RBS and NatWest mobile app experiences major outage

RBS and NatWest customers have encountered problems using the firms' mobile banking app as it experiences intermittent service

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and NatWest customers have been struggling to use the firms' mobile banking app as it experiences intermittent service.

Since around 7am on 20 April 2015, customers of RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank have encountered the problems usingall mobile operating systems.

“We are aware that some customers are experiencing difficulty accessing our mobile banking," said RBS in a statement.

"We're investigating this and we are working to get it resolved as quickly as possible. In the meantime, our customers can visit one of our branches, use online banking or call us via telephone banking as normal. We apologise to customers for the inconvenience," it continued.

The bank said it is investigating the problems as a priority, but difficulties are still being experienced. “We have been taking action. Users of BlackBerry, Windows and Android have had some recovery but it is still unstable,” said an RBS spokesperson.

Read more about mobile banking

Mobile app failures can be very costly to a bank's reputation as customers have more choice than ever about where to bank and can switch bank accounts more easily than ever before.

In September 2013, the seven-day account-switching service was introduced by the Payments Council to reduce the time taken to change current account providers from about 30 days to a week.

According to a massive study of 80,000 people, mobile is the most dominant form of banking in the world.

The research from Bain & Company revealed mobile accounted for about a third of transactions in 13 out of the 22 countries surveyed. The study showed banking using a mobile is taking over online banking via a computer, which decreased by 3% in 2013.

Meanwhile, research from 2014 by Vocalink’s mobile banking subsidiary, Zapp, revealed that seven million Brits are planning to switch retail banks in 2015 to access better mobile payments services.

These figures, combined with a system introduced in 2013 to make it easier to switch bank accounts, are a warning to banks that are not investing in digital technology.

It revealed a massive 21 million British people would change banks to access mobile payments, with 33% of these planning it over the next year.

Read more on IT for financial services

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