first direct Lab
Skip menus

first direct 's over 55s buck the Silver Surfer trend but are slow to catch on to the mobile banking revolution

19 May 2011


Online and telephone bank first direct says its over 55's are bucking the national trend, as National Silver Surfer week highlights that as many as 1 in 5 people aged 55-64 have never used the internet. The bank, known for having more tech savvy customers, says that half of its Silver Surfers use its internet banking service, only 10% less that those under 55.

However, the direct bank’s text message banking service which sends statement updates to customers’ phones to tell them their balance and last few transactions, tells a different story.  Just 1 in 5 of its over 55s have signed up to the service versus almost 43% amongst the remainder of its customers.

Natalie Cowen, Head of Brand commented:

“We were the first telephone bank when we launched just over 21 years ago, one of the first to introduce internet banking and the first to launch a truly transactional ‘Banking on the go’ iPhone App.

“Many of our customers have been with us since the beginning of our journey of innovation, so I’m not surprised that many of them, including our over 55s, choose to regularly do their banking online.”




Access this press release online -

For further information contact Rebecca Hirst on 01132766899, or Amanda Brown on 01132766700,  

Notes to Editor

National Silver Surfer Day 20 May 2011

Digital Unite


first direct channel usage



Customer group

April 2011

Total customer base





Under 55s




Active internet banking users

(logged on within 90 days)





Under 55s




Registered text message banking users





Under 55s






-         Almost four in five people around the world believe that access to the internet is a fundamental right. Source: BBC World Service March 2010


-         Global research shows that access to information technology, and crucially the skills to use it, has a “statistically significant, positive impact on life satisfaction‟. Source: BCS The Chartered Institute for IT, 2010

-         Buying products and services online can save each household an average £560 each year. Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers/Race Online 2012

-         9.4 million adults have never used the internet with 3 in 5 citing lack of interest as the reason why. Source: OFCOM

-         *1 in 5 people aged 55-64 have never used the internet and this rises to 3 in 5 of those aged 65+. Source: ONS

-         **Many of those aged 55+ who are online only use the internet in a very limited way. Source: OFCOM

-         Often, the barriers for older people to start using computers and get online are confidence and fear.

-         “If we want to avoid this new gulf between information rich and information poor, between the connected and the unconnected, we have just simply got to get everybody connected to the internet and make sure they are sharing in this information rich age. I want to give this all the support I can… to make Britain the most connected, the most wired up, the most digitally-advanced country there can be.” David Cameron, 2010


Share this (opens in a new window)

You may also be interested in …

According to recent research by first direct, 39% of the UK population check their current account more frequently now than they did before the downturn.  The survey revealed that 20% review their balance at least once a day and amazingly, over 470,000 sneak a peek almost hourly!  However, on average...

Share this (opens in a new window)

Online and 24-hour telephone bank, first direct, has become the first UK bank to launch a true transactional, Banking 'on the go' App for Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch. The App, launched today on the Apple App Store, allows first direct customers to check balances, view the last 20 account transactions, make payments and transfer money between accounts.

Share this (opens in a new window)