Banking customers move online for better control of their finances

Almost two-thirds (62 per cent) of UK citizens say they are in “better control” of their money now than before COVID, according to research.

Global software consultancy ThoughtWorks commissioned research among over 2,000 UK adults about how technology had changed their banking habits during the pandemic.

Almost one-in-three people (31 per cent) said they don’t use cash any more, and 22 per cent said they were now used to making more payments through apps and tech platforms rather than banks.

In addition, 18 per cent had used online tools to give their finances a “spring clean” by building up their savings and cutting back on non-essential spending.

A further 15 per cent said they had shopped around for better deals on financial products, cutting fees, charges and interest rates with brands that are not traditional banks.

The same amount of respondents said they had streamlined all their payments and banking online, saving time and money.

In addition, 39 per cent said they have stopped going to a high street bank branch, 28 per cent have stopped using cash machines and 24 per cent have stopped writing cheques altogether.

In place of this, 33 per cent said they had tried mobile banking for the first time and 36 per cent had opened up a PayPal account.

And 16 per cent had cashed a cheque through mobile banking, 14 per cent had opened an account with an internet bank and 13 per cent had used Apple Pay to buy goods.

Phil Hingley, director of financial services at ThoughtWorks UK, said: “Changes in consumer habits raise urgent questions for high street banks as technology and more agile customer interaction have moved consumers away from a reliance on the high street.

“We believe banks still have a crucial role to play but the days of them just safeguarding cash and issuing cheque books are well and truly over.”

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