Millions of Brits are still wavering over online banking

Millions of British adults who have never tried internet banking would be interested in doing so, according to new research published by the Payments Council.

While many UK banks are closing branches to focus on more digital offerings, some British adults have yet to even try internet banking. But, were the right conditions to be met, online banking would have an even larger surge than it has witnessed so far.

The ‘Supporting People Interested in Using Online Banking’ report, which sampled over 6,000 adults in the UK, discovered that 78 per cent of adults could potentially use online banking in the UK. Seven out of ten people who could use online banking on their main account already do so, while a further 10 per cent (about 4 million people) are, or maybe, interested in doing so.

The ability to check balances or make payments at any time was seen as the main benefit of internet banking – with almost three quarters of interested non-users agreeing that this was a useful feature. Once people start to use online banking they tend to stick with it; ‘lapsed users’ (people who have tried internet banking in the past but who do not use it any more) only account for two per cent of the people surveyed.

The most common barrier to using online banking is concerns about security – only 15 per cent of interested non-users said they were ‘very confident’ that online banking is safe and secure, with almost one in four (24 per cent) concerned about remembering PINs or passwords.

Lack of confidence and lack of familiarity were the next most common reasons for not having yet tried online banking. More information on security and how to stay safe online and having someone to talk to for advice were cited as the main requirements to overcome these barriers, in preference to face-to-face training or training via a website.

Another important finding was that 20 per cent of people (approximately 8 million) who have a bank account and internet access expressed no interest in online banking on their main account. This was particularly pronounced amongst older groups – only one in six over 65s who were not using internet banking said they would be interested in doing so.

The most common reasons for lack of interest are a preference for doing banking face-to-face (30 per cent), finding their current banking method convenient (27 per cent) security concerns (26 per cent) and not needing to do banking very often (11 per cent).

“Checking a balance or sending a quick, secure payment online is something that many of us take for granted and yet millions are potentially missing out because they could do with a bit of extra help or reassurance to get them started,” said Maurice Cleaves, Interim Chief Executive of the Payments Council.

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