A survey has revealed that smartphone apps have surpassed online banking as the channel of choice for UK consumers.
According to the study, which was commissioned by financial services review website Smart Money People, 39.2% of customers stated that their preferred means of dealing with banks is via apps, up from 30% in 2017.
In contrast, the preference for online banking has fallen from 45% in 2017 to 38.6% putting it below that of banking apps for the first time.
The survey also shows that the preference for digital channels (both mobile apps and online services) has grown slightly from 75% to 78% in the last year.
Closer inspection of the figures shows a clear contrast in preferences among different age groups. As would be expected, apps are most popular among the 18-24 age group (53%) but far less so among those 65 and over (13%), however this is almost double the percentage of 2017 suggesting a growing use of digital channels among senior citizens.
Similarly, 66% of customers over 65 prefer digital channels, up from 61% in 2017, the largest increase in preference since the survey began.
“We know that digital channels are constantly growing in importance, but this is the first time that apps have overtaken online banking as the most popular banking channel," said Mike Fotis, founder of Smart Money People. "It’s a timely reminder that every financial services firm needs to offer an excellent app-based user experience, and that digital banking needs to be on every brand’s radar.”