Ding dong merrily online - Christmas banking in excelsis

14 December 2015

Half of customers bank online on Christmas Day – but we still take time out for the Queen

Nearly half of Internet and Mobile Bank customers (46%) logged in to check their finances on Christmas Day last year, a 50 percent increase on to the previous year, show figures from Nationwide Building Society Current Accounts.

With many people receiving money for Christmas and retailers now starting their online sales on 25 December, people have increasingly more reason to check their finances on the big day. Around 366,000 customers checked their account on 25 December 2014, with the majority (70%) logging on from their mobile device rather than from a laptop or computer. This compares to 240,000 in 2013 – highlighting an increase of 52%. In 2012, just 155,000 logged on, showing an increase of 136% when compared to last year.

However, despite the sharp rise, the tradition of sitting down for the Queen’s Speech or the alternative Christmas message remains, with just 3,600 people logging on at 3pm – a daytime low. Interestingly, despite the significant increased volume of customers logging in on Christmas Day, the number of people logged on at 3pm has remained broadly the same at around 3,000, showing that many more are logging off just in time for Her Majesty.

By comparison, New Year’s Eve last year was far busier than Christmas Day, with around 975,000 people using Nationwide’s Internet and mobile banks. This compares to 723,000 in 2013 – more than a third less (35%). This is likely down to people checking their dwindling bank accounts before seeing in the New Year. Just over 3,000 people logged on at midnight on New Year’s Eve – a time when most people were busy celebrating.

Combined logons on New Year’s Day this year were down to 788,000, as people slowly but steadily checked how much they had spent the night before. In 2013 the figure was 567,000 – 39 per cent less.

Phil Smith, Nationwide’s Head of Current Accounts, said: “Over the last few years many retailers have started their sales online on Christmas Day, so it’s perhaps no surprise that customers looking to take advantage of the bargains on offer are logging on to check their balances first. However, the tradition of sitting down with the family in time for The Queen seems to be going strong as the numbers logged in at 3pm drops to a daytime low.

“Once the Christmas and New Year festivities subside, it’s natural to start looking at just how much we’ve spent, hoping that there won’t be a lengthy financial hangover. We would always recommend keeping an eye on your money by regularly checking your balance.

“An effective way of doing this is through innovative apps like Nationwide’s Quick Balance, which doesn’t require you to login. We would also remind people of the benefits of saving on a small yet regular basis. Our Impulse Saver lets customers lets customers save from their current account to savings account at the press of a button, so each time you save a bit of money on someone’s present, why not put the difference in your savings pot?”

Notes to Editors

Quick Balance and Impulse Saver are opt-in features are the first of their kind in the UK and allow customers to manage their money in a faster, easier and more engaging way.

Quick Balance allows customers to see their account balance at a glance without logging in, helping members keep on top of their finances anytime, anywhere and at the touch of a button.

The unique Impulse Saver, allows customers to transfer pre-configured amounts from their current account(s) to their savings account(s) with a couple of taps, without logging in, encouraging customers to regularly save small amounts.

About Nationwide

Nationwide is the world's largest building society as well as one of the largest savings providers and a top-three provider of mortgages in the UK. It is also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards, ISAs and personal loans. Nationwide has around 15 million customers.

Customers can manage their finances in a branch, via the mobile app, on the telephone, internet and post. The Society has around 18,000 employees. Nationwide's head office is in Swindon with administration centres based in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline. The Society also has a number of call centres across the UK.

Please note: If you are a customer looking for information on our products and services, please visit the main website.