/ Finance

The Hot Topic that No One Knows About

By Tess Korinko

According to PWC, very few consumers in the UK are aware of the digital-only banks that are on the rise. In fact, only 9% of consumers know about their existence. This means 91% of consumers are missing out on the amazing benefits of digital-only banks.

From 2007 until present, general online banking has increased its share of consumers from 30% to 69% in Great Britain. Those who regularly use the online banking feature for their traditional bank has increased by more than double in the last 9 years, yet only 9% of consumers are aware of digital-only banking. How is this possible?

Surprisingly, younger people are one of the main reasons why this statistic is so drastic. One would think that the younger generation is more apt to know about digital-only banking because they know more about technology than their parents. Shockingly, only 47% of those aged 18-24 have even heard of a challenger bank. The younger generation tends to fear banking and lack confidence because it is their first time opening an account and learning how to manage and control their money. So, teenagers will typically just sign-up for a joint account with their parents at a traditional bank so that their parents can aid them throughout the process and they have the comfort of talking one on one to a professional at a physical branch.

Those who are 65+ are also responsible for this extreme statistic. Although it may seem that the number of seniors who own a cellphone or a computer is increasing, the usage of this technology is very minimal. Age UK found that almost half of the 11.4 million seniors over 65 surveyed do not have access to internet services. Numerous seniors avoid technology for several reasons including the struggle to learn how to use technology because they cannot find anyone to teach them, and 77% admit they are not willing to learn by themselves. In addition, elders may not possess the physical or mental abilities to use a mobile device or computer due to disabilities such as arthritis, poor vision, or cognitive decline. Seniors also tend to lack interest in the benefits of technology because they feel it is too late to learn or a family member handles their finances.

With just the younger and elder generations being assessed, the fact that 9% of consumers in the UK are aware of digital-only banking is not so surprising. Challenger banks are on the rise and considering they are relatively new, having almost 10% of the UK “in the know” is a good start.