Digital beginnings in banking

Countless surveys have indicated that we are approaching the Rubicon in digital access including banking. For example: A Google survey on Internet usage reported that 78% of users would not leave their homes without their devices. The introduction of digital capabilities into banking started in 1997 and has been accelerating every since.

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Entitled 'It’s in Your Hands', an EY and BBA study on banking found that:

  • £6.4 billion a week in Internet and mobile banking transactions – up from £5.8 billion last year.
  • 14.7 million app downloads – 15,000 per day in 2014 and rising.
  • 7 million log-ins a day for Internet banking.
  • £6.1 million spending a week contactless cards.

What people do with their digital access varies considerably but in all reports balance checking is of prime importance. 

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While 70% of people in UK use the Internet at home to purchase financial products, only 20% currently use eMobile solutions – thus there is an increasing market for smartphone technologies to catch up with Internet usage.

Contactless payments are increasing but present security issues if cards are lost, read or cloned. In theory, a phone should be more secure if properly enabled and customer confidence is achieved.

There is also a significant increase of smartphone activity while shopping and there are 10m O2 Wi-Fi users of which 3m were active in retail outlets during a 30 day period in 21013 according to Telefonica.

Despite the use of eMobile technologies to check prices etc while shopping, mobile purchasing is still relatively immature and can present security concerns. The new Amazon phone includes a bar code reader to enable scanning of products in retail outlets and ordering and paying for them online through an Amazon account. While this is unlikely to please some retailers who require different margins, it is an indication of how competitive eMobile technologies will drive consumer shopping to become.

A phone can scan your shopping and create a bar code that the till can scan to complete payment just like scanning an item. There are many more possibilities available if phone security can be trusted, personal data managed and consumer demand for easier payments recognised.