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Four million people interested in trying online banking for the first time

12th November 2014 Print

Millions of British adults who have never tried internet banking would be interested in doing so, according to new independent research published by the Payments Council.

The ‘Supporting People Interested in Using Online Banking’ report, which sampled over 6,000 adults in the UK, discovered that 78 per cent of adults could potentially use online banking in the UK. Seven out of ten people who could use online banking on their main account already do so, while a further 10 per cent (about 4 million people) are, or maybe, interested in doing so.

The ability to check balances or make payments at any time was seen as the main benefit of internet banking – with almost three quarters of interested non-users agreeing that this was a useful feature.  Once people start to use online banking they tend to stick with it; ‘lapsed users’ (people who have tried internet banking in the past but who do not use it any more) only account for two per cent of the people surveyed.

The most common barrier to using online banking is concerns about security - only 15 per cent of interested non-users said they were ‘very confident’ that online banking is safe and secure, with almost one in four (24 per cent) concerned about remembering PINs or passwords.

Lack of confidence and lack of familiarity were the next most common reasons for not having yet tried online banking. More information on security and how to stay safe online and having someone to talk to for advice were cited as the main requirements to overcome these barriers, in preference to face-to-face training or training via a website.

Another important finding was that 20 per cent of people (approximately 8 million) who have a bank account and internet access expressed no interest in online banking on their main account. This was particularly pronounced amongst older groups – only one in six over 65s who were not using internet banking said they would be interested in doing so.

The most common reasons for lack of interest are a preference for doing banking face-to-face (30%), finding their current banking method convenient (27%) security concerns (26%) and not needing to do banking very often (11%).

Maurice Cleaves, Interim Chief Executive of the Payments Council said:

“Checking a balance or sending a quick, secure payment online is something that many of us take for granted and yet millions are potentially missing out because they could do with a bit of extra help or reassurance to get them started.”

“If you haven’t tried internet banking but think you would like to, contact your bank or building society for more information on how to get started.”

To help online banking newcomers to overcome security concerns, the Payments Council’s consumer education campaign, Pay Your Way has issued a new guide, Remote banking: Your rights, which sets out ways to stay safe when banking online as well as the rights and responsibilities of anyone using the service. The advice includes:

Staying safe

When you sign up for internet, phone or mobile banking, you should be told what you have to do to keep your details secure. Your bank will also provide you with terms and conditions that explain how you should use the service.

Never give anyone your login details or passwords. Your bank or the police will never ask for them in full either by email or over the phone. 

For added security you should set up a password or PIN to lock your computer, mobile phone or tablet device.

Some banks offer free anti-virus software or browser security software for your computer or mobile phone – check with them if you aren’t sure.

When sending money using online banking, always double check the ac¬count number and sort code you are sending it to - this is the only information used to address the payment.

Fraud protection 

You have legal protection from any fraud losses if you use online banking, phone or mobile banking provided you have kept your details secure and you are not a knowing party to a fraud.

Your bank must refund an unauthorised transaction. Money can only be taken from your account if you have authorised the transaction or if you were at fault.

Your bank cannot refuse a refund simply because your password, card or PIN were used, unless it can prove you are at fault because you acted fraudulently, or with gross negligence by failing to protect the details of your PIN or password.