Brits lukewarm on digital-only banks as branch visits increase
14 July 2014 | 13234 views | 19
More than half of Brits visit a branch at least once a month and only a quarter would consider using a purely digital bank, according to a survey from Accenture.
Over the last couple of years banks across the UK have begun shutting branches, citing the growing popularity of digital channels. Yet the Accenture poll of 3604 people reveals that physical outlets are still valued by customers.
The young - those aged 18 to 24 - are the least receptive to a bank with no branches or call centres, with only 22% of respondents saying that they would consider using one, compared to 33% of 25 to 34 year olds.
Although 80% of those quizzed bank online at least once a month, only 27% use mobile banking every four weeks, up from 21% in 2012.
A more surprising rise has been seen in the number of people visiting a branch at least once a month - up from 45% in 2012 to 52%. The trend has been even more pronounced among 18 to 24 year olds, up from 39% to 54%.
Peter Kirk from Accenture's financial services group, says: "This year's survey underscores the growing complexity in how consumers want to interact with banks in the digital age.
"The youngest, most tech-savvy-customers still value face-to-face contact as they begin their life's financial journey, whereas older customers who are further along in their work life are more open to a digital-only relationship."
Meanwhile, the survey also shows that banks are winning back the confidence of their customers, with 52% rating their provider trustworthy, up from 43% in 2012. There is little appetite among customers for switching because bank offers are seen as very similar.
However, there is still a threat from non-banks. Nearly a fifth of respondents say that they would consider banking with organisations such as online payment-providers or the post office, and 15% would consider switching to retailers that offer current account services.
Concludes Kirk: "To grow their business and increase market share, banks need to differentiate themselves because customers feel that most banking products and services are more or less the same, and there's not much point in switching.
"This is becoming increasingly important in the digital world as customers are in the driving seat, and they expect the same level of convenience, simplicity and speed from banks to which they have become accustomed from many other service providers they use every day."