Being smart with your Smart Phone
I think it would be safe to say that the overwhelming majority of consumers simply cannot function without their Smart Phone. Long gone are the days when a mobile device was used simply for communicating via calls and text message and in fact, today’s reality is one of complete and utter revolution. The Smart Phone has arguably become one of our most universally useful resources. This is not simply for its ability to provide various different methods of communication, which range from the classic functions to the novelty applications. Whether it be a text message, WhatsApp, Twitter or Snap Chat; the means of staying in touch are vast. Not to mention the Smart Phones capability to get us up and out into the world thanks to fitness applications and the somewhat surprisingly clever Pokémon Go, recently released worldwide and an undeniably instant smash hit. But with all the fun and literal games aside, our Smart Phones are improving our financial lives in the modern day economy too. Without consciously knowing it the Smart Phone has made us comfortable to deal with our everyday finances via a completely different and functional means. Whereas in the past consumers wishing to address their banking concerns would have had to visit a local branch or join a call centre queue, the Smart puts all of these services right at our finger tips.
What is truly amazing is that in the last year alone the use of banking based Smart Phone applications has increased a whopping 54% amongst consumers in the UK. To put this into context this means in 2015 alone mobile banking applications were accessed a massive 11 million times each and every day, with 347 million payments being made via these same banking based applications. Whereas consumers had for many years favoured the use of internet banking, the increased capabilities of the Smart Phone have meant this same service can be accessed via a more discreet and convenient means nowadays. It’s difficult to believe that internet banking, a relatively new consumer resource is starting to decline in use thanks to an even more advanced service being made readily available. So perhaps in fact in years to come it will be interesting to see just how far the Smart Phone will further grow in terms of its capabilities and therefore ability to serve the needs of the modern day consumer.
The mobile banking applications and their continued growth in popularity has also helped consumers better manage their financial concerns on a monthly basis too. Given the fact that of all the major high street banks in existence today, all have seen continued demand for mobile banking services, making it clear consumers favour the resource. Every single day 4000 consumers download the Santander banking app with Lloyds Banking Group investing an eye-watering 1 billion pounds in digital banking in the years running from 2015 to 2017. It would seem the ease of access provided by these applications is what customers love and where money saving opportunities lie. Given the fact that of all the available banking applications the tool most commonly used is that of money transfer, consumers have been able to better manage their monthly costs on a consistent basis. HSBC demonstrated this point when they confirmed that £800,000.00 in fees was saved as a result of their customers making the most of their mobile banking services and moving their money in a timely manner to avoid fees being applicable. RBS supported this fact by confirming in the year of 2015 an average of 455,000 payments were made on a daily basis via their mobile banking application.
It would seem that the Smart phone really has enabled collectively as consumers to make better choices when it comes to our financial matters and in doing so provided a means for avoiding the potential of financial difficulties. On average in the UK a mobile banking customer will access their mobile account a minimum of once daily, allowing the ability to be fully aware of your financial concerns as and when we see fit. Whereas in the past managing our money may have only taken place on a weekly basis, this is certainly a vast improvement. The great news is that the capabilities of mobile banking does not end at viewing balances and transferring money. In addition to these services some of the high street banks, such as Barclays, also provide access to money management tools to help their customers better plan their expenses and in doing so gain a greater level of understanding concerning their financial concerns. It would seem fair to say then that the Smart Phone really does just keep getting smarter.
Representative Example: Representative 1286.98% APR on a loan of £300.00 with 5 monthly repayments of £101.03 Total amount repayable £505.13 Annual interest rate (fixed) 290%
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Author: Internal Customer Services Agent