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Banking via websites in decline as mobile apps take over

The use of mobile apps to bank is growing fast and fewer people use the internet to handle their financial affairs

Mobile banking apps are driving growth in digital as consumers increasingly access services through apps on mobile phones rather than through internet banking websites, according to figures from the British Banking association (BBA).

In its latest Way We Bank report, the BBA revealed there were 11 million logins to banking apps every day last year compared with 4.3 million logins to internet banking via bank websites, a 2% fall compared with the previous 12 months. The number of mobile banking app downloads in 2015 was 13.8 million, a 25% rise on 2014.

Anthony Browne, BBA CEO, said there has been a “staggering increase in people using mobile apps, proving it’s now easier than ever to interact with your bank”.

“We are in the midst of a consumer-led revolution in the way we do our day-to-day banking,” he added. “You can set up standing orders while standing in the queue for the bus and check your balance while checking-in at the airport. The choice now on offer from banks, from state-of-the-art branches to cutting edge apps, has put customers firmly in the driving seat of the way we bank.”

In 2015 there were also 347 million payments using mobile apps, 54% more than in 2014. Although there were more made via internet banking, at 417 million, the gap is shrinking fast with these payments only increasing in number by 2%.

It is hardly surprising, given these figures, that new smartphone-based banks are being set up. One of them, Starling Bank, this month got its banking licence and will be launched in January. It will offer current accounts only, operated via customers’ smartphone, and use the latest mobile and data technologies to support digital lifestyles. 

After receiving its banking licence, Starling’s founder Anne Boden said: “By 2020, the number of UK mobile banking users will double from 17.8 million to 32.6 million, and our aim is to empower these people to better manage their finances with an incredible app, purpose-built for those who happily manage their lives on their phone.”

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