Banks send 16 text alerts per second as smartphones become central to money management

512m alerts were sent to UK consumers last year letting them know personal financial updates such as that they had received their salary or were headed into their overdraft, according to new figures from banking trade body the British Bankers Association (BBA).

The organisation has published the latest update to its The Way We Bank Now report, which revealed that there were 5.5bn log-ins to banking apps last year, an increase of 13 per cent year-on-year. Personal banking apps are most popular among millennials, with 59 per cent of 16 to 24 year olds using one, and 69 per cent of 25 to 34 year olds. Around 10 per cent of those aged 65 and over bank on their mobile device, with 49 per cent using online banking.

The figures come just a day after a report by industry analyst CACI predicted that, by early next year, more consumers would use apps on their smartphone to do their banking than those who used a computer. With the rise of Open Banking, regulators expect greater competition among financial apps, driving innovation within the industry and greater adoption of mobile banking among consumers.

Other standout figures from the BBA report include 347m payments carried out using banking apps in 2015, a rise of 54 per cent since 2014, and the fact that HSBC customers were able to avoid over £800,000 in fees over the 2015 Christmas period thanks to text balance alerts.

“This is very much a consumer-led revolution,” said Anthony Browne, chief executive of the BBA. “Customers are harnessing new technologies because its fast and convenient, allowing us to manage our money when and where we please. Its helpful innovation that also reduces stress. Banks have long competed against one another over interest rates on loans and savings accounts. Now the new battleground is offering the best app or video-banking service.”