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Digital Transformation a Necessity for Banks to Regain Consumer Trust Finds GFT

Almost half of banking customers do not trust their bank to help manage their finances during a recession, according to GFT Technologies (GFT).

Forty-eight per cent of people do not want to rely on their bank for help during a recession. The digital transformation firm’s newly launched ‘Banking Disruption Index‘ for the UK. This first edition of the index is to become a quarterly release, with the next edition to launch in the new year. The index attempts to assess consumer attitudes towards banks and their technology capabilities.

The index also found that around two-thirds (67 per cent) of banking customers would prefer to use digital means of communication with their bank; as opposed to visiting a physical bank branch. These people suggested that using an app to transfer money and make payments was much preferred. Only 17 per cent of consumers prefer to visit a branch and have staff perform these tasks on their behalf.

Of the 16- 24-year-olds surveyed, only 52 per cent believe their banks are keeping up with technology. Levels of trust do not appear to be on the rise anytime soon. Forty-two per cent of respondents are worried that a future recession will negatively impact their personal savings and their bank.

Winning back consumer’s trust

It is clear that there are currently very low levels of trust in banks and consumer preference for digital offerings. This is especially true among younger respondents. This means that making a commitment to online banking could restore trust among its customer community. This could be done via a transformation of digital service offerings.

GFT also measures consumer sentiment toward their banks’ digital offerings. The Q3 sentiment scoring shows a 79-point satisfaction rate (on a zero to 100 scale) amongst customers towards the technology capabilities of their chosen bank. This highlights that a level of satisfaction does exist, although not all age groups are satisfied.

Trust - Richard Kalas, GFT
Richard Kalas, client solutions director of retail banking, GFT

While considering the current economic climate, GFT argues that banks improving communication with their customers digitally is a necessity. The advice GFT gave was for banks to continue to invest to drive customer engagement.

Richard Kalas, client solutions director of retail banking at GFT UK, offered his view. He said: “It’s clear that consumers expect greater levels of digital self-serve capability from their banking provider.

“Younger age groups in particular prefer channels such as WhatsApp and social media to communicate. The research shows that the banks and building societies with little or no digital service capability will find it exceptionally hard to compete and almost impossible to attract a younger audience.”

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