Utilization of Digital Banking Channels vs. Customer Satisfaction

Large investments in mobile and online services do not always translate into higher customer satisfaction or improved financial performance.

There is little correlation between consumers’ adoption of banking technologies and how satisfied they are with their banking provider, according to a bank-by-bank comparison analyzing over 20 leading financial institutions, Javelin Strategy & Research.

“Two out of three credit unions members are highly frequent online users, higher than most regional and community banks.”
— Javelin ‘Outperform’ Fact

For example, 37% of USAA customers conduct mobile banking on a highly frequent basis, and achieved high customer satisfaction scores with 90% of its customers saying they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied,” while BofA — who has a similar mobile offering as USAA — achieved only a 67% satisfaction score.


Read More: Consumers Expect More From Mobile Banking Apps Than They Get

The study is part of a new ongoing research project from Javelin dubbed “Outperform.” Outperform is a new competitive benchmarking survey encompassing 10,000 customers from BofA, Citi, Wells Fargo, PNC, Chase, USAA, SunTrust and 13 other banks.

Jim Van Dyke, CEO and Founder, Javelin Strategy & Research, says he structured the Outperform study “to help U.S. retail banks assess emerging bank services and identify ways to improve their competitive market position.” Van Dyke hopes Outperform will provide bank and credit union marketing with intel they can be used to ultimately increase acquisition rates, customer loyalty and revenues.

A study in early 2013 found mobile banking apps fell short of consumer expectations. Nearly half of those surveyed admitted they’ve thought about deleting the app they downloaded from their bank or credit union. Then in August, Americans rated PNC, SunTrust, BB&T, Chase, TD, Regions and BofA among the top ten worst mobile banking apps.


Read More: Americans Rank the Top 10 Best and Worst Mobile Banking Apps

You Don’t Need Bleeding Edge Early Adopters to Succeed in Digital Channels

Over 70% of Wells Fargo customers frequently bank online, compared to BofA at 65%. Even though Wells Fargo is in the lead, it paradoxically has fewer customers who consider themselves early adopters of technology or new services — at similar levels to community banks customer technology profile. BofA and Chase have the highest proportion of customers who see themselves as early adopters (27% and 24% respectively).

“Understanding customers’ attitudes toward new technologies is vital when choosing particular capabilities that will be result in greater loyalty toward high-value financial services and higher return on investment,” explains Van Dyke.

“The banking industry is increasingly a ‘have-and-have-nots’ realm in which institutions who invest wisely in particular emerging capabilities are increasingly solidifying a dominating position,” Van Dyke adds. “Banks need to continually assess their investments to ensure they are carefully choosing the best technologies that create real customer value and higher financial performance beyond the latest fads.”

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