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Consumers' personalised banking needs are not being met

Banks are failing to give customers the personal services they crave, leaving the door open to tech-savvy competitors

Most consumers want their bank to use the latest technologies to create a service personalised to their needs, but not many are satisfied with their bank’s efforts to meet them.

A survey of 1,000 people in the UK, taken by automated teller machine (ATM) maker NCR, found 87% of respondents think banking services should be personalised to individual users.

Over a third (35%) said banking services should work around their lives, but only 16% agreed their bank offered this.

Meanwhile, the research found 94% of respondents said banking should be seamless across all devices and platforms, but only 18% said they currently get this level of service. Similar disappointment is clear when it comes to banks being innovative. While 91% said their bank should be innovative, only 14% said they currently are.

Joe Gallagher, general manager of self-service and branch at NCR, said it is natural to expect the companies consumers use to understand them.

“As our expectations rise, it is becoming increasingly important for banks to show they really do understand us as individuals, and that they are taking steps towards improving personalisation and customer experiences across the banking landscape.”

Today, 44% of respondents put a bank’s online services at the top of their list when selecting a bank. This is hardly surprising given that they increasingly interact with the banks online or through apps. The research found 89% of customers interact with the bank through these channels at least once a week. Meanwhile, 57% used an ATM and 5% entered a bank branch in the same time period.

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This would presumably benefit the new breed of technology-driven challenger banks that pride themselves on personal money services. But the survey found only 3% of respondents have joined one of these new banks.

This slow take-up could be the result of fears around technology. For example, only 21% want to recieve customer support from chatbots on social media. Over half (51%) said they would not bank using AI assistants.

Traditional banks need to keep their technology strategies up to date, because when customers are not getting the personalised services they want or overcome their tech sceptisism, they will likely look to other banks.

Today, it is easy to switch bank accounts, which supports a more competitive sector. The Current Account Switching Service (Cass), enables a seven-day switch, rather than the 30 days it used to take.

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