Source: Payment Council
After hours banking has become commonplace for millions of busy Brits, according to new research commissioned to mark the fifth birthday of Faster Payments, the UK's immediate internet and phone banking payment scheme.
Almost two in five people (39%) who use internet or phone banking make payments after 5pm during the week, while one in five (21%) moves money at the weekend. Even five years on from launch, the UK is one of only three countries in the world to have a service that enables customers to make and receive immediate payments 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The world-leading 24/7 operation of Faster Payments has also led to a new type of nocturnal banking too - one in nine people (13%) say they often make payments after midnight.
The Faster Payments Scheme was launched on Tuesday 27th May 2008, becoming the first new payments service to be introduced in the UK for more than 20 years. Today, payments of up to £100,000 can be moved between 90 million individual accounts in the UK, with 2.5 billion payments worth more than £1.4 trillion processed since launch - the equivalent of £54,000 for every household in the country.
Normally payments sent through Faster Payments reach their destination in less than a minute, no matter when they are sent. But even in cases where they take longer (for example to allow for fraud checks to take place) payments are guaranteed to reach their destination within two business hours.
Interestingly, the 'generation Y' age group who have grown up with the internet as part of everyday life are the most likely to understand the improvements that have been made to the speed of online payments. Six out of ten (60%) 25-34 year olds know how long a Faster Payment takes, compared to just over two in ten (22%) over 55s. Encouragingly, approval levels among people who use the service are outstanding - 95% of those surveyed say they are satisfied with the speed of payments.
The strong growth of Faster Payments is continuing apace, with nearly 1 billion Faster Payments forecast to be sent in 2013 alone. Looking further ahead, a substantial part of future growth is expected to be driven by Faster Payments' involvement in the Payments Council's new mobile payments project, which is due to launch in spring 2014.
The new mobile payments service will enable secure payments to be made directly to or from an account without the need to disclose the sort code and account number, by simply using a mobile phone number as a proxy. Eight financial institutions - representing 90% of UK current accounts - have already committed to offering the new service.
Craig Tillotson, Managing Director of Faster Payments, said:
"In just five short years, Faster Payments has established itself in our busy lives as the easiest way to move money at any time, simply quickly and reliably. Making immediate payments from our computer has quickly become second nature for millions of us; the next step in the continuing success of Faster Payments is bringing payments to every pocket through the new mobile payments platform."