The study found that the Coronavirus pandemic has fuelled the shift towards digital savings.
Nearly a fifth of savers (18%) said they opted not to open a branch-based savings account as they wanted to avoid visiting branches to reduce the chances of catching Covid-19.
Some 54% of savings accounts launched between March and October 2020 were online only and 79% of people who opened a savings account in 2020 opted for one that could be managed digitally.
In terms of the amounts people are saving, nearly 1 in 5 (19%) said they have saved more since the crisis began with 22% saving less, the study for Investec found.
Of those people who opened a savings account in 2020 79% chose a digital or online account, 14% selected a branch-based account, 11% chose a phone-based one and 5% opted for a postal account.
Since March, 135 savings accounts have been launched with 73 (54%) online only. Just 13 (9.6%) were branch-based accounts, with three (2.2%) post only, and 46 (34%) offered a range of channels.
Most savers said the main reason for selecting an online-based savings account was that they were perceived as generally offering better rates.
Some 24% said that since lockdown they have increasingly been using digital tools such as apps to manage their money. One in five (18%) said they were saving online because they did not want to go to a branch because of the risk of catching Covid-19 and 12% said it was because more branches have closed due to the crisis.
Of those who were saving more, 76% said it was because the crisis meant they were spending less but 16% said Covid-19 had made them think more about their future.
One in 10 said they were saving more because they were worried about their job security and 10% because it has made them think more about their loved ones. Some 16% say they were saving more because their earnings have increased during the crisis.
Linda Brown, head of savings at Investec, said: “It’s clear that the Covid-19 crisis has accelerated the use of online and digital platforms but this is a continuation of a trend we’ve seen among our own client base in recent years.”
• Consumer Intelligence conducted research with 1,002 people in the UK in September and MoneyComms conducted research into how many savings accounts were launched between March and October 2020.