Internet banking overtakes telephone in the UK

Internet banking overtakes telephone in the UK

The number of UK customers using Internet banking service has outstripped those using telephone banking for the first time, according to payments association Apacs.

The Apacs figures for the first half of 2006 show that Web banking users have almost doubled since 2002 and 16.9 million adults - over a third of the adult population in the UK - now use online banking services.

But the number of people using telephone banking has fallen - to 15.4 million from 16.0 million in the same period last year.

The research found that one in five users access their Web accounts daily, compared to just one in thirteen four years ago. Two-thirds of online current account holders access Web accounts at least once a week.

Furthermore, over half (58%) of those who access their main current account online also access another account through this channel.

The vast majority - 90% - of Internet banking users also shop online, with 84% of these using their online bank account to make payments and fund transfers.

Apacs says the growth in the use of Internet banking can be seen across all age groups, although use among younger customers - 16-24 years olds - has accelerated in the last four years, with the proportion of Internet users in that age group using Web banking almost doubling from 13% in 2002 to 25% in 2006.

The figures also show that the majority of adults aged between 25 and 54 who use the Internet now use online banking.

Sandra Quinn, director of communications at Apacs, says: "Our research shows that increasingly, if you are under 35, you are more than likely to be turning to the Internet rather than the phone to manage your finances."

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