New Banking Study Highlights Customer Expectations

Despite growth in online banking, bricks and mortar bank branches remain relevant.

Salesforce has released its “2017 Connected Banking Customer Report,” surveying more than 3,000 adults across the United States and United Kingdom to explore the current attitudes and habits of today’s retail banking customers.

As fintech companies disrupt the banking industry and provide consumers with new ways to borrow, lend and manage their money, retail banks are under more pressure than ever to meet the growing expectations of today’s digitally savvy consumers. In addition, recent political and economic volatility is impacting consumer trust in financial services companies, as less than half of Americans who have a checking or savings account (48%) strongly agree they trust their banks with their financial information. To succeed, retail banks must develop customer-centric business models, engage via digital channels, simplify and connect their internal processes, and leverage the right technology tools to personalize relationships at scale.

The study was commissioned by Salesforce and conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Salesforce from Nov. 30-Dec. 2, 2016.

Customers rely on physical branches

While banks are making it easier for consumers to perform routine tasks online and on mobile devices, they continue to use bank branches, with 58% of Americans* saying that they have walked into a branch in the last four weeks. Mobile banking is the wave of the future, with nearly one-third of millennials with a checking or savings account (31%) saying they use their bank’s mobile app for routine transactions, compared to just 17% of Gen Xers and 6% of baby boomers.

“As the financial services industry confronts the greatest period of disruption in its history, banks are facing a pivotal moment,” said Rohit Mahna, GM, Financial Services, Salesforce. “They must embrace change or risk getting left behind as new entrants in the space disrupt the market. Tapping into the digital innovation that is happening across the industry is key to bridging the gap from the traditional banks of yesterday to the nimble banks of tomorrow.”

The rise of FinTech

Fintech companies are seizing the opportunity to disrupt traditional financial institutions, with 83% of millennials, 79% of Gen Xers and 62% of baby boomers* stating they have used fintech companies for basic payment activities, such as Lending Club, Stripe and Venmo. More than half of millennials (55%) prefer to do basic payment activities using a fintech firm vs. using similar services provided by their banks, highlighting convenience (56%) and ease-of-use (55%) as key reasons for this preference.

Approximately two-thirds of Americans state that financial stability of the bank (63%) and security of personal data (66%) are important factors when selecting a bank for their checking or savings accounts.However, recent political and economic changes could be creating trust issues, with 11% of U.S. millennials* saying they would change their banking practices as a result of Brexit or the U.S. presidential election results.

Similar to Americans, U.K. adults** also reported a trust gap with their banks, with less than one-third (29%) strongly agreeing that they trust their banks with their financial information, and only 15% strongly agreeing that their banks have their best interests at heart. UK millennials are similar to their U.S. counterparts in embracing fintech upstarts, with 52%** stating they prefer to do basic payment activities using a fintech company’s services vs. similar services provided by their banks

Download a full copy of the report