Midata figures show unusual trends in switching behaviour

Source: Gocompare

A month on from the launch of Gocompare.com’s unique midata current account switching service, the comparison site has revealed the first midata-powered switching results.

The first switching figures reveal a stark difference between midata-powered switching behaviour and standard ‘best-buy’ table based decision making. The most popular account when customers use the midata-powered switching service was the Yorkshire Bank Current Account Direct with 19% of the clicks, followed by TSB Classic Account Direct (14%) and Halifax Reward Account (13%).

In general, the results show challenger banks in command with a number of lesser known accounts taking the top positions over better known, or more widely marketed products. In total, the top five accounts from midata-powered searches make-up two thirds of the click-throughs, compared to just 27% of searches using Gocompare.com’s standard comparison service.

Launched in March 2015, Midata is a Government backed comparison tool which enables current account customers to see exactly how much better off they could be by switching accounts. Midata allows customers to compare accounts using their own data. The service analyses all their transactions over the last year and then works out the best account which reflects their usage. Midata is currently only available through comparison website GoCompare.com.

The midata results not only contrast with Gocompare.com’s own standard comparison results, they also suggest a very different pattern of behaviour from the latest official Current Account Switching Service (CASS) figures, published by the Payments Council**. CASS’s latest quarterly figures revealed that Halifax was the most popular home for a new current account, with Santander and Lloyds coming in second and third. In CASS’s figures, neither Yorkshire Bank nor Clydesdale Bank featured in the top five.

Matt Sanders, Gocompare.com’s money spokesman, said: “This first set of figures show that the tailored results provided by our midata-powered current account comparison tool are making a real difference to the kind of accounts and providers customers are choosing to click through to.

“Midata enables customers to choose the right bank account for them without having to do all the maths themselves. They simply upload their bank statements and midata analyses their banking transactions, making hundreds of calculations including daily in-credit balance and any overdraft changes paid together with the fees, charges, interest rates and reward schemes linked to each available account. Within a few seconds the customer is shown the best value account for them.

“So, rather than being swayed by seemingly attractive switching incentives and marketing messages, customers can actually see in pounds and pence which current accounts are best suited to their banking habits and financial circumstances.

Matt added: “We hoped that the midata comparison service would make the banks design accounts tailored to what customers really want and need, and it seems that some of the challenger banks have already made their mark in this regard.

“It’s early days but, it’s interesting to see that only two of the big six banks or building societies features in the midata top five - I believe that shows that there’s still a lot more work to be done in the current account market to design accounts that truly suit customers and their needs.

“Recent Gocompare.com research*** showed that 40% of UK banking customers had never switched current accounts. A third (32%) said that they would be more likely to switch current accounts if they knew they could get a better deal elsewhere, and 13% said that they hadn’t switched as they didn’t know how to find the best account for them. Midata for current accounts makes it a lot easier to switch to the best value account.”
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