It has officially been a massive 20 years since online banking was first launched by Nationwide, and since then, banking on the go has been an absolute game changer amongst the British population. Transactions and payments can be made in a matter of minutes and you never have an excuse to be oblivious to your finances – a simple balance check takes no more than 30 seconds. Whilst many of us have embraced this revolutionary way of living, a study conducted on online banking’s 20th birthday suggests that one in ten of us still don’t use the service. However, those that have fully emerged themselves into the 21st century have said that online banking has definitely helped them when it comes to budgeting and has made them more financially aware in general. Out of a survey of 2000 adults, over two-thirds did admit that online banking has allowed them to keep on top of their finances and as a result, nearly a quarter have found themselves to be less in debt due to being able to keep a close eye on their finances at any time – avoiding dipping into that dangerous overdraft as a result.
The first internet bank was introduced in 1997 and has evolved massively over the years and now it is more accessible than ever. Moving onto mobile apps means all of your banking can be managed on the move which is a revolution for us convenience-loving Brits. The movement of online banking onto our beloved mobile phones in the form of a quick and easy app means that usage has soared over 2016/17 – with a massive 73% increase as people become more aware of how easy accessing your finances now is.
As well as making us all more aware of the money that we save and spend, mobile banking is also proving to be an effective timesaver, something that we could all do with in today’s society. More than a quarter Brits (28%) have claimed that they save at least an hour a week by banking online rather than queuing up either at an ATM or in a local branch to partake in simple services such as transferring money to another account or checking your overall balance. With the likes of Apple Pay also on the rise, the need to withdraw cash from a cash machine is also decreasing as paying for things with our mobile phones is becoming a more popular option.
And then there’s the traditionalists. The one in ten that still haven’t jumped on the online banking bandwagon, and, unsurprisingly, it’s an age divide that can be seen when this is looked into. Only one in 20 younger people (18-24) do not use online banking, which is a stark comparison to the 17% of that aged 55 plus who do not bank online. Despite the obvious quickness and convenience of digital services, there are some areas where older people feel the need to ‘talk to a human’, particularly in cases such as collecting medical prescriptions and bringing out a new mobile phone contract. Arranging a mortgage is also a situation where people would like to be reassured by an actual person rather than doing it digitally and besides it being so easy to do online, people also prefer to open a current account in person.
It seems a lot of Brits also have high hopes for the future and when asked how they think that we will pay for things in the year 2037, many seem to think that a simple thumbprint is all it will take, with 23% even predicting that payment will be made with a chip implanted into our hand – Back to the Future eat your heart out. Whilst there are some that prefer to stick to traditional methods of payment, debit cards, cash and even traveller’s cheques, the rise in popularity of the mobile banking app and the various suggestions for future payment methods just goes to show that Brits are intrigued by innovative ways of banking and are excited for further developments.