Neobanks in the UK – Can mobile services integration drive adoption?
July 2nd, 2024, Kineree Shah

Neobanks in the UK – Can mobile services integration drive adoption?

A recent survey by YouGov asked 2,050 British adults about their willingness to switch to neobanks – digital banks that operate solely online through apps or websites. We also explored how consumers perceive the merging of banking and telecommunications services, a trend that is gaining traction.

One in 10 Britons are likely to consider switching to a neobank in the next six months (10%) with adults aged 18-24 (29%) and men (11% vs. 8% females) more interested. A much larger group, 64%, stated they are unlikely to switch.

For those willing to switch to a neobank, the inclusion of mobile data services as part of a premium subscription is quite appealing. Among these consumers, 64% indicated they would likely pay a premium fee if it included benefits like eSIM services and mobile data for international travel. 

Additionally, a third of consumers (36%) found it important to have their financial and mobile services combined into one app. This suggests that bundling mobile services with banking could be a strong incentive for attracting new customers.

Conversely, those unlikely to switch to a neobank were asked which features might change their minds. The most appealing features included higher credit limits and cashback (10%), fee-free overdraft protection (8%), and low-fee international money transfers (7%). Other features like budgeting tools and spending insights, easy access to the stock market, and eSIM services were less influential. Three-fifths of those unlikely to switch indicated that none of these features would persuade them to move to a neobank (61%) possibly because traditional banks still hold a significant edge. Only 9% of Britons expressed more trust in neobanks compared to traditional banks, while 43% reported more trust in traditional banks. A third of consumers (32%) indicated ‘no difference’ between both types. 

These findings highlight the challenges neobanks face in building trust and attracting new customers in the UK. While innovative features and the integration of mobile services can draw interest, overcoming the established trust in traditional banks will be crucial for neobanks aiming to expand their market share.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on 24-25 June 2024, with a nationally/ representative sample of 2,050 adults (aged 18+ years) in Great Britain, using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender, education and social grade to be representative of all adults in Great Britain (18 years or older) and reflect the latest ONS population estimates.