Future of online banking rests with the smartphone

13 Jul 2011

Online banking is now the most commonly used method for banking amongst Irish youth, according to a survey by National Irish Bank, with 78pc doing their banking online at least once a week. One per cent of Irish teens already do their banking via smartphone and more would use it if it were available.

Some 48pc of those surveyed use it several times a week. Of those surveyed, 63pc prefer to pay their bills online.

The research commissioned by National Irish Bank surveyed young adults, between 18-27, on their financial status, their use of financial services and their knowledge of the products and services available to them.

·         Just more than one-third (34pc) of young people in Ireland feel they are in control of their expenses and income.

·         Almost half (49pc) never allow their account to be overdrawn.

·         The vast majority (72pc) say they are in dialogue with their bank at least once every six months, with only 10pc in contact less than once a year.

·         Just fewer than half (46pc) of young people monitor their spending weekly, with 64pc using online banking to do so.

The move away from traditional banking

“The fact that young people in Ireland feel very much in control of their finances is a reflection of the growing usage of online banking,” said Jesper Nielsen, head of Business Development & Deputy CEO at National Irish Bank.

“The majority of young people use online banking and have been doing so for more than two years. The move away from traditional banking and towards online means that young people are now in a position where they can consistently monitor their bank balance, their income, their expenditure and also their savings,” Nielsen said.

Almost three-quarters (74pc) of Irish youth use online banking to carry out day-to-day monitoring, such as to check their balances (88pc) and 1pc already using a smartphone application for banking. Some 39pc would definitely use it to take care of their banking if it were available.

“As with other sectors and services, online banking seems to be the direction in which young people are moving – for its ease of access; its speed, its security and its convenience. 

“At the start of 2011, 660,000 Irish adults owned a smartphone and this figure was expected to rise to 1.1m by the end of spring 2011, so the future of online banking is heading in that direction,” Neilsen said.

The survey, conducted by YouGov on behalf of National Irish Bank, in Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scandinavia, examined young people’s use of banking services, as well as their knowledge of and interest in personal finance. 

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years