Research into consumer adoption of digital services in the UK has revealed that the banking sector is perceived to be leading the way.
Commissioned by Apptio, the Technology Business Management company, nearly a quarter (23%) of all UK adults and a third (28%) of smartphone users say that the banking industry tops the charts for digital innovation, surpassing industries such as retail (14%) and travel (8%).
Against a backdrop of increased regulatory pressures and competition between traditional and online-only banks, the industry is having to move rapidly and consumers are responding favourably to this change. Young people (18-24 year olds) in particular are more likely to bank on their smartphone (70%), compared to 37% of over 55s. Today, 28% of all respondents said they visit a bank / building society in-branch just once a year or less often, and 59% of people say the main reason for such a visit is usually to pay in cash or a cheque.
These findings are supported by the latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index, which shows that customer satisfaction for the Banks & Building societies sector is at its highest point in nine years; making it the second most improved sector compared to a year ago.
“The last five years has seen banks working hard behind the scenes on making savings to support innovation of new customer services and experiences. The infrastructure that is required to keep a bank running is among the most complex of any industry in the world. Getting visibility over where efficiencies can be achieved, benchmarking the options and realising these savings is a critical but often overlooked step in the process,” said Sunny Gupta, Apptio CEO.
“Recently banks have been able to unlock spend in this way and fuel the fantastic uplift in customer satisfaction generated by the availability of new digital services and customer experiences.”
However, while customers applaud progress in the banking sector, when it comes to enticing consumers to take action, there is still work to be done. In fact, according to the research, people are almost twice as likely to have switched their main supermarket within the last two years (18%) than to have switched their current account provider (10%). Consumers of insurance products appear to be the most transient group, with 34% having switched within the last year.
The most common reason cited by banking customers to switch current account was an incentive, such as a one-off promotion (58%), followed by the pursuit of better customer service. However, better digital presence is the reason given by one third of young people (33%) for making the change; while on average this was a consideration for just 10% of people aged 25 and older.
Faces behind the innovation
In spite of their pivotal role in bringing new products and services to market, 78% of people in the UK admit that they don’t know what the acronym “CIO” stands for. In fact, 16% of those who claimed to know what CIO stands for believe it stands for Chief Investment Officer rather than Chief Information Officer.