Consumers Seek More Bank Support as Debts Mount

  • Personal Finance
  • 18.06.2024 12:10 pm

According to new research, the average British consumer has almost £2,700 of credit card debt, and more than a third have, or contemplated taking out, a payday or short-term loan to cover rising debt costs in the last 12 months.

Despite this mounting debt, over a third (39%) of consumers are not using any tools to help manage their spending. Around one in four (26%) are still using manual software such as Microsoft Excel to track their expenses.

The data comes from GFT’s latest Banking Disruption Index, a twice yearly assessment of consumer sentiment towards digital banking. 

Richard Kalas, Client Solutions Director, Retail Banking at GFT UK, said: “It’s a challenging economic environment for consumers and they’re looking for assistance from their banks. The data shows that a lot of this support could be given via the introduction of new digital tools and enhanced personalisation. There’s a huge opportunity here for banks to expand their digital capabilities and provide a helping hand during this tough time.”

Neobanks and traditional banks have introduced a raft of new tools to help customers manage their money in recent years, from easy-access savings pots for short term goals, to buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) services.

According to GFT’s survey, an easy-to-use mobile app is still the main priority, as highlighted by 35% of consumers, when choosing a bank to help them save money.

But consumers still seem to prefer traditional banks, with 50% of those surveyed admitting to trusting a traditional bank more with their savings than a neobank.

When asked what features are essential to them when choosing a digital bank account, competitive interest rates (42%), advanced online banking features (35%) and digital tools such as budgeting apps (18%) were the most popular.

One in four (25%) think their bank account providers could improve their customer offerings by providing more personalised services and benefits.

Managing debts

The rising cost of living means consumers are seeking new ways of managing their finances, and the growing use of BNPL facilities is an example of this.

According to GFT’s data, one in five (20%) of 18-24-year-olds are regularly using BNPL services to ease their financial challenges.

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