Digital banking transactions hit £1 billion each day, says BBA

Mobile and online banking transactions have reached almost £1 billion every day, according to research from the British Bankers' Association and EY.

The report, entitled 'The Way We Bank Now: It’s in your hands', highlights the rapid growth in popularity of digital services among bank customers, with transactions rising to £6.4 billion a week, up from £5.8 billion last year.

Overall, 15,000 banking apps have been downloaded each day this year on average, the report claims, with a total of 14.7 million downloads.

The popularity of smartphone and tablet devices has transformed the way customers access banking services. For example, roughly 167,000 RBS customers use their mobile banking app during their morning commute.

“Do you know what our busiest bank branch is in the UK? It’s our mobile app on the 7.15am train to Paddington," commented Ross McEwan, chief executive of RBS, which last week announced a £1 billion investment in its own digital services.

The report highlights some of the new approaches to banking, such as moves to implement cheque imaging via smartphones, and the recently launched person to person payments platform Paym.

Anthony Thompson, the former chairman of Metro Bank who is currently setting up a new 'digital only' challenger bank called Atom, said that the adoption of mobile and online banking will continue to increase in future.

“The direction of travel is absolutely clear," he said. "Whether it’s three years, or five years, it is clear that banking will largely be done on mobile phones and tablets, not in bank branches. Banks need to adapt to this new reality.”

However, the report does not claim that branch-based banking will die out, with 2,274 bank branches refurbished in the past two years.

"Day-to-day branch use is falling sharply and while the size of these networks will decline, high street outlets will remain important for those bigger moments, such as when a customer takes out a mortgage, wants to assess their financial options or resolve a complaint," the report said.

"The ongoing modernisation of thousands of branches underlines the banks' commitment to their high-street networks."

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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