British Confidence In Digital Banking Growing

New research shows that people are slowly converting to online banking apps.

September 6, 2021
British Confidence In Digital Banking Growing
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Britons are becoming more comfortable with the move to digital banking, with more people than ever saying they would consider a bank account without a physical branch presence.

That’s according to new studies released by Investec and NerdWallet. These unrelated surveys show comparable results that suggest more and more people are prepared for a future of digital banking.

These statistics come at a time when more branches are being closed, and as people were forced to do more banking online due to the measures put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Statistics Reinforce Digital Move

According to the studies, three in five UK banking customers have said that they would be comfortable using a bank that had no physical branches, only offering remote support either via telephone or online banking.

As many as two in five Britons have also said they would be prepared to have a digital-only bank as their sole banking provider, with no need for a backup account with one of the traditional high street names.

Of those who were surveyed in the research, over a third of people said that they made their decision on which bank to use based on the online features available, while over a quarter specifically said that their decision was influenced by the convenience offered by the bank’s smartphone app.

The Investec research also highlighted how people are spending more time managing their savings now than they did before the pandemic, with more people choosing to do that online. Over 10% of savers said that they started managing savings online for the first time during lockdown, with many of those saying it was their first time downloading a banking app.

The changes can be attributed to the fact that 8% of those asked said that they stopped using any branch-based accounts due to the effect of the pandemic.

Physical Presence Important For Many

The survey was not completely skewed in favour of digital banking. Indeed over one in five said they would prefer to have both a digital and a conventional bank so that at least one of their accounts had a physical presence. And a large number of people – around one in four – said that part of their decision was based on how close they are to their local branch.

Of those who answered the survey to say they wanted a combination of digital and traditional services, almost half attributed that to wanting the security that a traditional bank could offer, with over 40 per cent saying that they weren’t completely confident in online-only banking options.

With the news that banks are closing branches, a lot of concern has been raised for the older generations who are less tech-savvy. And in this set of research, around 40 per cent said that they were concerned older relatives would struggle to access banking services if a switch to digital services was made. Over half of respondents also said they were concerned about the death of the high street, and the impact of bank closures on other businesses.

Ian Lewis
Ian Lewis
Ian is an experienced writer with 15 years’ experience working in journalism and marketing. He’s worked in-house in financial institutions as well as writing freelance pieces for a variety of banking and financial trading websites.

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About Investec Investec is a specialist bank and asset management group. Founded in 1974 in Johannesburg, South Africa, is now operates internationally in three primary markets; UK...
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