Online banking use drops as mobile use doubles finds Accenture study
Banks in the UK and Ireland need to adjust to changing consumer behaviour as customers cut back on the amount of time they spend banking online and visiting bank branches, according to new research by Accenture.
According to the survey, daily and weekly branch visits fell from 19% to 15% and daily and weekly online banking activity fell from 69% in 2010 to 61% in 2012. Meanwhile, inherently brief, more transactional banking activity rose significantly, with daily and weekly mobile banking more than doubling – from 7% in 2010 to 15% in 2012.
Self-reported customer satisfaction and willingness to recommend banks remained level, but loyalty fell, with the percentage of customers that had switched to another bank increasing from 11% in 2010 to 15% in 2012. In September, the UK introduces seven-day account switching, meaning that consumers will be able to switch to a new bank more easily than before.
The study also revealed declines in consumer trust in banks, from 45% in 2011 to 40% in 2012, as well as a reduction from 41% to 38% in customers that believed their bank is fair and transparent. Consumers in the age range 18-24 were the most severely affected, registering declines of 61% to 49% in customer satisfaction and 48% to 37% in trust, as well as a decline from 41% to 31% in those who believe their bank is fair and transparent.
“This year’s survey results underscored the banking industry’s central challenge to re-engage customers, as the ‘human element’ of the relationship diminishes,” said Peter Kirk, managing director of Accenture distribution and marketing services in the UK and Ireland. “Banks’ success in rolling out efficient, user-friendly digital channels and its continuing consumer trust issues may be contributing to an increasingly arm’s-length relationship between institutions and their customers, which impacts their opportunities to sell and build loyalty.”
One of the only ratings to show positive growth was mobile banking, which increased from 10% in 2010 to 22% in 2012. According to Kirk, the findings indicate that banks need to focus on the customer experience, reward loyalty, and personalise how they engage with consumers using big data and analytics.
At the end of February, a separate YouGov poll conducted by BT revealed that customers cited peer review sections, web chat and compare my bank services as the most wanted tools and strong online banking services, the presence of a local branch and 24/7 availability of banking services as the strongest motivating factors that would persuade a customer to change banks.
Several new banks are currently hoping to capitalise on dissatisfaction with existing offerings to enter the market in coming months. Finnish bank Holvi is an online-only bank that aims to rollout across Europe by the end of the year, offering a combination of personal financial management features, social and business networking and reworked core products. Meanwhile, Moven (formerly Movenbank), another online bank, is based around the mobile wallet concept, in which the customer downloads a mobile app and then uses their mobile phone to make payments, transfer funds and withdraw cash.