Global Consumer Banking Survey 2014

Why banks must act now

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Emerging technology and greater competition have redefined the banking industry, turning many banking transactions and financial services into commodities that are universally accessible but not differentiated. As a result, consumers are actively exploring and pursuing their options.

In the past 12 months, 52% of customers have opened or closed at least one product, and 40% plan to do so in 2014. More than ever, banks are under pressure to not only retain their customers, but also to grow their customer base. While 60% of survey respondents did not have definite plans to open or close accounts in the next year, this should not be interpreted as loyalty.

Our survey shows that rather than being retained, customers simply remain with their provider. Of those customers who definitely plan to maintain their current relationships, 22% say all financial services companies are the same and 17% say it is too difficult or time-consuming to change.

Traditional banks still have a significant advantage over new competitors when it comes to customary banking services, particularly branches and ATM accessibility. But that advantage is much smaller when it comes to mobile and online banking features and many advisory services.

Banks’ best opportunity to stem this trend and preserve market share is by emphasizing the customer experience. Banks must invest in services that increase engagement through the delivery of customized advice and solutions, along with consistently delivering the basics including fee transparency and problem resolution.

Each customer segment has different priorities, so developing targeted strategies requires careful attention to customer experience, channel preferences, priorities and behaviors. Customers are willing to change providers if a bank fails to provide excellent, personalized service.

Focusing on the customer experience is paramount to establishing trust and, in turn, creating customer advocates who will both refer business and expand their own relationships.

We measured the banking experience through responses from more than 32,000 retail banking customers. Explore this data in depth.