Mobile emerges as key tool in fight for bank customers

Mobile emerges as key tool in fight for bank customers

More than half of people say they are prepared to ditch their bank and shop around for a new provider, according to a global study from Capgemini and Efma which suggests that the emerging mobile channel could prove a crucial battleground in the fight for customers.

Of around 18,000 people across 35 countries polled by Capgemini and Efma, 10% think that they are likely to leave their bank within the next six months, while another 41% are unsure whether they will stick with their provider of jump ship.

Canadians seem happiest with their banks, with 61% of respondents asserting that they have a 'positive customer experience', compared to 57% of Americans and 50% of Brits. In contrast, just 15% of people in Hong Kong say the same, 22% in Japan and 27% in Taiwan.

With the data unsurprisingly showing a strong correlation between customer satisfaction and their likelihood to stay with their bank, Capgemini says that quality of service is by far the most important factor in keeping users on board.

With products and transactions now largely commoditised and offering banks little scope to distinguish themselves from the competition, Capgemini suggests that delivery channels, in particular mobile, will be crucial.

Although mobile is still viewed as less important than more established channels such as the branch and online, it has seen a significant increase in its perceived value over the last year. By region, mobile's importance jumped by 10% in Central Europe between 2012 and 2013, nine per cent in Asia Pacific, and six per cent in Western Europe.

And this trend is set to continue, suggests the Capgemini data, with customers - particularly the young - turning away from branches and ATMs over the next four years and moving to mobile. While branch usage in North America is set to fall 3.5% by 2017, mobile banking will see a 7.7% rise.

Patrick Desmarès, secretary general, Efma, says: "The future of retail banking is mobile banking. By the end of 2013, there will be more mobile devices than people with a predicted 10 billion mobile connected devices amounting to a global average of 1.4 mobile devices per capita. Banks need to go where the opportunity is - and that is mobile."

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