Digital Tech: Are you on board with online banking?

Many banks are now digital-only, with fewer physical branches than ever before. Indeed, some banks have only ever been available digitally – and only digitally – from day one.

These new banks, says the Startups Magazine site, ‘have been built with UX (user experience) and CX (customer experience) in mind, with a completely different mindset.’ They have, continues the site, ‘been built specifically for mobile rather than the older banking systems that have gone through multiple iterations over many years’.

Is digital banking more convenient?

Sure, it’s often viewed as convenient, but what about people who aren’t quite ready to turn to online banking? In the latest article here on the Knowledge Hub of our site, we focus on banking online and discuss the pros and cons of both means of managing your money.

Age UK has published a lengthy report – and of those polled in an enlightening survey, only 58% of people aged 65 and over manage their banking digitally. The rest visit a physical branch, including their go-to bank or the Post Office.

‘Significant Consequences’ for those Reliant on Declining Services

With banks’ branches continuing to close, the rise of digital banking has put those who are reliant on these declining services, says Age UK, ‘at risk of being unable to manage their own money’, adding that ‘this carries significant consequences, with people potentially being cut adrift from society’.

This move to digital banking, while it was on the cards pre-2020, was very much exacerbated during the coronavirus pandemic, when many people were forced to manage their finances differently. ‘The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a shift from physical to digital by accelerating the importance of digitalisation and user-centricity’, suggests this LinkedIn article by IBS Intelligence.

Elsewhere, The Financer discusses digital banking for those who aren’t ready to take the plunge. Authored by Chris Skinner, the piece states that while most consumers do own a smartphone now, some don’t, something which ‘struck home to me in reading a consumer’s letter to a UK newspaper’. While the piece dates back to 2020, there are certainly many now that still aren’t ready to enter a digital world.

This newspaper letter – and there will be many others like it – illustrates the issue for those who are ever eager to manage their finances in-branch and swerve opening a bank account online.

‘It is getting very difficult to carry out financial transactions online because I do not carry a mobile phone…banks insist on texting an authentication code and offering no alternative, other than going into the nearest branch. This presents another difficulty because where I live there are no branches left.’

What happens if you don’t want to go digital, then?

You may have Googled ‘how to do online banking’ or even ‘can I open a bank account online’ –and thanks to the rise of online-only banks, you may also be glad that, in many cases, you can begin safely storing your savings digitally in fewer than 24 hours. Such is the relative ease of opening one of many digital-only bank accounts.

While many consumers may opt to move with the ever-changing times, those who don’t want to can rest assured that they might still be able to access cash and banking services. As stated in the Age UK report, ‘The Cash Action Group has created a system to ensure access to cash and banking services. If a community is lacking in these facilities, the public can request a review. Then, LINK, the existing not-for-profit organisation that helps run cashpoints, will conduct a review of local needs.’

The review, states the report, will ‘take into account factors like other sources of cash, as well as information on the local population demographics – having an older population, will be a factor in determining future provision.’

To help you make an informed decision when it comes to managing your finances, we’ve laid out just a few pros and cons of each, below.

Online Banking: Pros and Cons


  • You can open a new account from the comfort of your home, any time of day
  • The convenience of banking on the go
  • The safety associated with online banks. Money Supermarket says: ‘When it comes to security, online banks are not skimping. They often employ two-factor authentication and biometrics to ensure your account stays secure.’


  • Lack of human interaction
  • Potential (tech-based) interruption(s) to services
  • The possibility of overspending (the ease of using a debit card on the go makes it easier to impulsively tap and spend).

In-person Banking: Pros and Cons


  • The chance to build a relationship with in-store staff
  • The opportunity to ask questions in-person
  • The chance to complete regular banking services while running other errands.


  • Limited opening hours
  • The risk of waiting in a queue to be seen by an advisor

Can’t decide whether you’re ready to go digital? At Unity Mutual, we’re a happy medium. While we’re predominantly based online, you can call us anytime (on 0161 214 4650), within business hours. Rest assured, too, that you’ll always be able to speak to a human – and not a robot. Brilliant!

If you’re keen to chat about any of our financial products*, which can be accessed online, just contact our friendly customer services team for more information, including eligibility, and more.

Until next time…

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