Just over a third of Brits won’t use mobile banking – that’s according to a poll from YouGov, which has found that the British public aren’t as keen to adopt new banking technology as many of us might have imagined, despite banks’ recent efforts to make their apps as jazzy and user-friendly as possible.
The study has found that 35% of us simply aren’t interested in managing our money through mobile banking apps. And one big reason may be down to a lack of trust in the technology behind it. 23% responded that they were ‘uncomfortable’ with banking apps. This may come from less tech-savvy people who don’t feel like they can navigate a banking app effectively, but it also may come from people who don’t think that mobiles are secure enough for managing this kind of sensitive data. Of course, there are also those don’t use smartphones at all, and people who haven’t adopted them into their day-to-day lives yet.
This should come as a concern to the major banks, who are at risk of losing touch with a lot of their customers. Barely a month goes by without news of more sweeping branch closures, and yet the poll also found that only 8% of people say that they ‘never’ visit their banking branch. Meanwhile the technology that’s being put in its place, while very helpful to many, is not being adopted by a significant portion of people.
It also suggests that, while extremely popular with tech-savvy early adopters, online only banks such as Monzo and Sterling may have some way to go before convincing the general public that they’re a safe bet. YouGov suggest that only a small group are signing up for these kinds of app-based account.
If you’re one of the many that’s sceptical about the security of mobile banking, then you can rest assured that it’s really pretty safe. Your banking data isn’t actually stored on the phone itself; instead, you are accessing it on a secure server when you sign in. This greatly reduces the any concerns about cyber security.
For those who are using apps to manage their finances, it seems like traditional banks are holding their own against the challengers. 53% of people said that they do use a traditional banking app – and although this number is a lot smaller than we may have expected, it’s still significantly higher than the 8% using app only banks, or the 2% using other digital finance tools such as Plum.
We hope that banks will take the time to review these findings, as there are clear implications for the ways that people will continue to access their money over the coming years. Although it’s excellent to see banks improving their apps so that they’re easier to use for those who do love internet-banking, it’s important that everyone else isn’t left behind. This should also act as a warning to banks who may think that they can ignore many customers’ preference for a physical branch.
It also seems that there may be more education required. If banks are going to move some of their services online, they need to take responsibility for teaching customers how to use the new tools and ensuring that they are fully informed about how it works and why it’s safe.