Three-quarters of UK consumers would like the option to deposit cheques using their smartphones, research has found.
A survey conducted by financial services software provider Intelligent Environments found 75% of British consumers would use a service enabling them to take a photo of a cheque instead of depositing one at a local branch.
Users of the technology, which has been available in the US since 2009 and across Europe since 2011, take a photo of the front and back of a cheque before sending the images to their bank on a smartphone.
There is not currently a cheque deposit app available to British consumers, which is not permitted under UK banking regulations.
A cheque deposit app
Cheques are still a part of the British banking scene, with around 1.1bn issued each year.
Intelligent Environments found three-quarters of British consumers prefer to manage their finances using the Internet, tablet or smartphone to visiting a bank branch.
A cheque deposit app may not appeal to the one in five (19%) British customers who prefer to use their physical bank branch to online banking.
David Webber, the managing director of Intelligent Environments, said UK regulations should be changed to enable British banks to provide cheque deposit apps. "It’s nonsense that British consumers aren’t allowed to snap a photo of their cheques and instantly deposit them using a smartphone," he said.
Webber believes UK banks would welcome a regulation change. "The major banks are on a drive to introduce technology to make their customers’ lives as easy as possible and I’m sure they would introduce this tomorrow, if the Treasury let them. It’s madness that Britain is still lagging behind due to out of touch regulation."
The research was based on responses from 2,000 UK consumers in May 2013.