As the famous Apple ads once said, no matter what you want to do with your smartphones, there’s an app for that. And these days, this includes managing all your finances on the move.
With demand for these services growing among consumers, having a fully-functioning mobile app is no longer a nice-to-have extra for banks, but an essential part of their offering.
These days, users want to do much more than just check their balance and recent statements on the go. In fact, anything they would be able to do on a bank’s website or even in-branch, they now expect to be able to do through an app.
This is because mobile devices are now the primary way many people go online, as new research from Ofcom reveals that smartphones have overtaken laptops as UK consumers’ primary internet device.
Its 2015 Communications Market Report found a third (33 per cent) of internet users see their smartphone as the most important device for going online, compared to 30 per cent who are still sticking with their laptop.
The impact of this on banking in the UK was revealed by a recent report from EY and the British Banking Association, which found that customers will use apps to check their accounts 895 million times this year, compared with 427 million branch interactions.
What’s more, banking apps were downloaded on more than 22.9 million occasions by the end of March 2015 – a rise of 8.2 million in just one year.
Other findings of the Way We Bank Now report that highlight the growing importance of mobile apps include:
- 6 million logins to internet banking a day – a ten per cent increase on the previous year.
- 3 million text message alerts sent by banks to their customers each day.
- 43 per cent decline in telephone instructions by customers to their bank between 2008 and 2013.
- 6 per cent decline in branch transactions across all banks in 2014.
Head of digital for financial services at EY David Ebstein added that banks that do not engage properly with mobile will become less relevant to consumers, so institutions need to deliver “exceptional customer service” through this channel.
“The mass migration to mobile banking is an opportunity for banks to better engage with customers and regain trust customer by customer,” he added. “Competition is intensifying, and successfully joining the dots between mobile, internet and branch banking could make the difference between winning and losing customers.”