Mobile Banking Doubles As Branches Struggle
Mobile banking transactions doubled last year, further increasing the risk to traditional high street branches.
According to a study by the British Bankers' Association (BBA), the number of transactions carried out on smartphones and tablets reached 18.6 million per week.
It said the pace continued to accelerate and would likely more than double again to two billion transactions this year - more than five million a day.
With desktop and laptop online banking also on the increase, high street branch usage is expected to decline even further.
As an example, the BBA said transactions at Royal Bank of Scotland branches has fallen by nearly a third in five years.
BBA boss Anthony Browne said: "A revolution is underway in how people spend, move and manage their money.
"This is not just about the phenomenal growth of mobile banking, which has already allowed millions of British customers to make billions of transactions from the palm of their hand.
"Make no mistake, the branch will remain integral to banking services in the 21st century - especially for those big moments in life such as arranging a mortgage.
"But the day-to-day use of branches is falling and part of that is because there is a ground swell of people who now find that banking on the move is fast, easy and convenient."
The 2013 digital banking report said more than 12.4 million bank apps have been downloaded and nearly 40 million mobile and internet transactions made every week during 2013.
It added that 28.4 million debit and credit cards were now fitted with contactless technology and that 457.7 million SMS balance alerts and other text messages were issued during 2013.
The report comes as the latest quarterly phone purchase figures were released by Kantar Worldpanel.
It said smartphone penetration has now reached 70% in Britain, with 86% of devices sold in the last three months being the hi-tech devices.
It added that Motorola had gone from virtually no presence to a 6% market share, on the back of its budget Moto G device.
The Motorola surge has helped the Android operating system remain Europe's most popular, with 68.9% of the market.
In Britain, it had 58.3% of the market at the end of February, followed by iPhone with 29%, Windows with 6.7% and Blackberry with 5.1%.