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Two out of five are banking on the phone

25th February 2014 Print

More than two out of five bank customers are using their smartphone to check balances and transfer funds, a new study from independent research firm Consumer Intelligence shows.
Around 42% now use a bank or building society’s mobile app for basic banking transactions on their smartphone making banking just slightly less popular than playing music, the study found.
The research underlines the growth in mobile banking which is set to expand rapidly with the launch of The Payment Council’s mobile payments scheme in the Spring which will enable customers to make payments direct to or from an account from their phone.
Barclays Pingit app has already been used to put down a £23,000 deposit on a house and other banks and building societies including Santander, RBS, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Cumberland Building Society, Metro Bank and Danske Bank have signed. Cumberland – the only building society involved – launched its Pay2Mobile service in January this year.
Ignoring basic functionality such as phoning, emailing and texting, the research found that banking was joint third with shopping on a list that was topped by social networking (54%) and listening to music (46%).
Close behind in fourth and fifth place was satellite navigation (39%) and watching videos (35%). Lower down on the list were working with documents (13%) and gambling (9%).
Financial services are providing the opportunities for the next big thing in mobile technology, such as contactless payments or quick fund transfer apps, so it is perhaps little surprise that mobile banking is leading the way for consumers.
David Black of Consumer Intelligence said: “The popularity of banking apps highlights how a growing number of people are able to handle their financial dealings wherever they are.
“Banks and building societies are embracing the technological change with Barclays reporting the first house purchase on a mobile while smaller institutions such as Cumberland Building Society have launched their own versions.
“For banking to be joint third on the list shows just how much consumers trust their banks to provide a secure app through which to access their accounts. Many banks are reporting a surge in mobile banking usage with, for example, Barclays reporting a 150% increase in 2013 and Lloyds Banking Group now having more than four million mobile banking users.
“However, the low number of consumers using their phones to work with documents illustrates how smartphones are not quite the complete package just yet.”

Most popular smartphone activities

Social networking 54%
Listening to music 46%
Banking 42%
Shopping 42%
SatNav/directions 39%
Watching videos 35%
Working with documents 13%
Gambling 9%