Survey: Convenience Now Basic Requirement in Banking

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Obinna Chima

A banking industry survey has stressed that convenience is now a basic requirement from financial services providers, especially as digital adoption continues to grow, and newer technologies emerge.

In its findings, app-based mobile banking and USSD lead the way with adoption rising from 48 per cent and 41 per cent last year, to 55 per cent and 59 per cent respectively this year.

KPMG Nigeria stated this in its 2018 Annual Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey (BICSS), part of which was posted on its Twitter handle.

According to the report, the evolution of the Nigerian banking industry was happening faster than many expected.

It pointed out that growing customer expectations – often set by their best experiences from other industries, new technologies and the regulatory environment had opened the door to competition from within and outside the financial services sector and undoubtedly created a constant pressure for banks to catch up.

“In this year’s survey, we saw a dip in customer satisfaction index in the retail segment even amongst some of the leading banks that have historically performed well.

“An increased focus on value ccustomers’ express value as more than just the price paid for a service and indeed define value for money as a fair trade-off between fees and perceived quality derived from the product or service.

“This year’s survey reveals that customers are increasingly focused on value from their banking relationships which is not unexpected given the economic landscape.

“Double-digit inflation and rising consumer goods prices mean that customers are broadly more conscious of their finances.

“While 80 per cent of retail customers ranked value for money as extremely important to them, only 25 per cent were very satisfied with this measure compared to 24 per cent in 2017.”

According to the survey, younger customers and those with higher incomes expressed value in terms of extended propositions beyond basic transactional services.

“However, banks that are unable to cross the threshold of integrity and reliability will find it difficult to convince customers to buy into other value-added services. “For SMEs, access to finance remains a critical challenge with seven-in-10 SMEs saying they are not satisfied with their banks in this area,” the report stated.

It pointed out that while digital was no longer a luxury, “we find that it is not an all-or-none proposition.”

Only about two per cent of customers said they use digital channels exclusively, compared to at least 65 per cent who use a mix of physical and digital channels. “These customers switch between channels, depending on their needs and preferences at any point in time and what is available on a particular channel.

“These trends emphasise the need for banks to take a universal view of the customer journey and account for touch points that customers experience across both digital and physical channels.

“As digital shapes the customer experience, we continue to see the value of human interactions as customers seek conversations with their bank to resolve critical issues.

“Seven-in-ten retail customers ranked staff willingness to assist as an extremely important factor. For corporate customers, a deep understanding of their business needs continues to be important to strengthening the banking relationship. “However, less than half of corporate customers were very satisfied with the quality of their bank’s relationship management,” it added.

Since 2007, KPMG’s annual BICSS has examined the performance of banks relative to the experiences, preferences and needs of their customers.

In this year’s survey, the organisers spoke to 25,770 retail customers, 3,590 SMEs and 420 corporate organisations.

It stated that their selection of customers in the wholesale banking segment was driven by a need to ensure inclusion of organisations in each major business sector.

In addition, retail respondents were selected to reflect the country’s demographic and geographic diversity.