Online transactions becoming primary method of banking, research shows

Research from Swiss investment bank UBS has shown that online banking is now becoming a global trend, with more than half of transactions being done digitally.

The study surveyed 24,000 customers in 19 countries and found that 52 per cent of transactions are now carried out online, up from 33 per cent two years ago.


The research showed that online banking has overtaken branch visits, with the proportion of transactions carried out in branches dropping to 34 per cent from 48 per cent two years earlier.

The rise in popularity of online transactions has led to banks closing down branches, with the UK seeing a record number of closures. The UK’s five biggest banks now have less than 6,000 branches, a considerable drop from the number of branches 20 years ago, which stood at 11,240.

Further closures are set to take place, with RBS and Lloyds shutting down 259 and 49 branches respectively. Following the announcement of more closures, RBS said that it will be investing in its remaining branches, the bank’s online services and its mobile banks.


UBS’s research also revealed the impact that respondents expect online banking to have on costs, with the majority (78 per cent) believing that it will lead to reduced operating costs. Fifteen per cent said that they believe that the adoption of this method of banking will push up costs.


Global banks were found to be feeling optimistic at the start of the year, with 57 per cent having a positive outlook on the sector, up from 45 per cent in the previous quarter.

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