For banking customers in the UK, online is now the primary way most transact. According to a July survey conducted by customer experience research company Maritz Research, 80% of UK banking customers surveyed used online banking, compared with 72% who used branches. Moreover, it is not merely that online banking is more highly penetrated, it is also more commonly accessed.
Three out of five banking customers reported using online banking services about once each week. Online banking typically allows users to move funds, check account balances and pay bills with the click of a few buttons, so it’s no wonder customers are using the services so often.
Banks evaluating the user-friendliness of their online banking properties would do well to consider the correlation Maritz Research found between frequency of online banking and loyalty. According to the research, a higher percentage of those who used online banking regularly (54%) were also the most likely to report intending to stay with their main bank, compared to 46% of those who regularly used bank branches.
Online desktop banking users are also leading the way toward mobile banking. According to media planning and buying firm Kinetic Worldwide, online desktop banking reached 70% of UK internet users in September 2012, up from 63% in October 2011. That growth, while healthy, suggests that online banking in the UK is nearing maturity. Online mobile banking, however, is still expanding rapidly. Kinetic found that the percentage of internet users banking on mobile had more than doubled over the same 11 months, to reach 28%.
For mobile and online banking users in the UK, the next frontier may be mobile wallets. In a June 2012 poll, Auriemma Consulting Group asked UK internet users which provider of mobile wallets they would be most interested in using. The greatest percentage (18.4%) cited a mobile wallet from a bank, suggesting that many of those who have grown comfortable with online banking would most trust their financial institution with their mobile payment data.
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