New research by Huawei AppGallery has revealed that the accelerated adoption this past year of mobile banking is helping consumers save money. Nearly two thirds (65%) of those surveyed are now using banking apps to manage their money, a rise of 10% who did the previous year. Many of these people are reaping the benefits of using apps, with nearly half (46%) stating they have saved money since making the switch – a substantial £173 on average per month (£2,076 per year). These savers credit having instant access to statements (51%), being able to set savings goals (37%), upcoming payment reminders (33%) and being able to analyse spending with notifications on savings suggestions (33%) for helping them save cash.
The research shows that many UK consumers are embracing new methods of banking, with nearly 1 in 5 (18%) already using a challenger bank or app, and a further 25% stating that they are interested in opting for a challenger bank. Huawei is committed to partnering with more challenger banks and services on its AppGallery platform as demand for more flexible, open banking looks set to continue to rise.
Of those who do now use banking apps, the features and functionalities that are used the most included instant access to statements (52%), upcoming payment reminders (22%), saving goals (20%) and bill notifications (18%). When asked how they use banking apps, over a third (36%) use them to keep track of multiple accounts, while nearly a quarter (23%) transfer or exchange money abroad without hidden fees.
Although many British consumers are using technology to manage their money better, crucially for the sector, the research reveals that there is still a knowledge gap when it comes to personal finance and digital-first options. Over half (54%) of those surveyed didn’t know about Open Banking and how this could help banks provide better solutions for them, despite 44% stating that they are interested in seeing more personalised offerings from their banks. Additionally, although many are embracing challenger bank solutions, there are still some who harbour concerns over these providers, with nearly half (47%) stating that they’re unclear on the benefits challenger banks can offer, and 39% saying that they only trust longer-established banks.
Such findings indicate that if banks are to make the most of this growing demand and cement the real opportunity that Open Banking and banking apps offer, education and understanding, as well as functionality, are key. Delivering a seamless customer experience in both access to banking apps, coupled with the range of options and solutions they provide will play a pivotal role in instilling customer confidence and loyalty as the banking sector works to build its mobile offer.
“Unquestionably the last 12 months have seen significant growth in the adoption and usage of mobile banking technology, as well as interest in challenger banking solutions across the AppGallery platform and this is set to grow significantly in the year ahead.” Graham Long, Director Ecosystem Development, Huawei UK Consumer Business Group, said.
“It’s vital that banking apps continue to develop to meet customer need, and at Huawei we’re here to support our partners. We have a strong ambition to grow our own network of banking and finance commercial partners to continue to build the most comprehensive banking app menu on the market.”
Banking technology has moved forward leaps and bounds in recent years, with apps now playing a major role in helping people manage their money better. Huawei AppGallery, which gives users access to a multitude of Fintechs including Starling Bank and sync., has identified some of the important innovations that are set to revolutionise how UK consumers bank over the next ten years. These are:
- Open banking will continue to deliver greater functionality including account to account payments and account aggregation, enabling greater visibility of balances and transactions across different account types, all in one place
- Growth in the visibility and capability of open finance. This will be facilitated by stage 2 of the Payment Services Directive (PSD2), developed to make payments safer and more secure. As part of this next stage, customers will be able to aggregate mortgages all in one place, to offer an even more comprehensive view of their finances
- QR code payments. Using QR codes to process payments for items is already popular in China and is expected to significantly increase in popularity as a payment method in the UK
- Super apps, which combine a range of functions and features in one place (for example, open banking apps, social media, goods delivery) are also expected to see strong growth in both popularity and capability – Cloud-based banking services. More and more banks are expected to move operations to the cloud to deliver a more efficient service to customers.