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UK consumers looking for more open banking services

Posted: 16 May 2017 | | No comments yet

Will the UK’s open banking revolution provide an opportunity for technology giants like Facebook or Google to enter banking services?

UK consumers looking for more open banking services

New research from MuleSoft has revealed that almost a third of UK consumers would consider the use of banking services from an internet giant, such as Amazon, Google, Facebook or Apple, rather than those of a more traditional bank.

Perhaps predictably, this figure rises to 45% for younger respondents to the survey, with 18-34 year olds indicating they are the happiest to embrace this potential new wave of banking providers.

Why make the switch?

When asked what would make UK consumers choose Amazon, Google, Facebook or Apple for banking services, more than half cited simplicity and convenience (55%), followed by a more personalised service (33%). These figures come from the Connected Consumer Report 2017, which looks at the quality and consistency of consumer experiences across different industry sectors.

When it comes to open banking, 86% of consumers think that banks should make it easier for them to compare products and services.

At a time when banks are being required to make their services more open and comply with the upcoming Payment Services Directive (PSD2), the Connected Consumer Report reveals almost half of UK consumers (48%) would be happy for banks to share their banking transaction history with other providers and trusted third parties if it gave them a more personalised experience. When it comes to open banking, 86% of consumers think that banks should make it easier for them to compare products and services.

Elaborating on the potential for internet firms to break into banking services, Danny Healy, Financial Technology Evangelist at MuleSoft, explained:

The threat to traditional banks from the likes of Google and Facebook is real.

“We’ve already seen Apple and fintech companies encroach into the payments space, drastically changing customers’ expectations around the way they pay for things. Financial services organisations that offer seamless experiences across digital channels and innovate as fast as consumer tastes change will win over consumers.

“To combat these threats, traditional banks need to open themselves up and become a part of new value chains. Open Banking and PSD2 have been a wake-up call for traditional banks, forcing them to experiment with APIs to open up functionality and data to third parties. For example, in the future consumers could be able to view their bank balance prior to purchase directly on an e-commerce site or application. By taking an API-led approach, traditional banks can remain relevant and better serve existing and new customer needs.”

The disconnected banking experience

The disconnected banking experience

The research reveals just over half of UK consumers (52%) think that banks provide a disconnected consumer experience, and 55% stated they are considering changing banks as a result.

When looking at the factors that contribute to a disconnected consumer experience:

  • 37% of UK consumers said banks do not provide a personalised service despite the amount of customer data they capture. This compares to only 19% of German and 22% of consumers in Belgium and the Netherlands saying banks do not provide a personalised service
  • Nearly half (48%) of UK consumers expressed frustrations with having to re-input or re-submit personal information that had previously been provided to their bank
  • The speed at which banks respond to online and offline requests for information is another area of frustration for many consumers. The research reveals that 30% of UK consumers who have submitted a query or request for information found it could not be answered or took longer than anticipated, because bank staff did not have access to all the information they needed
  • Almost a fifth (19%) of UK consumers have given up on an activity or request because sharing information with a bank was too difficult. This compares equally to consumers in Belgium and the Netherlands and is somewhat better than what was experienced by German consumers (37%).

Today’s consumer expects a fully connected and highly personal experience, but it is clear banks are falling short

“Today’s consumer expects a fully connected and highly personal experience, but it is clear banks are falling short. As the figures show, disconnected data and systems have a negative impact on customer loyalty. The challenge for banks is to bring multiple technologies and data together to create a cohesive and distinctive customer experience. This is no small undertaking for those banks with legacy technology and processes. However, through API-led connectivity and the creation of application networks, banks can transform their business models. Ultimately it will be the banks that successfully connect their applications, data and devices that will be able to innovation faster and improve customer satisfaction,” added Danny Healy.

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