Banking to shift to digital

Banking to shift to digitalThe future of banking is set to be digital-only as people switch to remote banking, according to one industry expert.

Anthony Thomson, who co-founded Metro bank, believes the way people will use banks means there will be less of a focus on the need for branches.

He is now launching Atom Bank that will provide banking services via mobile devices. This is in contrast to Metro who opted to focus on bricks and mortar stores, reports the Financial Times.

“To create service differential with Metro was through the physicality of stores,” said Mr Thomson.

“But the world has moved on since then. It would be like BT putting phone kiosks on the street.”

The latest figures from the British Banking Association revealed there has been a strong increase in the use of banking mobile apps in recent years. In 2012, there were 9.1 million app uses in a week, compared to 18.6 million in 2013.

A new private UK bank, Hampden & Co, is also planning to focus on offering traditional banking services, as well more innovative products.

Graeme Hartop, chief executive of Hampden & Co, explained: “Quite a number of customers will want to deal with private bankers but there will be a significant number who now want to deal through internet or digital channels.

“We will always have a private banker there to meet face-to-face or phone or to deal with more difficult situations; but we will have a digital capability from the outset.”

Atom is set to launch in the second half of the year and has already raised £25 million in December, with £5 million coming from UK equity investor Neil Woodford.

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