1 in 4 Brits Using Mobile Banking

25 per cent of UK mobile internet users now use mobile banking services, according to the findings of an online consumer study released today by mobile web and app firm Antenna. But according to another YouGov study, only four out of 14 high street banks surveyed offer a dedicated mobile banking app.

With the number of mobile-internet enabled handsets continuing to grow worldwide, banks that address the demand for both mobile apps and mobile web usage will have the sharpest competitive edge in the battle to attract new customers, the company says.

The Antenna research, carried out by YouGov, found that younger users are driving the uptake of mobile banking in the UK, with 30 per cent of 18-24 year old and 33 per cent of 25-34 year old mobile internet users using mobile banking to manage their money on the go, compared to just 13 per cent of over 55s.

YouGov surveyed 2,387 adults, 1,028 of whom access the internet on their mobile phone, smartphone, or tablet computer, in the UK, and 2,015 adults, 906 of whom access the internet on their mobile phone, smartphone, or tablet, in the US, in May.

Antenna’s research also assessed the barriers to take-up, and found that 69 per cent of UK mobile internet users have security concerns about mobile banking services, saying they would stop using the service if they felt their data was not secure. These concerns could account for the unpopularity of third-party banking apps, with only 1 per cent of respondents in the US, and less than 1 per cent of those polled in the UK, admitting to preferring to use a banking app not provided by their own bank. Nonetheless, both findings suggest that banks who want their customers to use mobile banking must use the brand trust they’ve already built up with consumers if they want to continue to “own” the channel.

The report also found that the functions UK mobile web users are already using, or would most like mobile banking solutions to offer, are checking their account balance (46 per cent); viewing their transaction history (31 per cent); and transferring money between their own accounts (27 per cent). 25 per cent of respondents use, or would like to use, mobile banking to pay their bills, and 20 per cent to transfer money to third parties.

The report also suggests that the American market is currently more mature than its UK counterpart, with 40 per cent of US mobile internet users having used mobile banking, compared to 25 per cent of UK mobile internet users. Other notable contrasts saw a much higher proportion of US consumers already using (or wishing to use) mobile banking services to find local branches or ATMs, with 36 per cent in the US, compared to 21 per cent in the UK.

“Mobile banking has now taken hold,” notes Antenna CEO, Jim Hemmer. “The public clearly want to fit their banking chores around their lives and not their lives around their banking chores, and using their mobiles, they can. Banks need to acknowledge this by implementing holistic mobile banking strategies as soon as possible, and that means providing easy-to-use mobile web and apps across all device platforms.

“Security remains the big issue for consumers, and that’s probably why they’re mostly using mobile banking services for basic tasks like checking their balances and finding ATMs. Banks need to start offering full mobile banking services which allow their customers to make deposits, balance transfers and the like as soon as possible, because it’s those banks which build up mobile trust in the short-term who are going to gain the most when mCommerce becomes commonplace.”