More than 1.75 Billion Smart Phones across the Globe by the End of 2014

The GSMA are predicting there will be more than 1.75 billion smart phones across the globe by the end of the year, [1] and with greater connectivity options comes greater demand for tools that use technology to make things easier or simpler for us all. Banking customers in particular want new and innovative ways to manage and access their finances online.

This new tech-savvy generation of people don’t want to be restricted to a high street branch that is only open 9 ‘til 5 Monday to Friday – they want to bank whenever and wherever they like, just like they can shop whenever they like. The good news is that banks are listening to customer demands; today we have banking apps that enable us to log-in securely without a password, withdraw money from ATMs, and send money to anyone anywhere, all without necessarily needing a bank card. Mobile banking has been so successful that people are now choosing it over traditional online banking [2].

According to the British Bankers Association, footfall in branches is currently falling at roughly 10% a year, while the number of transactions carried out on mobile doubled in 2013.[3] If this trend continues, it can only be a matter of time before banks will be totally digital. In fact, Atom Bank, founded by Anthony Thomson, the brainchild of Metro Bank, is reportedly set to be launched soon as the UK’s first “digital only” bank!

An amazing step-forward into 21st century banking, but clearly an evolution that is having an impact on high street banking. SNL Financial reported that U.S. banks closed 1,487 branches last year, [4] the highest number of net closures since it began compiling these statistics in 2002. In the UK, Lloyds Banking Group, the largest retail bank by branches is set to cut 9,000 jobs and close many of its branches as part of a three-year strategy to create a more efficient high street network, [5]. This is a direct response to rapidly changing consumer behaviours in the digital age. Meanwhile, the high-profile sponsor of the English Premier League, Barclays, has also stated its plans to shed about a quarter of its 1,600 branches in the medium-term as well as announcing plans to slash 19,000 jobs from its 140,000-strong workforce over the next two years.[6]


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