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Branch-based banking falls dramatically among teenagers, as digital technology soars

07 January, 2016Eoghan Hughes

Teenagers in the UK are increasingly turning away from branch-based banking in favour of digital and online methods to manage their personal finances.

According to the Young Persons’ Money Index, which is published each year by financial education charity ifs University College, only 26 per cent of teenagers now say they use their local branch, falling from 38 per cent the previous year.

Replacing the local branch in teenagers’ banking experiences are online banking, which is now cited by 39 per cent as their preferred method (up from 28 per cent in 2014) and mobile banking which has increased by 14 per cent in the same period. Meanwhile telephone banking continues to be an enigma for most teens, with only 1 per cent saying it’s their preferred method.

The Young Persons’ Money Index also reveals that digital financial services are also taking hold among teenagers. Nearly half (48 per cent) have downloaded a banking app, while 64 per cent have used online banking to purchase items through their smartphones and tablets.

Alison Pask, Vice Principal at ifs University College, said:

These figures should provide interesting reading for the banks and other financial services organisations as to how they interact with their younger customers and how younger people view their resources. It’s clear that the next generation are increasingly comfortable using online banking technology at the expense of the traditional high-street branch.

But despite this uptake, a high number of teenagers still have no interaction whatsoever with their banks and run the very real risk of financial exclusion as they take on greater financial independence. There is a distinct need for greater financial education to ensure teenagers become confident consumers of financial services, no matter the method they prefer to use.”

Learn more about the Young Persons’ Money Index