UK consumers would consider completely digital banks, says Accenture

Rebecca Gibson
Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson on 18 July 2014
UK consumers would consider completely digital banks, says Accenture

Around 25% of UK consumers would consider using a completely digital bank, according to an Accenture survey.

Accenture’s 2014 UK Financial Services Customer Survey, which is based on interviews with more than 3,600 UK current account holders,  indicated that a third of customers aged between 25 and 34 would consider using a digital bank that is not supported by a call centre or a physical branch. Around 22% of customers aged 18 to 24 would also opt for a digital bank.

In addition, the survey indicated that the use of digital banking channels has increased. Around 80% of respondents used online banking services at least once a month, while the number of customers using monthly mobile banking services has increased to 27%. This marks a rise from the 21% of consumers who used mobile banking in 2012. 

Conversely, Accenture’s study also highlighted a rise in the number of customers using physical branches, with more than 52% of customers visiting a physical branch at least once a month – a rise of 45% in 2012. The rise was most pronounced among customers aged 18 to 24, with 54% of people in the group choosing to visit branches, compared to 39% in 2012.

“This year’s survey underscores the growing complexity in how consumers want to interact with banks in the digital age,” said Peter Kirk, a managing director in Accenture’s Financial Services group. “The youngest, most tech-savvy-customers still value face-to-face contact as they begin their life’s financial journey, whereas older customers who are further along in their work life are more open to a digital-only relationship. There is also evidence that some customers are not satisfied by their banks’ current digital offerings. This presents difficult questions for banks as they look to balance digital channels with costly branch networks and deliver relevant services.”

In addition, Accenture found that a fifth of UK consumers would consider banking with non-bank organisations, such as an online payment-provider or the post office. Around 15% would consider banking with retailers if they were to offer current account services.

“To grow their business and increase market share, banks need to differentiate themselves because customers feel that most banking products and services are more or less the same, so there’s not much point in switching,” said Kirk. “This is becoming increasingly important in the digital world as customers are in the driving seat and they expect the same level of convenience, simplicity and speed from banks to which they have become accustomed from many other service providers they use every day.”

Kirk added: “As banks develop their strategies for re-engaging with their customers, they will need to focus on evolving customer behaviours and digital experience, while improving their services through the use of analytics and customer loyalty.”

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