Brits prefer banking by mobile

The Brits would deliberately choose a computer or a mobile phone to manage their finances before phoning a call centre, new research has revealed.

One in five of us would prefer to log on, than dial a call centre and speak to a person, findings from the Future Foundation think tank and mobile banking firm, Monitise, show.

This preference has grown rapidly, up from one in 20 in 2002, as technology has improved and broadband become more widespread.

Unsurprisingly, it is the younger generation leading the way with more than a quarter of 18 to 25 year olds opting for technology ahead of the human touch. However, pensioners are getting in on the do it yourself act, with one in ten logging on or using their mobile phone to manage their money instead of call centres.

Fulfilling gender stereotypes, more men than women said that a major benefit of using technology to do their own banking was the lack of other people involved (22% compared to 13%).

“People want to manage their money on their terms, and with most tasks easily done via mobile and internet banking, they have 24/7 control at their fingertips,” said the Future Foundation’s Barry Clark, the author of the ‘Money on the Move’ report.

“The speed and convenience of this ‘DIY banking’ also means that we don’t have to go through the whole call centre rigmarole, which can be a frustrating and painful process at times. Doing it yourself is also a cheaper option as well as more convenient one too.”

The Future Foundation asked 1,000 adults in the UK for their views on the role of technology in customer service.

Alastair Lukies, chief executive of Monitise and worked with the Future Foundation on the report, explained: “These days everyone wants to do their banking on their own terms, particularly something as simple as checking a balance or seeing if a cheque has cleared or payment been taken. The widespread use of the internet and increasingly sophisticated mobile phones mean people can control their own finances without hassle. They prefer text to talk.

“People still need to speak to a human being for the more complicated matters, like agreeing a mortgage, but technology is now driving better banking services.”