There are very few inventions that have changed the way we live our lives more than the internet. Once a place for communicating with friends, reading the latest gossip, or looking at hilarious pictures of cats, the internet now plays such a huge part in all aspects of our lives.
One of those important areas is how we manage our money. It may be surprising to know, but online banking has been around in the UK for over 20 years. It was first introduced in 1997 and has grown so rapidly since then that it’s very difficult to imagine our lives without it.
How Many People use Online Banking in the UK?
According to a report in the Financial Times in August 2018, almost 70% of adults in the UK used internet banking, which is double what it was 10 years previously. Now, in 2021 this figure stands at 76%.
The most common activities people perform when internet banking is checking their balance and making payments.
However, there is still a significant amount of the population who do not use online banking, for a number of different reasons. Although there are a number of advantages to online banking, there are a few downsides too.
Pros of Online Banking
The number one advantage of internet banking is convenience. You don’t have to wait for a branch to open to get your business done and you aren’t restricted by opening hours or location. You can carry out transactions at any time of the day or night and in any location (providing the connection is good enough).
Online banking can also help you budget better as you are able to check your balance regularly, rather than waiting on paper statements to pop through the letterbox, and you can set up savings accounts to squirrel your money away at the touch of a button.
Banks which are exclusively online can also offer better rates of interest and lower fees because they don’t have any overheads which come with running a physical branch.
Cons of Online Banking
One of the primary concerns many people have about online banking is about just how safe their money is. Having money locked away in a secure bank vault is more secure than seeing it as numbers on a screen. In fact, the vast majority of identity fraud – 87% according to fraud prevention services Cifas – takes place through the internet.
Lack of Staff Assistance
Many banks provide online chat options and phone lines, but many people still feel more at ease speaking face-to-face with a member of staff, which is something that isn’t available to them through online banking.
What is the Future for Online Banking?
Despite concerns about security and reliability, online banking looks like it will continue to grow. The sharp rise in the number of users the last few years has been attributed to the use of mobile banking apps, which make internet banking even easier to use and bring it, quite literally, into the hands of more and more people.
Suits Me® Online Accounts
Suits Me® online accounts have a full range of banking-like features including direct debits, standing orders, transfers and more. All Suits Me® current account holders gain instant access to their online account to be able to start managing their money.