Traditional banks
Leveraging the tech and trust advantage

Ipsos Research: Consumer perspectives

While banks have made considerable investment into technology as they seek to fend off market challenges from digital banks and tech and e-commerce giants, they have yet to reap the full benefit of this investment. 

Despite bank efforts to match consumer demands for digital advancement, their progress has fallen short of the expectations of consumers who have quickly come to expect the agile, super-responsive and customer-centric service provided by today’s tech-first players. 

Traditional differentiators such as person-to-person advisory are failing to provide sufficient added-value to digital-first, time-poor consumers. 

To regain lost competitiveness, added-value and uniqueness, traditional banks must leverage their competitive advantages - deep customer knowledge, trust capital and sophisticated financial product offerings - and combine these with cutting edge technology, to leverage tech-enhanced advisory. 

Traditional banks need to dramatically rethink their competitive strategy, as they cannot match digital banks or GAFAM-style players on agility and pricing. Traditional banks need to focus on becoming the best in class among their peers. 

Sopra Steria commissioned IPSOS to question almost 11,300 bank customers in 9 European countries on their financial habits and attitudes towards their bank. The survey was conducted in France, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg, with all participants aged over 18 years and all had a bank account with either a traditional or a digital bank.  

Key numbers

  • 51% More than half of customers feel their bank does not want to earn them money 
  • 47% Almost 1 in 2 customers are interested in opening an account with Big Tech giants 
  • 31% Almost 1 in 3 customers have both digital and traditional bank accounts

80% of customers believe in the stability of their bank and 75% in the solidity of the banking system. As such banks have the opportunity to position themselves as educators in the field of financial management, enabling them to build an additional value channel with consumers, and strengthening their customer relationship. 

Another way traditional banks can regain lost competitiveness, recreate added value and uniqueness is via personalised customer services. Customers want more personalised, tailor-made services from their banks and technology, combined with analysis of the deep consumer background possessed by traditional banks provides them with a critical market edge over younger, more agile digital rivals.

Mobile rather than web interfaces are rapidly emerging as the platform of choice for customers, opening up huge potential for hyper-personalised services based on payments and GPS data, assuming the tech is in place to crunch the metrics. 

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) also stands out as an area of potential competitive advantage for banks. Consumers’ sustainability focus has hardly dipped since last year’s study, despite ongoing financial pressure from inflation and sluggish growth. 

Key numbers

  • 61% Almost 2 in 3 customers judge cost as a key factor when deciding to change banks
  • 47% Customers evaluating bank climate change efforts when deciding to open an account
  • 30% Less than 1 in 3 customers think their advisor offers them suitable banking services
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