Scotland Bank Responsible For The World’s First Mobile Banking App

The technological influence of devices like the smartphone was able to completely reshape general human activity as a whole. For instance, mobile apps like Uber revolutionized transportation and jobs sectors to the point of completely changing the core of several nations’ economies.

The same can be said in the banking sector. The introduction of the first mobile banking app was able to facilitate the lives of millions of customers and introduce an entirely new way of going through your banking needs.

Royal Bank of Scotland′s First mobile banking App for Apple IPhone 1st Generation

Introduced over a decade ago, the first mobile banking app was the first stepping stone. It was the first to allow users to perform bank-related actions like checking their balance or transferring money within a few clicks.  All could be done from the device that is always by their side, the smartphone. 

Fast forwarding to today, mobile bank clients can now fulfill nearly all of their banking needs via their mobile banking app. Users can now transfer money, check their balance, request loans, ask for insurance plans, and even buy and hold stocks and other commodities.

Mobile Banking also made a significant difference when it comes to fees. Banking apps usually provide services without the typical banking fees because of the absence of these cost concerns.

These mobile applications made it easier for users all around the world to transfer money and even pay their bills in an instant. In fact, most Banking apps today allow users to trade and transfer currency between them in fee-less transactions.

Nearly all offer free ATM withdrawals, foreign payments, and other services that are sometimes charged at traditional banks without charging a monthly fee for banking with them.

When one looks at the data, the question, “who made the first mobile banking app?”, or “when was the first mobile banking app made?” easily comes to mind.

To the surprise of most, the bank responsible for revolutionizing online banking by creating the first mobile banking app was not an American household name like JP Morgan Chase or The Bank of America.

Instead, the first banking app was created by Scotland’s largest bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland.

The Royal Bank of Scotland is one of the United Kingdom’s most traditional banks.

Founded in 1727, the bank is the 7th oldest bank in the United Kingdom and the 12th oldest bank in the entire world.

Originally from Edinburgh, the Royal Bank of Scotland is currently the second largest in the United Kingdom and Europe, and the fifth largest in the world by monetary capitalization.

Aside from its long tradition, the RBS is also one of the most innovative banks when it comes to banking technology updates.

The Royal Bank of Scotland was the first British bank to introduce an online banking interface for its customers in 1997.

Shortly thereafter, the bank was also one of the first to introduce “Mobile Top-Ups”, i.e., a quick and easy method of sending phone credits to a prepaid mobile phone belonging to a family member or friend.

The First Fully Functioning Mobile Banking App

It was in 2007 that The Royal Bank of Scotland created the first rendition of a true mobile banking application.

At the time. The Royal Bank of Scotland introduced two free services in 2009: on-demand text-based fast statements and a mobile iPhone banking app that can be downloaded from the App Store.

The latter enabled users to view recent transactions and account balances while on the go. This was only the start. Customers’ opinions were solicited regarding the app, and their comments served as the basis for subsequent development.

Three years later, the Royal Bank of Scotland released the first fully functional banking app in history.

Initially only accessible on Apple devices, the popularity of the application quickly made RBS expand to BlackBerry and Android users as well.

More than a million people joined up for the free service in the first six months, and more than £1 billion was transferred via the app.

Today, mobile banking is the most popular type of internet banking. With only a few taps on their smartphones, billions of consumers can communicate with their banks.

Mobile banking generated over $6.8 billion in revenue in 2021, and gather over 100 million total users worldwide.

Six out of ten consumers today prefer banking-related activities using their bank’s mobile app. In fact, according to a study by the market research firm Insider Intelligence, roughly 97% of Millennials only use mobile banking apps on a regular basis.

The Royal Bank of Scotland paved the way for several banking apps that would eventually become “giants” in the industry.   However, today it does not even rank in the Top 20 UK digital bank apps according to Top Mobile Banks blog.

Companies like America’s Chime, Britain’s Revolut, and Brazil’s NuBank are responsible for providing banking services for over 80 million mobile banking users worldwide.

Additional Resources on Mobile Banking:

  1. Differences of Traditional, Crypto, & Mobile Banking
  2. List of Free Top Mobile Banking Apps For iPhone (iOs) 
  3. Where To Get A Metal Credit Card like Apple Pay
  4. Scotland Bank Made World’s 1st Mobile Banking App
  5. Top Security Issues in Mobile Banking