The rise of digital channels is contributing to a decline in the depth and quality of dealings British and Irish customers have with their banks, harming loyalty, suggests a report from Accenture.
The IT giant's survey of 4000 people shows that the percentage that use online banking every day fell from 32% in 2011 to 19% in 2012. A similar pattern is seen for those using e-banking at latest once a week, down from 71% to 61%.
Branch banking has seen a less pronounced decline, albeit from a lower base: in 2011 17% of respondents visited a branch at least once a week, in 2012 15%.
In contrast, new kid mobile saw a modest rise in the percentage of people using it at least weekly: 10% in 2012, up from nine per cent the previous year and double the five per cent of 2010.
Meanwhile, customer loyalty is on the decline, with the percentage of customers that had switched to another bank for new products increasing from 11% in 2010 to 15% in 2012. Similarly, reported trust is down from 45% in 2011 to 40% last year.
Accenture argues that there is a link between how customers interact with their banks and how they view them. The vendor suggests that the move to short, impersonal, functional dealings, especially through mobiles, makes it harder for banks to engage users.
"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," says Peter Kirk, MD, distribution and marketing services, UK and Ireland, Accenture.