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Britons are increasingly using the internet and mobile phones to access their bank accounts, according to research by Accenture.
The consultancy firm found in research due to be published today that 80 per cent of customers it surveyed use online banking services at least once a month. That is up from 78 per cent two years ago. The number who visit their bank online once a week rose from 39 per cent to 43 per cent, and monthly visitors have doubled to 18 per cent.
Of the 3,600 polled in the survey, however, only 18 per cent used the internet for banking every day, which is the same as two years ago. Customers may instead be embracing their mobile phones, in response to the development of specialist banking apps.
The percentage of respondents who conducted transactions on mobile phones once a day has doubled from 3 per cent to 6 per cent in the past two years, while the number doing so weekly has surged from 4 per cent to 14 per cent. Usage at least once a month rose from 10 per cent to 27 per cent.
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According to the survey, 25 per cent of consumers would consider using a digital bank, with no branch network or call centres and only accessible through laptops and mobile devices.
Unsurprisingly, the more digitally literate are most keen on the idea, with 33 per cent of those aged 25 to 34 responding with interest. However, the youngest customers, aged 18 to 24, are the least interested, with only 22 per cent saying they would consider it.
Banks have shut vast numbers of branches, saying that customers have reduced their visits in favour of banking on the move and from home.
However, the survey also found that customers still want local branches. The number of customers visiting a branch at least once a month has risen from 45 per cent two years ago to 52 per cent today, Accenture found. The biggest increase has been among the youngest bank customers, with 54 per cent of those aged 18 to 24 visiting a branch once a month, compared with 39 per cent of the same group in 2012.
Peter Kirk, a managing director in Accenture’s financial services group, said: “This year’s survey underscores the growing complexity in how consumers want to interact with banks in the digital age.
“The youngest, most tech-savvy customers still value face-to-face contact as they begin their life’s financial journey, whereas older customers who are further along in their work life are more open to a digital-only relationship.”
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In a further challenge to the incumbents, just over 20 per cent of those asked said they would consider banking with organisations such as the Post Office, while 15 per cent would consider a bank account with retail providers such as J Sainsbury or Tesco.
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