UserTesting's Global Survey Reveals that When it Comes to Banking & Finance, People Across all Generations Prefer a Human Touch
83% of respondents prefer traditional banks over digital-only—in large part due to the ability to speak to a bank teller face-to-face
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – May 4, 2023 – UserTesting, a leader in experience research and insights, today announced results from a recent global survey commissioned by UserTesting and conducted by OnePoll. The study revealed that, despite major technological advancements in digital banking, 27 percent of people globally still “strictly” use traditional banks, ditching digital-only completely—including 28 percent of baby boomers and 26 percent of millennials. In comparison, only 12 percent overall globally said they’d rather just use a digital bank with no physical presence. Digital banking definitely has its advantages, yet four in five digital bank users wished their banks offered some of the perks traditional banks already have—such as the 38 percent of them that wish digital banks offered the ability to talk to humans for customer support.
According to Accenture’s Top 10 Banking Trends for 2023, “over the past decade and a half, traditional banks faced with lower interest rates, turned their attention away from the totality of customers’ financial needs to isolated products that generated revenue. Simultaneously the fintech universe exploded with innovations and competition to banks.” Features like digital wallets and mobile banking apps created convenience, and the ease of mobile payments from anywhere makes digital banking appealing. This ease and access to digital currency has also led some folks to spend more frivolously, findings from the recently conducted UserTesting and OnePoll study shows about 40 percent of consumers globally admit that they’re more likely to spend more recklessly when using digital payment options.
“We’re seeing a strange dichotomy in banking unfolding in front of us,” said Dana Bishop, VP of Experience Research Strategy at UserTesting. “We know physical banking branches are closing in droves, yet the data here supports that consumers—especially in younger generations—crave the in-person benefits traditional banks provide. It’s important for digital banking platforms to consider the preferences and behaviors of their customers when building and designing products and services in order to meet these more human-oriented banking needs.”
Highlights from United States
Findings from the study also revealed that:
A higher percentage of Americans find digital wallets more trustworthy than their banking counterparts from Australia and the United Kingdom.
- 67 percent of American respondents said they trust digital wallets and mobile banking apps–most popular amongst the younger generations (76% of Gen Z and 86% of millennials) and least popular for baby boomers (48%).
- 54 percent of respondents from the United Kingdom said they trust digital wallets and mobile banking apps—most popular across a variety of generations including Gen X (64%), and baby boomers (60%), and least popular for the Silent Generation (47%).
- 45 percent of Australians said they trust digital wallets and mobile banking apps—with greater popularity amongst the younger generations (53% of Gen Z and 52% of millennials) and least popular for baby boomers (36%).
Similarly, a higher percentage of Americans trust digital banks over traditional banks than their counterparts in the United Kingdom and Australia.
- When asked about their trust in banks, 33 percent of American respondents trust traditional banks more than digital banks, 28 percent trust both equally, and 29 percent trust digital banks more than traditional banks. Only 6 percent claim not to trust banks at all.
- When asked about their trust in banks, 35 percent of Australian respondents trust traditional banks more than digital banks, 42 percent trust both equally, and only 4 percent trust digital banks more than traditional banks. One tenth of Australians (11%) do not trust banks at all.
- When asked about their trust in banks, 28 percent of UK respondents trust traditional banks more than digital banks, while 52 percent trust both equally, and only 7 percent trust digital banks more than traditional banks. Similar to the United States, 6 percent claim not to trust banks at all.
A similar percentage of digital bank users around the globe actually wish their banks offered some of the same perks that traditional banks offer.
- Four in five (79%) American digital bank users wished their banks offered some of the perks traditional banks already have; 43 percent want the ability to talk to humans for customer support. This is especially true for Gen Z (60%) and the Silent Generation (49%). Also, 43 percent of respondents prefer the waived fees that customers get at the ATMs of their respective, traditional banks.
- Three out of four (73%) Australian digital bank users wished their banks offered some of the perks traditional banks already have; 31 percent want the ability to talk to humans for customer support. This holds true for the Silent Generation (47%) and Gen Z (34%). Additionally, 26 percent of respondents like the waived fees that customers get at the ATMs of their respective, traditional banks.
- Seven out of 10 (71%) digital bank users in the United Kingdom wished their banks offered some of the perks traditional banks already have; 27 percent want the ability to talk to humans for customer support. This is most important for the Silent Generation (43%) and millennials too (30%). Also, 23 percent feel that traditional banks offer better perks and rewards for their cards compared to those from digital banks.
While a majority of respondents prefer to conduct their banking services with traditional banks, only a minority of respondents actually speak with banking tellers on a regular basis.
- 51 percent of Americans who prefer traditional banks, like to have the ability to speak with bank tellers face-to-face, while 44 percent of Australian respondents and 43 percent of respondents from the United Kingdom also claim to prefer to speak with tellers face-to-face.
- While a majority of respondents claim to prefer banking with the option for human interaction, 55 percent of Americans have not actually spoken with a bank teller face-to-face in the past two weeks, compared to 88 percent of respondents from Australia, and 81 percent of respondents from the United Kingdom.
Concludes Bishop, “In reality, there’s still an open space for hybrid institutions to exist. Both digital and traditional banking platforms have their exclusive benefits, but there is a clear want and need for institutions to exist in both physical and digital worlds, providing the shared perks either can offer.”
This random double-opt-in survey of 1,800 general population of Americans, 1,000 general population from the United Kingdom and 1,000 general population of Australians was commissioned by UserTesting on March 3 to April 12, 2023. All respondents were adults with bank accounts. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).
To access the UserTesting Generational Banking Report, click here.
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