UK silver surfers topping banks' online and mobile growth charts

UK silver surfers topping banks' online and mobile growth charts

UK banks are experiencing faster growth rates for digital services by customers in the 70s and 80s, according to the latest data from the British Bankers Association.

Nearly 2.3 million people aged between 70 and over 100 years old are now using internet banking, says the BBA, while more than 450,000 customers over 60 are harnessing banking apps on smart phones, iPads and other tablets.

The study also found that older customers who use mobile and internet banking typically use it as frequently or only slightly less often than younger generations.

BBA chief executive Anthony Browne says of the numbers: “These figures shatter the myth that this technology is only for younger generations - millions of older people are avid users of banking websites and apps. Banking on the move is as much a reality for silver surfers as it is for students."

The data, compiled from a range of banks, including Bank of Scotland, Barclays, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Metro Bank, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander, sheds new light on the pervasive spread of digital banking across all age groups.

For instance, Barclays internet banking customers aged over 80 on average log-in 0.46 times per week - that compares with 0.47 times per week for customers aged 35-49; HSBC internet banking customers in their 70s log-in more frequently than any other age group.

Indeed, the oldest HSBC customer to have downloaded its banking app is aged 108. This comes against a backdrop of a 130% rise in downloads from HSBC accounts holders over the age of 70 in the past year.

The BBA figures will no doubt be useful to banks as they justify plans to further prune their branch networks over the coming years.

“Customers of all ages like the fact that they can now make payments, check balances and do other banking tasks from the comfort of their home without trudging into town," says the BBA's Brown. !It’s precisely because these technologies are so popular with people of all ages that banks are investing so heavily in them."

Comments: (3)

Richard Sanders
Richard Sanders - Hermosa Consulting - Southend on Sea 26 January, 2015, 10:061 like 1 like

This growth may be partly because Banks like Barclays have actually encouraged older people to visit their branches to get assistance with new technology especially on-line banking. Therefore making plans to prune branch numbers in the light of these figures may negatively impact further 'silver surfer' on-line growth. As the cheque moves to an image option these same people are likely to need more help.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 26 January, 2015, 20:571 like 1 like

This is consistent with my own PhD research findings that show a widespread adoption of self-serve and consumer based technology independent of age or educational qualifications. In addition, a large majority of UK consumer perceive technology, internet banking and smart phones are easy to use which is in total contrast to previous academic research.

Robin Setty
Robin Setty - ACI Worldwide (EMEA) Limited - Watford 04 February, 2015, 11:541 like 1 like

This is encouraging. It challenges the somewhat patronising attitude re technology of generations y and z over the baby boomers.  If you think about it, there are real benefits to those who may find getting out and about a little harder, of having their bank brought to their own home.