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Accenture studies shifting trends among bank customers

By studying more than 32,000 customers across 18 different markets, Accenture developed insights into the interactions that different types of customers want to have with banks and the role that innovation plays in those interactions. The study identifies three emerging consumer personalities: nomads, hunters and quality seekers.

Leading professional services company Accenture collected the perspectives of 32,000 customers from 18 different countries to explore the changing expectations of people when looking for a banking product. The report, Beyond Digital: How can Banks Meet Customer Demands?, provides a perspective on the kinds of services that new customers might expect from their banks and the relationship they want to have with it. The study suggests how banks can find a balance between new digital values and traditional ones to satisfy their clients’ needs.

Emerging customer trends in the banking sector

The report identifies six different trends that have considerable consequences for the banking sector in general. The first trend is ‘data as currency.’ As customers are willing to share more of their data, they also understand that it has value. Customers want tailored advice and other benefits in exchange for their information. The second trend is the appeal of the GAFA model among young consumers. The study shows that millennials are keen to use Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and attractive online platforms.

The third trend indicates that automated services are increasingly welcome among customers. Speed and convenience are the most common reasons why they are seen as something to consider. The fourth trend relates to the increasing need of customers for personalised products and advice. Customers provide their data in exchange for a better service that is tailored to their needs.

The fifth trend shows that the way to create trust is changing. Personal interaction is no longer the main source of trustworthiness; the new way is measured by the ability and willingness of banks to protect their data. Finally, the last trend is the need for more branches that can add value to the experience of the customer and facilitate the relationship between the individual and the bank.

Emerging consumer personas

By comparing attitudes towards costs, quality and service, the study identifies three types of emerging consumer personalities. It also takes into account the willingness to consider the safety of shared data, willingness to use digital platforms and to consider online providers like Google or Amazon. The three types of personalities are nomads, hunters, and quality seekers.

1) Nomads tend to be attracted to digital platforms that can provide a new and more convenient model of service. They value digital innovation, which means that are very receptive to computer-only advice and also to using platforms like Google and Amazon.

2) Hunters tend to seek for the best deal, which means that they value a service that is worth their money more than anything else. They tend to still rely on human advice and are more inclined towards traditional financial institutions.

3) Quality seekers tend to look for an efficient service that protects their data. Costs are secondary for quality seekers; they want a responsive institution that can guarantee the safety of their information and that puts their interests first.

The banking response

Based on the survey results and the new types of personalities, the report gives some advice to banks on how to meet the changing expectations of the consumers. It advises banks to give customers automated services that are tech-backed in order to reduce the interaction between the bank and the customer. It also suggests allowing customers the option to co-create services and products. Banks should be also able to discuss with customers products that are specifically tailored to their needs. Big Data and AI are key technologies that can help banks achieve this goal.

Rolling out new API technologies is another big step that banks will need to take given the increasing need to develop a platform model for banking services. It also advises banks that they increase the efficiency of branches to keep up with the changing needs of customers. Finally, the report suggest that banks will win the data game, since banks should be able to obtain the data they need to provide cost efficiency, safety and tailored customers service.

To read the full report – Beyond Digital: How can Banks Meet Customer Demands? – click here

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