Europeans ready to quit banks over out-of-date technology

Europeans ready to quit banks over out-of-date technology

As they increasingly bank online and through their mobiles, many Europeans say that they would leave providers that do not offer up-to-date technology, a survey from Fujitsu shows.

The survey of 7000 people shows that convenience is king - and this means that customers are turning their backs on traditional banking channels and payment methods in favour of easier digital alternatives.

Online banking is the most popular channel across Europe, with three in four using it at least once a week. Nearly two thirds use self-service ATMs every week, while more than half use their bank's mobile app. Nearly 40% deal with their bank weekly via social media, although there is greater disparity between countries, with the channel very popular in Eastern Europe but far less so in the UK.

In contrast, only 35% interact with their bank weekly through the branch and 36% through the telephone.

And customers predict that the trend will continue, saying that they expect to use the branch, phone and post less to deal with their bank in five years time, but online, mobile and social more.

With digital services so valuable to customers, 37% of respondents say they would move from their bank or insurer if it didn’t offer up-to-date technology to aid interaction.

These customers may not be going to traditional banking rivals, with nearly a fifth of those quizzed saying that they would buy banking or insurance services from challengers such as Google, Facebook and Amazon.

However, the willingness of customers to buy services from non-traditional providers could also prove a boon for FS firms. Around a third of consumers are enthusiastic about purchasing home energy, data storage, broadband or mobile contracts from their bank or insurer.

When it comes to payments, nearly a third of Europeans are embracing their mobile phones, with a fifth even using wearables and crypto-currencies for purchases. More than three quarters use an online payments system such as PayPal and 42% use contactless cards. However, cash remains stubbornly popular, used daily by 44% of respondents.

Attitudes to innovation have also seen a change in mindset on data sharing. Across Europe, 97% say they are happy for banks or insurers to use their data to offer them a wider range of services. Almost three in five are happy for their provider to use their data to lower mortgage premiums, nearly half to recommend relevant products and services, and 44% to keep them informed of their spending habits and offer relevant advice.

Francois Fleutiaux, head, sales, Emeia, Fujitsu, says: "Today’s customers are no longer guarded. When it makes interaction more convenient they are willing to embrace innovation. They may not know where they need it until it is offered, but this is where technology comes to the fore - it is the engine that is driving consumer expectations forward and the financial services sector has to live up to this new pace of change."

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