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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : January 05, 2014

Mobile banking rising while the cheque's days are numbered

In 2013, the number of registrations for Barclays Bank's mobile app rose 200% compared with the previous year as mobile proves to be a popular banking channel among its customers, young and old.

by Helen Leggatt

UPDATED 7 January, 2013. Digital banking is rising in popularity and, among Barclays Bank customers, one-third now manage their accounts solely on their mobile device. The bank reports that app registrations rose 200% in 2013 compared to the previous year, with 2 million downloads to date.

Around half of Barclays' mobile customers now use the bank's app daily and those users are engaging with their banking information at a rate twice of that of desktop PC customers. In particular, customers are using the app to manage their accounts with an average of £595 (US$978) transferred weekly via the app and 225 daily payments via app to pay off Barclaycards.

Barclays Bank is soon to be the first British bank to trial new technology to enable the remote deposit of paper cheques via mobile images. Despite digital technology making inroads into personal banking, paper cheques remain popular, particularly as a method of sending gifts via mail - 23 million were sent in 2013. Overall, almost £840 billion (over US$1 trillion) in cheques was processed in 2013, 10% of all payments made by individuals. However, plans are in place to phase out the use of cheques by 2018.*

"We're excited to be the first bank to pilot this new technology and always welcome legislation which enables the whole industry to work together to make customers lives easier," said Steven Roberts, managing director at Barclays Bank. "When you can download a book or a film in seconds, we believe you should be able to deposit a cheque in the same way."

A report from the UK Payments Council's in August last year forecasts what the payments industry will look like in 10 years time. Overall, it predicts that card use by consumers will hit 17 billion in 2022, up 75% on last year's 10 billion.

Meanwhile, the number of cash transactions is forecast to fall from 21 billion to 14 billion in 2022, with use of cards and mobile payments on the rise.

The changes in bank card behavior will, in part, be driven by mobile payments and internet banking, says the UK Payments Council, rising from 356 million payments in 2012 to around 1.5 billion by 2022.

* Post-publication note: An email from Mark Bowerman, Comms Manager at the Payments Council advises that "although this was a proposal that the Payments Council was looking at a few years ago, it became clear that the demand for the cheque to stay was strong so, in 2011, we announced that cheques would not be phased out in 2018 and that cheques would stay for as long as customers need them. A press release that relates is attached".

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: mobile app, mobile banking, UK

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