Smartphones are becoming a staple of everyday living, with much of the nation having their phones permanently glued to their hip. It's no wonder, then, that so many consumers choose to conduct a large proportion of their daily lives through the wonders of apps, with mobile banking in particular becoming increasingly popular. This is a sentiment confirmed by a study from Consumer Intelligence, with more than two in five banking customers using their smartphone for this very reason.
According to the study, around 42% of those surveyed use their bank or building society's mobile app to conduct basic banking transactions, such as checking balances or transferring funds, on a regular basis. In fact, banking on the move was found to be the third most popular use for smartphones, just behind listening to music (46%) and social networking (54%).
The figures clearly highlight the huge growth in mobile banking, a realm which is set to expand even more rapidly when The Payments Council launches its mobile payments scheme in the spring. The service will allow customers to make direct payments to or from an account straight from their mobile phone, in effect mirroring a lot of other apps but on a bigger scale, with many banks already signed up to the scheme.
Of course, this isn't the only service available. Most bank and building society accounts now offer mobile banking of some kind, with apps allowing customers to make payments to other accounts with ease. It's even been reported that the first house has been bought using an app – Barclays Pingit was used to put down a £23,000 deposit.
By partnering with property auctioneers Savills, homeowners can use the Pingit service to transfer a deposit straight away. They simply have to scan the QR code provided by Savills and the money will be transferred to the auctioneer's account almost instantaneously, offering even more banking possibilities and streamlining the purchase process.
It can't be denied that smartphones are changing the face of UK banking, but it could be changing the high street too. There are concerns that the increased reliance on mobile services means people have less need to visit a branch in person, which could potentially lead to even more local branches being closed in the future.
Several banking institutions have already announced branch closures and job cuts in response to the changing face of consumer banking, including Barclays and NatWest, and there are signs that more could follow suit. Despite this, the need for mobile banking is definitely there – and with more technology developing all the time, it'll be interesting to see what the financial services industry has in store for consumers next.
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Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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