The pain points in digital banking

  • By Christine St Anne

As the banks kick off large scale marketing and advertising campaigns to encourage their customers to fully embrace digital banking, there are number of bugbears that consumers are currently grappling with.

The COVID-19 pandemic has driven banks to boost consumer awareness around digital banking and help them embrace their functionality.

In fact, recently National Australia Bank CEO Ross McEwan said that the pandemic will also accelerate the need for digital banking and a rethink will probably be needed around the service proposition of a branch network.

According to RFi Group research, Australia has one of the highest rates of take up of digital banking in the world.

Currently, three in four consumers in Australia will use some of digital banking at least once a month.

And while the data highlights that Australian consumers are open to digital banking, there a number of pain points that banks will need to tackle if they are to effectively get the best buy-in from consumers.

Furthermore the take up and use of digital banking vary between age groups.

The data highlighted that older consumers are more likely to use online banking.

It is the opposite for mobile banking. The data highlights that 80 per cent of consumers under the age of 35 would use mobile banking.

The proportion is the same for consumers using online banking with 80 per cent of older customers favouring this payment channel.

Looking at the key pain points, for RFi Group general manager Kate Wilson said navigation remained a challenge for consumers using online banking.

Banks may have to start thinking about how to best help their customers perform these tasks digitally for the first time

“The key pain points for online banking were around the look and feel as well as the ease and use of this channel. For example, the layout needed to be intuitive, making it easy for consumers to navigate and find the information they need.”

The pain points differed for mobile banking.

“Customers were frustrated with not being able to do everything within the app, forcing them to access another channel for example a web page to complete their customers.”

The preference of digital payment channels is dependent on the age group as just highlighted but Wilson said that at an overall level, mobile bank apps are more popular with 60 per cent of customers across the age groups now using mobile apps.

The types of banking tasks also differ between the channels.

“Simple tasks such as transferring money and checking balances are mostly performed via digital while more complex tasks are more likely to be performed via online banking.

However, in terms of product applications, people still prefer to go to a branch or talk to someone on the phone.

“Depending on how well the situation lasts, these are the tasks customers may need to start having to do digitally.

“Banks may have to start thinking about how to best help their customers perform these tasks digitally for the first time.”

McEwan also signalled that mortgages could also be processed through video conferencing channels.

Currently, RFI group data suggests, people across all age groups prefer the comfort of a branch but again that could change with impetus to change again been driven by the pandemic

In terms of the best way banks can engage with their consumers, particularly off the back of the large scale adverting campaigns, for Wilson, again this comes down to demographics.

“However, email is still the highly preferred method of communication for all age groups.

“The banks have also done very well by their approach to informing consumers by publishing FAQ pages on their digital channels. This not only provides consumers with timely and relevant information but puts less pressure on the contact centres by reducing the need to talk to someone.”