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Published on 15th June 2015

The rise and rise of mobile banking

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In 2010 mobile banking accounted for just under 7% of all current account interactions. In just 5 years, this figure has jumped to 42%, and according to newly published research by the British Bankers Association, will reach 73% by 2020.

The mobile revolution is picking up pace:

We have noticed that an increasing amount of reviews are focusing on the customer experience for mobile banking, and while the below graphic shows that mobile banking was a relative novelty in 2010, today it is by far the single largest channel for accessing and managing current accounts.

The changing landscape for banking transactions, according to the BBA

Anthony Browne, Chief Executive of the British Banks Association (BBA), said:

“Technology is changing our lives and banking is no different – it is now easier than ever for us to check our balances, pay our friends and manage our money. The rapid take up of apps and mobile banking appears to be a real game changer for the British public.

Our View

The ease of mobile banking makes it the perfect channel for managing a simple and highly transactional product, like a current account.

Today, just 2% of payments and transfers by HSBC customers are done in a branch, and this makes perfect sense. There’s often little reason to go into branch for payments and transfers other than habit. This is great news for mobile/tablet focused challenger banks like Atom Bank and Starling Bank who are aiming to build new mobile propositions that delight customers, and take mobile banking to the next stage.

Is the bank branch dead? For a segment of the population, it probably is. But for most customers, branches still provide reassurance and a human face when complexity arises. We see two areas of change for branch networks over the next few years. Firstly, there will be fewer bank branches on the high street. Secondly, the real challenge is to reposition the bank branch to fit the digital age. In 2015 alone, RBS and NatWest will spend approximately £400 million on their branch refurbishment programme.

What should a bank branch look like? Some will take the community hub approach adopted by Metro Bank (take a look at Metro Bank customer reviews to see a bank whose customers are actively requesting more stores)! Others, particularly within the leading retail banks, are keen to use the size and position of their branch networks to launch a new wave of digital branches.  

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