Hundreds of thousands of bank customers go online on Christmas Day

Bank of Ireland even received ‘small number’ of mortgage applications on December 25th

More than 80 per cent of Christmas Day banking activity originated on smartphones. Photograph: Andrew Gombert/EPA

More than 80 per cent of Christmas Day banking activity originated on smartphones. Photograph: Andrew Gombert/EPA


Almost 500,000 customers of AIB and Bank of Ireland took time out from the festivities on Christmas Day to bank online, with some even filling out mortgage applications.

Bank of Ireland experienced 223,000 log-ins, with three-fourths of them coming through its mobile app. The bank said the peak log-in time on its app was 10pm on Christmas night.

“Customers were predominantly logging in to see their balance, but there was a small number of personal loans and mortgages applied for,” said Garvan Callan, director of customer, digital and innovation at Bank of Ireland.

“Some Christmas Day activity was probably down to people getting mobile phones for Christmas and activating the app on the phone. Checking their balance tends to be the default activity.”

At AIB, more than 220,000 customers logged in online with the bank. More than 80 per cent of this activity originated on smartphones, with mobile use up 29 per cent year-on-year on the day.

“Although Christmas is traditionally a very quiet day for banking, our data shows that over 220,000 customers checked in on Christmas Day to review their balance, check for pending transactions, transfer funds, pay a bill or top-up a phone,” said AIB’s head of digital channel development, Seán Jevens.

Global spread

AIB’s data also revealed the global spread of this activity by its customers. Log-ins came from more than 120 countries; the top five were the UK, Poland, the US, Spain and Australia.

The bank, which is 99.9 per cent owned by the State, said more than 600,000 customers now used its mobile banking app, logging in to manage their finances more than eight million times a month.

“The migration to online banking is also not unique to the personal customer base,” Mr Jevens said. “In the run-up to Christmas, we experienced the highest ever payment volumes on our internet business banking service on December 21st. This growing demand is driving our continued investment in technology.”

Bank of Ireland said December 22nd saw the largest number of customers logging in to its mobile app. In terms of corporate banking, December 13th was the busiest day for its business online website, due to pre-Christmas payroll and payments being processed.

A spokesman for Permanent TSB said that more than 100,000 customers logged into its online banking services on Christmas Day, but was unable to provide details of their activity.