Do they know it's Christmas?

Christmas day is traditionally the quietest day of the year in terms of online banking.

Perhaps ‘traditionally’ is the wrong word –  there is no mention in the nativity of the wise men checking their gold reserves on their way to Bethlehem after all – but in the relatively short life of self-service electronic banking this has certainly been the case for a number of years. However, this short-lived tradition looks set to change.

As recently as 2009 only a handful of people checked their accounts on the big day. With all the distractions of presents, relatives, dinner, crackers, pudding, board games and arguments, who would have time to check a credit card, bank balance, cheque status or mortgage payment? More to the point who would want to?

Well, quite a lot of people apparently. Since 2010 the number has skyrocketed exponentially: Graph 1 - Blog 2

Perhaps unsurprisingly this has been driven by mobile banking applications. Whilst internet logons have continued to rise, and are still the clear leader, mobile app logons are fast catching up: 

Graph 2 - Blog 2

Interestingly, the overall rise of online banking on both mobile apps and websites has been surprisingly linear over the last two years, implying that Christmas has its own particular usage pattern.

At the current trend, Yuletide mobile app logons are set to overtake website logons in 2015. This is of course part of a wider trend but I like to think that on Christmas Day, it’s far less obtrusive to surreptitiously glance down at a mobile phone during Christmas dinner than it is to sit at a desk and fire up a laptop. Whether we like it or not, Christmas is a time for large expense for most of us, and now that it only takes a second to inspect the damage, many of us simply cannot resist the temptation to check. We can only hope that this does not put a damper on the whole day. It’s not all progress…

On a side note, the number of users logging into Collections systems on Christmas Day represented only 0.0016% of the total, so there is still hope.