were unlikely to try a bank which they could only access through an app on their smartphones rather than being able to go into a branch, according to the study across 63 countries by Nielsen.

This put Britain joint fifth, alongside the Netherlands, in the list of populations which are the least likely to use mobile-only banking.

People in France were the least likely to want to use a mobile-only bank, with 68% of people there being unlikely to use one.  

Those in Belgium, Hungary and New Zealand were also less likely than those in Britain to want to use mobile-only banking.

People in India were the most likely to use mobile-only banks, with 46% of people questioned there saying they were highly likely to do so - compared with only about 10% in Britain.

However, this still gives mobile-only banks a potential customer base of nearly five million British adults, the report says.

Security concerns was the main reason Britons were reluctant to try mobile-only banking. Britons were also more likely than the global average to prefer going into a physical bank branch.

Stuart Tagg, Nielsen Europe's financial services leader, said: "The reality is that mobile-only banking is most likely to take off in developing countries where the majority of the population don't have bank accounts or easy access to physical branches.

"However, there's still a good opportunity in Britain, particularly if banks can overcome the general unease about sharing financial information digitally by convincing people that mobile banking is as secure as going into a branch. It's then that the sheer convenience of mobile banking could make many reconsider."

Some 30,000 people took place in the global study, including about 500 in Britain.