The use of online and mobile banking in Britain is booming, according to new research into banking techniques among the UK population.

A staggering 80% of Brits are using online and smartphone banking to manage their money, according to a study from GoCompare.

Around 42% of people have used a smartphone to check their bank balance, while 28% had used a mobile phone banking app in order to make a payment.

Brits turning to contactless payments

The use of contactless payments has also increased, with 22% of Brits saying they will use the payment method in 2014.

Some 15% of Brits have already used the method this year, up 9% from last year when GoCompare asked the same question.

The method is more popular in certain locations than others though, with major cities including London, Cardiff and Manchester seeing far greater use of contactless systems than elsewhere.

More than a quarter of people said they had seen the method of payment advertised on a constant basis, with the study conducted in the UK’s 15 largest cities.

Some 31% of Cardiff residents said they had made a contactless transaction with a smartphone, debit or credit card.

Different methods in different cities

Meanwhile, those in London and Manchester used the technology in 27% of cases, while it was those in Edinburgh and Cardiff that were expected to use contactless methods most during the remainder of the year.

Such methods can be used for payment of small-scale items such as food bills, groceries and other essentials, with the techniques now widely advertised in the UK.

Of the people living in Coventry, 39% regularly see adverts for the method of payment while a third of people in Birmingham and 31% in Leicester said likewise.

“Smartphones have changed the way we communicate, hold and access data, news and entertainment, and new developments such as Paym mean that, in the near future, mobile payments may well replace the use of cash,” said GoCompare banking spokesperson Matt Sanders.

“Many of the high street banks and retailers are embracing the new digital money technologies and as our survey shows, consumers are regularly seeing shops and restaurants advertising contactless payment systems,” he added.

Concerns remain – so are there alternative options?

The study also revealed that there is a certain level of trepidation towards the new payment methods, with a quarter of people admitting concerns.

Fraud was seen as the major risk in 46% of cases, showcasing the need for careful financial management, especially when it comes to revealing personal details.

Unlike credit and debit cards, prepaid cards are not directly linked to a bank account, making fraudulent activity a lot more difficult.

For those with concerns over their funds, transferring some to a prepaid card can also help to control spending, as only the sums on the card can be spent.

The cards can, however, be topped up if necessary and can be replaced if they are lost or stolen without funds being affected.