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More than a quarter of Brits bank on mobile, but branches still popular

More and more people in the UK are banking on their smartphones, but more than a third still visit branches regularly

UK citizens are using a mix of channels to interact with their banks and make transactions, with more than one-third of those surveyed by Forrester still regularly visiting a bank branch.

According to the research, which involved 3,000 people, 28% use mobile banking, with 73% now banking online, compared with 69% a year ago.

But significant numbers still visit bank branches: the survey found 36% still do so.

“Despite the migration of routine interactions to digital channels, many customers still want to visit a branch and talk to someone when buying a product or seeking advice,” said Forrester analyst Aurélie L’Hostis.

“Branches will continue to be an important distribution channel in the UK, especially for high-value, complex or emotional interactions, such as buying many types of financial product.”

The 28% mobile banking figure is higher than the 25% for pan-European consumers, revealed by Forrester in October.

Another key finding is that 11% of UK adults combine mobile banking, online banking and branch visits each month. Forrester expects this group to grow over the next five years, with smartphones at the centre of interactions.

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Many of the UK’s new challenger banks are putting technology such as smartphones at the core of their offerings.

However, an online survey of more than 2,000 UK adults by YouGov, commissioned by ACI Worldwide, found that digital disruption in UK banking might be slower than had been thought.

The research found that 82% of consumers never use mobile payment services such as PayM or PingIT during an average month, and 59% never use mobile banking.

Despite the competitive threat to banks from technology companies, 78% of the people surveyed said they are unlikely to use banking services from the likes of Google, Apple or Facebook.

“The results appear to fly in the face of the popular ‘banking disruption theory’ and suggest that the majority of consumers are in fact loyal to their banks,” said Dean Wallace, global business lead, mobile payments at ACI Worldwide.

But the survey did find that 50% of people are now regularly using third-party payment providers such as PayPal, 76% of current account holders online are using internet banking, and 29% are paying regularly via contactless cards.

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I also mostly do online banking for routine transactions but whenever I need to discuss and decide I come to a branch.
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