Three in four Britons don’t trust online banking as threat from scams escalates
- 76% said they ‘lack trust towards using their banking services online’
- 81% say that ‘trust is the most important factor in their purchasing journey’
- It comes as banks continue to close branches
Online banking is not fully trusted by three quarters of customers as the threat from scams escalates.
Some 76 per cent said they ‘lack trust towards using their banking services online’, even though 81 per cent maintain that ‘trust is the most important factor in their purchasing journey’, according to a survey by security software company SmartSearch.
Even so, rising numbers of bank customers are being left with little alternative as banks continue to close branches.
Online banking: Some 76% said they ‘lack trust towards using their banking services online’
Experts fear as many as 40 per cent of all high street banks could shut within the next 12 months as part of brutal cost-cutting drives.
This is despite demand from customers for a face-to-face service they feel they can trust.
John Dobson, chief executive of SmartSearch, says: ‘The pandemic has accelerated the transition from people using physical branches to managing money online.
‘It is important we do everything we can to safeguard against cyber threats so customers can feel greater trust in online services.’
The bank closures come as cyber fraud hits record highs.
In the first half of last year alone, £208million was scammed via bank transfers, according to the banking trade association UK Finance.
Santander will shut 111 branches by the end of August while TSB is in the middle of axeing 160 branches in a cull started last September. HSBC has admitted 82 branches will shut for good this year.
Over the past decade, about a third of all bank branches – more than 6,000 – have closed permanently, with Barclays, Lloyds and NatWest also participating in the wholesale cull.
Meanwhile, free-to-use cash machines are being ripped out at the rate of around 500 a month. Natalie Ceeney, author of the Access to Cash Review, fears the wave of closures will lead to lasting damage to the high street – including a loss of access to cash.
She says: ‘There should always be an option for people unconvinced about banking online to use a branch.’
Ceeney argues that shared ‘banking hubs’ should be provided when banks close in order to offer basic banking services to customers of all the main high street banks.
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