Online banking has seen a boom among the older generation, with nearly 2.3 million aged between 70 and over 100 years old now using internet banking, according to figures compiled by the British Bankers’ Association (BBA).
The BBA said more than 450,000 customers over the age of 60 are using banking apps on smart phones, iPads and other tablets.
“The oldest HSBC customer to have downloaded its banking app is aged 108,” the BBA said.
Figures published on 26 January, part of the BBA’s "Way We Bank Now" research, show that 2,267,597 bank customers aged over 70 are now registered to use internet banking. “More than 600,000 of these people are 80-plus,” the BBA said.
In addition, “more than 306,000 customers aged 60-plus have signed up to receive text alerts from their bank, which can help customers avoid fees when breeching borrowing limits”.
According to the BBA, the study also found that older customers who use mobile and internet banking “typically use it as frequently or only slightly less often than younger generations”. It shows that some banks “are currently experiencing faster growth rates for digital services by customers in their 70s and 80s than for younger generations”.
Technology law expert Luke Scanlon of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said that the BBA's research highlighted “the significant revenue growth opportunities for banks that can deliver customer-centric digital solutions”.
Scanlon said: “Customer segments that may have been difficult to reach in the past are now presenting banks with significant revenue growth opportunities and the above-70 market is just one example. But as banks look for further ways to capitalise on these opportunities, they need to ensure that they have a clear picture of the changing regulatory landscape in which they operate.”
“For example, the EU’s proposed Payment Services Directive II will require banks to open up access to current accounts to providers of information account aggregation services, such as those that enable consumers to view all of their finances in one place,” Scanlon said. “There will be significant liability implications in doing so and banks need to be clear on this.”
BBA chief executive officer Anthony Browne said: “These figures shatter the myth that this technology is only for younger generations – millions of older people are avid users of banking websites and apps. Banking on the move is as much a reality for ‘silver surfers’ as it is for students.”
Browne said: “Not everyone will want to harness these new services, but it’s vital that no one feels excluded from this easy-to-use technology and that banks continue to give all the support they can to those who want to learn how to join what is fast becoming a banking revolution.”
The BBA said its figures, all of which relate to October 2014 unless otherwise stated, were compiled from a range of banks, including Bank of Scotland, Barclays, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Metro Bank, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander.
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