Mobile banking on course to overtake branch visits

Banking by mobile phone is expected to become more popular than using high street branches by 2021, according to new projections.

The study by data experts Caci said the proportion of customers using apps was expected to draw level with those going to branches at 59% in two years’ time.

It said the growth in popularity of mobile banking was partly being fuelled by the increasing adoption of the technology by older generations.

The projections see the proportion of people using bank apps rise to 71% by 2024, with those using branches falling to 55% in that year.

However, Caci said that mobile technology was supplementing branch use rather than replacing it entirely.

Latest figures from trade body UK Finance showed that 71% of UK adults used online banking and 41% used mobile banking in 2018.

A spokesman said: “More and more customers are now opting for the speed and convenience of using mobile banking to check their balances and make transfers while in the move.

“But technology is not for everyone and maintaining access to cash is vital to ensure no customer is left behind.”

Consumer group Which? highlighted concerns that despite the continued appetite for access to bank branches, its latest research showed the UK had lost two-thirds of them over the last 30 years, and that more than 60 branches are still closing every month.

Earlier this year, the Bank of England said it was launching a shake-up of the UK’s cash system after a report found signs that it was “falling apart” and that moving to a cashless society would see millions left behind.

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The review – which was funded by the cash machine network Link – said the closures of bank branches and cash machines over recent years were “the tip of the iceberg”.

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