A biannual survey of over 19,000 banking customers has placed challenger banks Monzo and Starling Bank top for “overall service quality” as well as “online and mobile banking services“, in a sign of how well-received the digital-first duo have been by customers — and how much lost digital ground High Street banks have to make up.
The survey was conducted by Ipsos Mori as part of 2017 regulatory requirements for retail banks set by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
The polling firm asked 1,000 customers of each of the 19 largest personal current account providers in Great Britain if they would recommend their provider to friends and family, asking for a ranking from “extremely likely” to “extremely unlikely” across four categories:
The results published today are the first in the series to feature the challenger banks — and they knocked all contenders off the top spot, only failing to make a showing in the “services in branches” category, unsurprisingly: neither have physical branches.
Monzo received 89 percent for overall service quality and 86 percent for online and mobile banking services: the top figure in both categories, followed by Starling. (The top spots were six months earlier held by First Direct and Metro Bank, respectively).
Starling came ahead of Monzo for overdraft services where it had the highest customer satisfaction rating at 74 percent, followed by First Direct and Metro Bank, with Monzo in fourth place in the overdraft category.
Both have built their tech stack around the cloud, without the encumbrances of legacy databases and hardware, and seen impressive reach — Monzo alone has over four million customers now — although neither is profitable yet.
For online and mobile services, Tesco Bank ranked at the bottom of the list, followed by TSB, Clysedale, The co-operative bank and RBS.
Wayne Johnson, CEO, Encompass Corporation, the KYC software for banking, finance, legal and accountancy said in an emailed comment: “These new findings illustrate that consumer attitudes have shifted in regards to banking, with more people than ever recognising the benefits of a bank that prioritises digital services.
“Technology offers powerful tools that can transform the customer experience; from automation to AI, the increasing digital capabilities that we are seeing at the centre of processes help to ensure a much more beneficial end-to-end journey. We know that intelligent process automation, for example, can accelerate onboarding processes and improve risk detection, enhancing speed and quality of service.”
He added: “What’s more, FinTech and online services have taken on greater importance throughout the COVID-19 crisis, as remote and mobile access shifts from convenience to necessity. Banks that are still trying to operate legacy systems must understand that they have a responsibility to provide this seamless experience at all times…”
A survey by digital banking company Yobota released last month has revealed that 64 percent of UK adults have been reliant on technology to manage their finances since March, which is up from just 42 percent before lockdown.
CEO of Yobota Ammar Akhtar said “In light of the financial distress caused by COVID-19, millions of Britons have needed fast access to loans, credit cards and overdrafts, not to mention advice and guidance. Crucially, they have had to rely on mobile and online banking for almost all of this. This research shows how some people have found managing their finances during the lockdown simple thanks to the advanced, easy-to-use fintech solutions deployed by their providers.”
Getting digital right, in short, is absolutely central to customer satisfaction.