How apps are transforming personal finances

Mobile banking apps are becoming more popular

Smartphone and tablet apps have had a transformative effect on how people live their lives in the 21st century. As far as financial services are concerned, the significance of these tools has now grown to the point that they are enabling a “consumer-led revolution” in “the way we access and manage our money”.

That’s according to a recent report from professional services firm EY and the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), which revealed that UK consumer activity on banking apps has risen by 354 percent in the last five years.

Approximately 19.6 million people used apps to access financial services in the UK in 2016, with an average of 159 logins taking place every second.

The number of app transactions increased by 57 percent over the course of the year to 932 million – or 30 transactions per second.

Apps are rising in popularity as a way of checking account balances, but there was also significant growth last year in the number of UK consumers using these mobile tools to manage mortgage and investment accounts (86 percent), credit cards (46 percent) and savings (30 percent).

Eric Leenders, BBA managing director for retail and commercial banking, said this expansion in usage suggests that the increasing popularity of banking apps is not a short-term fad.

He added: “[The] latest developments in the consumer-led digital revolution are empowering customers to manage their finances more conveniently. Whether we want to visit our local bank branch, use a mobile or internet-bank, there are more ways we can choose to access and manage our money than ever before.”

The report highlighted other exciting technologies that are helping to revolutionize consumer finances, such as check imaging, contactless payments and biometric identification.

Dan Cooper, EY UK banking and capital markets lead partner, pointed out that the growing consumer familiarity with digital financial services “sets the scene” for the launch of Open Banking in 2018, when established banks and emerging providers “will have the opportunity to present customers with greater choice and control over their financial lives”.


Image: iStock/scyther5

Written by Jack Dougal

Jack Dougal

Jack Dougal is's resident news reporter. He writes regular blogs covering the latest stories and key developments in the global financial services industry.

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