First Direct customers shifted to mobile banking from online banking over last 12 months

By Aisling Finn on Wednesday 27 January 2021

Digital Banking

The First Direct app is now logged into 12.5m times every month.

First Direct customers shifted to mobile banking from online banking over last 12 months
Image source: Chris Pitt/First Direct

Mobile banking became increasingly popular among First Direct customers during the pandemic.

New data from the bank show that online web banking usage among its customers dropped by 21 per cent compared to mobile banking.

Nearly all transactions (98 per cent) made by First Direct customers are digital now, with payments and transfers in the app having increased five-fold (82 per cent) compared to online banking (18 per cent).

Chris Pitt, CEO of First Direct, said: “In the last year we’ve seen a shift in how people are banking, and we’re now much more mobile.”

“Customers expect a safe and secure digital service backed up amazing people 24/7, and banking on the go is now the default option for many.”

First Direct is home to the UK’s first mobile banking app, which turns ten this week, and was the first back in 2011 to allow customers to make direct payments to third parties. 

The bank’s 1.5m customers also have turned to their mobile bank to check their balance more frequently, with 87 per cent of balance enquiries now being made using the app, adding up to 12.5m logins a month.

First Direct was one of the earliest adopters of digital banking, paving the way for digital-first banks like Monzo and Starling, with the new data showing that its customers are shifting towards mobile banking over online, a trend accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

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