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Digital banking solutions: once a convenience, now essential

Digital solutions have changed the way we work and live our everyday lives. For example, 10 years ago, it would have been unimaginable to be able to access all of your professional documents from anywhere else than the office. Today it is possible to work as you would at your desk at work from even the most remotest of locations, as long as you have access to the internet. The demand to access information, regardless of where you are is increasingly becoming the norm when it comes to banking and the UK population is more expectant than ever that digital banking services enable access to money wherever and whenever.

A YouGov survey conducted on behalf of Intelligent Environments into digital financial services last week presented some fascinating conclusions.  It showed that 81 per cent of Brits now use online banking and 20 per cent use mobile banking at least once a month. This compared to less than half (45%) who said they visit their local bank branch once a month or more.

The figures demonstrate just how much people’s banking habits have changed. They echo figures from Payments Council research released last year which shows that in 2011, one in four UK adults accessed their bank accounts online each day. This compared with figures released by banking industry body APACS at the turn of the century that just 3.5 million Britons used the same technology.

While digital banking solutions provide an easy and reliable way for people to check their accounts regularly, such services are no longer just a nice thing to have – they are an expectation. The same YouGov stats show that an effective digital banking service makes over half of Britons (51%) loyal to their main bank or building society.

In a time where banks find themselves amongst the negative headlines more and more, ensuring they have such solutions in place is essential for them to survive and stay competitive. This will only become more apparent, in the lead up to new legislation recommended by the Vickers report, which outlines that the switching of customer bank accounts and redirecting of direct debits must reduce from 31 days to just seven from September next year.

When this comes into effect, it’s likely that more people than ever before will look to change their banking provider making it imperative that effective solution, that are secure, but also provide a seamless customer experience across marketing campaigns, customer service and product delivery are in place across multiple banking channels.

UK banks need to be sure they keep with the times, and provide their customers with the cross channel digital banking solutions they are increasingly growing to expect. This won’t only ensure they keep with the times, but also enable better customer retention in what will undoubtedly become a much more competitive market.  



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