Mobile apps lead to sharp decline in bank-branch use, claims British Bankers Association

By Graeme Burton
31 Mar 2014 View Comments
Mobile phone and credit card

The increasing use of banks' mobile apps has led to a fall in the number of people using branches, according to the British Bankers Association's (BBA) The Way We Bank Now report.

According to the report, 12.4 million people in the UK have downloaded banking apps to their smartphones, and some 1,800 banking transactions are conducted by smartphone every minute, according to the BBA's figures.

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Furthermore, the number of transactions in just one year has doubled, with average weekly mobile banking app usage increasing from 9.1 million to 18.6 million.

One consequence of this, according to the BBA report, is that counter transactions "are falling sharply", although it claims that people still prefer to visit a bank branch for major financial decisions, such as arranging a mortgage.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Anthony Browne, chief executive of the BBA, said that the pace of the growth in mobile banking was "mind-boggling". He added that it "punctures the myth that banks innovate only for themselves".

Surprisingly, perhaps, in view of its high-profile tech meltdowns of recent years, RBS and NatWest have led the way, with 5.6 million customers now banking online and/or using mobile banking.

Indeed, RBS Group says that there has been a 30 per cent drop in "footfall" in its branches since 2010, while Tesco Bank claims that 85 per cent of transactions are now conducted via the internet.

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