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Ten Questions About the Impact of Digital Acceleration on Banking

Jul 13, 2021 / Digital Banking

Digital banking is expanding rapidly, and the pandemic has only quickened that growth. We surveyed 600 bank and credit union consumers, and more than 200 financial services leaders, to determine the impact of digital acceleration on financial services organizations. Some of the data might surprise you. Look through the questions below, and then watch the webinar or read the special report for additional insights.

    1. What is the top digital banking investment priority for most financial services leaders in 2021?
      Financial leaders said that promoting digital banking to consumers (in order to increase adoption) was their top priority. Their next highest priority was connecting digital products across the organization. Do consumers agree?
    2. Are bank accounts opened online of the same quality as those opened at a branch?
      Most financial services leaders (55%) agree that accounts opened online have lower balances than accounts opened in the branch. That’s most likely because consumers are testing or trying out the financial services organization before committing more money. Another reason is age—online account openers are generally younger and have less money than the more mature consumers the branch attracts.
    3. What is the one thing most consumers do before opening a new deposit account?
      We asked consumers about the steps they take before opening a new deposit account. Two-thirds said they research information on the website. But the branch is also important: 49% of consumers speak to a representative at the branch before opening a new deposit account.
    4. What is the #1 reason consumers visit a branch? Is this reason different for younger consumers and older consumers?
      Most consumers visit the branch to make a deposit or withdrawal, and that’s true for every generation, from Gen Z to Boomers+. The second most common reason consumers visit a branch is to cash a check. Consumers also visit branches “to work with a human” and to solve a problem with an account.
    5. Do consumers plan on using digital banking at the same level once in-person banking is normalized?
      84% of consumers say they plan to maintain the same level of digital usage as they did during the pandemic once in-person banking resumes. Since the pandemic, 43% of consumers report doing all of their banking digitally, and 39% have increased (or started) digital banking usage. Only 6% said they had no change in digital usage since the start of the pandemic.
    6. How have consumers opinion of their bank’s digital services changed over the past year?
      Consumer opinions of their bank’s digital services have either improved or stayed the same. Almost half (47%) have a better opinion of their bank’s digital banking services than they did before the pandemic, while only 5% of consumers have lowered their opinions.
    7. What do consumers think is the #1 way to improve banking apps and digital capabilities? Do financial services leaders agree?
      There seems to be a disconnect between consumer attitudes and those from financial services leaders. While consumers believe 24/7 customer service is the best way to improve apps and digital capabilities, financial services leaders cite “better product and service recommendations” as their top priority. “Better product recommendations” however, didn’t even rank in consumers’ top three answers.
    8. How likely are consumers to change banks for a better digital experience?
      The answer: highly likely for younger consumers but not for older ones. While 61% of Gen Z consumers would switch, along with 72% of Millennials and 51% of Gen X consumers, only 21% of Boomers+ consumers would. For Millennials and Gen X, the likelihood to switch has increased since the start of the pandemic.
    9. Which generation is most open to switching to a nontraditional bank? Which generation is least likely?
      As you might expect, younger generations are more likely to consider banking with a nontraditional player such as Apple, Google, PayPal or Facebook. At 80%, Millennials are the most open to switching, most likely to try new products and services, and for convenience. On the other hand, only 21% of Boomers+ consumers would consider a nontraditional bank.
    10. Which type of financial services organization do consumers think have the best mobile and digital platforms? How about the best safety and security?
      Consumers rate traditional financial services organizations, such as banks and credit unions, highest in many banking categories including mobile and digital platforms, safety and security, convenience, helpful contact centers and more. Other financial services organizations, such as fintechs and direct banks, lag behind.

Bonus question: Who provides actionable insights that help you make smart business decisions, every day?
BAI, of course. BAI offers a deep collection of powerful tools and relevant content including unbiased data from survey reports, training modules and more, for banks and other financial services organizations. See more of what BAI has to offer.