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UK 50- and 60-Somethings Embrace Online Banking

Work and family are driving changes in how 50- to 69-year-olds manage their finances

UK 50- and 60-somethings are embracing digital devices—displaying behavior similar to younger age groups—and leaving those 70 and older in the dust.

According to data released in January 2014 by GfK, more than half of 50-to-59-year-old consumers in Great Britain owned an internet-enabled mobile phone, and nearly one-third of those ages 60 to 69 said they owned such a device. In comparison, just 9% of adults 70 and older had a mobile phone with internet access. While about one-fifth of 50-somethings and 13% of 60-somethings owned a tablet, only 5% of those 70 and older reported using such a device.

Increased ownership of digital devices is changing the way adults ages 50 to 69 are handling their finances. More than half of 50-somethings said they managed their bank accounts online, and nearly four in 10 60-somethings said the same. Just 13% of the 70-and-older demographic did so.

GfK suggested that work and family were the main factors affecting this shift to “younger” behavior, as people are working longer and supporting children later in life. Nearly eight in 10 of those ages 50 to 69 said they were still employed, and 50-somethings were more likely than any other age group to be supporting older children who did not live at home.

Though 50-to-69-year-old UK consumers may be picking up digital devices and managing finances online, Q3 2013 data from Auriemma Consulting Group suggested they may not have embraced all types of digital banking.

Just 9% of 55- to 64-year-olds surveyed said they would be interested in owning and using a mobile wallet, which allows easy storage of credit and debit card information for fast mobile payments. Unsurprisingly, only 4% of those 65 and older were interested in such a service. Both of these percentages were much lower compared with those among younger age ranges.

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