Internet banking has been around for about 20 years – it’s quick and convenient. The most recent development to help people bank is mobile banking. You can download apps to your smartphone or tablet to help you get the most from your money.
Does your bank have a mobile service? If so, are you using it? You might feel that you don’t need it, that you’re not out and about often enough to warrant it. However, according to one recent survey by Azimo, increased use of mobile banking – whether on our tablets or smartphones – has reduced the amount that consumers pay in bank charges.
The Future is Mobile
We can now set up and cancel direct debits, make one-off payments and even open new accounts without ever having to walk into a branch. This may upset some people who prefer the face-to-face interaction, but with increasing branch closures, especially in rural locations, people need to turn to the internet to move their money around.
- Download the app from the bank’s website or your app store (iTunes, Play Store, Windows Shop) and install on your device
- They are easy to set up. Simply log in with your internet access details and choose a few security settings if you do not already have them. Otherwise, enter your existing details
- Once authorised, you can now access your bank from almost anywhere – any time of the day and any day of the week
Evidence suggests that the speeding up of the banking process coupled with the ease and speed of access is improving customer interaction and greatly reducing the number of times customers are penalised. Bank charges are dropping and some people feel that mobile banking is almost entirely responsible for this.
HSBC recently confirmed that 90% of all its interactions are now through mobile apps; this data is expected to echo the experiences of other banks too.
Faster Banking Saves Customers Money
A number of issues have improved our banking experience. Firstly, advances in technology mean that banks are able to communicate with each other faster and more effectively. Payments that used to take days now take hours or minutes. The availability of international online wallets such as PayPal, Azimo and Skrill has contributed to this too. Secondly, a number of EU measures have forced banks to reduce their clearance times from a week to a matter of days.
Mobile technology has sped this up further. You are now able to get an up-to-the-minute update on your account, even if the money still has yet to clear. This development means people can keep an eye on their account and move money around to avoid paying charges. This could lead to wholesale changes in how banks conduct their business in future, especially in how they structure and file charges against customers who break their agreements.
The Azimo Survey
Azimo is one of the new breeds of ways to pay money. Like PayPal and Skrill, it permits users to send money anywhere in the world for a small fee. The added bonus is that the recipient can claim the money almost instantly. Typically, the money will clear in just a few minutes; sometimes it takes a couple of hours. They conducted this survey and found a number of interesting issues:
- European consumers can save around £7bn annually in bank charges and fees
- That around 40% (that’s two-fifths) of consumer bankers have avoided charges averaging at £100 each over the last year due to mobile banking accessibility
- People are increasingly trusting mobile banking with improvements to mobile security technology – both hardware and software. Fingerprint scanning means phones are more secure and security software improves security of our data