Consumers Cite No-Fee, Self-Service Options and Mobile Apps as Most Desirable Bank Features
The way people bank and the financial services they value most have changed significantly in recent years. And our new research indicates that even more dramatic change can be expected in banking going forward.
Many Banking Customers Prefer a Low-Touch Approach
Our survey results illustrate that customer preferences have shifted from high-touch to low-touch bank offerings and interactions. Many customers today would rather conduct bank transactions via machine than with a human teller.
Nearly a third (31%) of U.S. survey participants said easy-to-access ATMs and no ATM fees are the most important benefits their banks provide. That number was even higher for U.K. bank customers, 33% of which said easy-to-access and no-fee ATMs were most important.
Only 15% of the American survey group said an in-person presence was the most important bank benefit. Yet a strong share of Americans still regularly visits their physical bank branches. Nearly half (49%) said they had gone to the bank within the past month. However, the 50-to-65 age group was nearly twice as likely (20%) as the 18-to-34 group (11%) to say an in-person presence was the most important benefit their bank provides, indicating that this preference is waning.
Consumers — Especially Millennials — Value the Convenience of Mobile Apps
Meanwhile, the use of mobile apps is growing. About a fifth (21%) of American survey participants — and 27% of the U.K. survey group — said an easy-to-use mobile app is the most important benefit a bank can deliver.
Banking via mobile app is particularly attractive to millennials. American survey participants in the 18-to-34 age group were nearly twice as likely (27%) as those in the 50-to-65 age group (14%) to say an easy-to-use mobile app is their top banking requirement.
And They Use Banking and Payments Cards in a Wide Variety of Ways
Nearly three-fourths (74%) of Americans said they have bought or received a prepaid card. Nearly half (47%) said they have been reimbursed with a physical or virtual card.
Millennials are much more likely to have used a card for reimbursement than Baby Boomers. While more than half (56%) of the 18-to-34 age group has done so, just a third (33%) of the 50-to-65 age group has used a card to be reimbursed.
The 18-to-34 age group is also more likely to have been issued a card by a company from whom they borrowed money than the larger survey sample. More than a fifth (21%) of all Americans have been issued a card by a company from whom they borrowed money. But more than a quarter (26%) of millennials said they received a card in such a scenario.
Many Banking Customers Are Willing to Change
Consumers’ desire for ease of use keeps many people with their current banks, simply because it may seem easier to stay with what they have than to do something different. However, many customers — particularly millennials — are open to changing their banks or payments processes to enjoy great convenience and experiences immediately and in the long term.
Less than a quarter of the respondents said they couldn’t imagine ever wanting to change their bank. But a far larger group — 43% — indicated they would consider using a digital-only banking service. And an even larger share than that — 46% — said they would be willing to use Amazon, Facebook or Google for their banking, should those tech giants introduce bank services.