Mobiles ‘most popular way to bank’

Mobile banking

Cashless payments have already overtaken the use of notes and coins

Banking on smartphones is a “game changer” which is set to be more popular than using a computer to bank, a trade body has said.

Customers will check their current accounts 895 million times on their mobiles in 2015, research for the British Bankers’ Association suggests.

This will outstrip 705 million checks on computers, 427 million branch visits, and 64 million telephone calls.

Five years ago, internet banking was the most popular.

In 2010, customers checked accounts 565 million times on their computer, 502 million times at a branch, and only 86 million times on mobile phones.

“Technology is changing our lives and banking is no different,” said Anthony Browne, chief executive of the BBA.

“The rapid take up of apps and mobile banking appears to be a real game changer for the British public.”

Cash drop

Customers have moved £2.9bn a week using banking apps in 2015, compared with £2bn a week on average in 2014, the BBA said.

The figures come after a report in May found that cashless payments had overtaken the use of notes and coins for the first time.

Some 52% of payments last year were made up of electronic transactions, ranging from high-value transfers to debit card payments, as well as cheques, according to the Payments Council.

Campaigners have regularly pointed out that mobile and internet banking excludes large numbers of customers – including vulnerable people – and should not be used as an excuse for a wholesale closure of branches.

“We do not want to stop technology, but we want the industry to think about the small businesses, clubs, churches and charities who are losing their banks,” said Derek French, director of the Campaign for Community Banking.

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