Online banking overtakes telephone for first time in UK

2 January 2007

The number of people in the UK using online banking has exceeded those using the telephone for the first time, new figures from UK payments association Apacs have revealed.

Some 16.9 million adults, equivalent to more than a third of the UK's adult population, now bank online, with two-thirds of online current account holders checking their account via the internet at least once a week.

This reflects a growing trend of using online accounts more regularly, with one in five users now going online on a daily basis, compared with just one in 13 four years ago. There are now 16.9 million online bankers in the UK, compared with 7.5 million four years ago.

By contrast, the number of people using telephone banking has fallen for the first time in its history. Some 15.4 million people now use telephone banking, compared with 16 million in December last year.

Sandra Quinn, director of communications at Apacs, said: "The older we get the more complex our finances tend become, as they include a range of regular payments: from paying our mortgage to our mobile phone bill. Our research shows that increasingly, if you are under 35, you are more than likely to be turning to the internet rather than the phone to manage your finances.

"Although the chances of being a victim of online banking fraud are small, you can reduce the risk further by making sure that you remain wary of unsolicited emails claiming to be from your bank and that no matter what you are planning to do online you should only use a fully protected PC. This means having a firewall installed, and regularly updated antivirus software."

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