Only One In Four Britons Trusts Online Banking

Many people in Britain still don't trust online banking service

Man in UK concerned about online banking

76% of people living in Britain don’t fully trust online banking services to keep their money safe, a survey has revealed.

The study, conducted by SmartSearch, showed that many people felt that they lacked trust towards their banking services, despite 81% of people saying that trust was the most important factor in their purchasing journey.

Cyber Security A Key Focus

The news of the survey is appropriately timed, as cybercrime rates are reaching record highs. In the first six months of 2020, £208 million was scammed from customers on online banking via bank transfers, according to UK Finance.

The pandemic has accelerated the transition from people using physical branches to managing money online.

It is important we do everything we can to safeguard against cyber threats so customers can feel greater trust in online services.

John Dobson, chief executive of SmartSearch

SmartSearch conducted a similar survey at the start of 2021 and found that only 66% of customers didn’t trust online banking then – so things are getting worse. They also launched a trust barometer, analysing tweets that mentioned each bank to see whether they were being talked about positively or negatively.

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    NatWest had the worst ratio of negative to positive tweets, with 59% of the posts that mentioned the bank saying something negative. Barclays, Lloyds, Halifax and HSBC followed.

    The contemporary challenger banks did well in comparison. Atom Bank had 96% positive tweets, a huge success, followed by Starling with 81%. Nationwide did break the top 5 with 75% positive tweets, just ahead of Monzo with 73%.

    Closure Of Branches Accelerating Online Switch

    This comes as many high street banks are closing their branches, leaving many customers without an alternative but to bank online. Banks are justifying their decisions by stating that a branch is always nearby but often these five-mile radiuses are too inconvenient or difficult for customers.

    Santander is in the process of closing 111 of their branches, which is one in every five they had open at the start of 2021. TSB are closing 160 branches and HSBC are going through a similar process, with 82 of their branches shutting down for good this year.

    In total over the past decade, over 6,000 bank branches have been closed between all the major high street banks – a third of the total. At the same time, free-to-use cash machines are also disappearing at an alarming rate – around 500 every month are being removed.

    There should always be an option for people unconvinced about banking online to use a branch.

    Natalie Ceeney, author of the Access to Cash Review