Presents, turkey, crackers... and online banking - the new Christmas traditions

27 December 2013

Alongside the more traditional Christmas activities of giving presents, eating too much turkey, pulling crackers, and watching the Queen's speech, 380,000 customers also found time to log onto their bank account on Christmas Day this year, according to Halifax.

93% of customers checked their current account balance on Christmas Day, perhaps counting the cost or Christmas or maybe finding out if there was anything left for the January sales.

The busiest time of day was between 10am and 12pm (more than a third of customers who logged on did so in this period), with 52% of customers logged on using a mobile device on Christmas Day, perhaps evidence of trying out a new gift.

43,000 customers took the opportunity to pay a bill on Christmas Day and 38,000 transferred funds to another account, with men and women equally conscientious accounting for exactly half of such transactions on Christmas Day.

47% of customers logging on to their account on Christmas Day were under 30 years of age, with 39% 31-50, and 14% over 50. There was also a slight North–South divide with 54% of those logging in were from the North. The busiest region overall was London while the South East was the quietest.

Leaving it to the last minute

Christmas Eve was a very busy day for digital banking, with 835,000 people logging on to check their balance. With people out and about making last minute purchases or going out to socialise with friends and family 48% used a mobile device to log on, perhaps to check how much was left.

Boxing Day – the traditional launch of the high street sales – saw 360,000 logging in to check their balances. It also saw 2,500 apply for an overdraft or extend an existing overdraft, and 1,400 apply for a credit card.

Anita Hockin, Head of Digital for Halifax, says: "One of the benefits of online banking is being able to bank when it suits you – customers can access their accounts 24/7, 365 days a year – even over Christmas.

We are now seeing many customers logging on to their accounts two or three times a week. Keeping a close eye on your bank account can help with budgeting and prevent unwelcome surprises, so it's understandable that some people are keen to check their finances at what is often an expensive time of the year."

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