Consumers Prefer Digital Banking over Personal Service

April 27 – If forced to choose between digital banking and personal banking, most bank customers would choose digital, according to a Gallup survey of 6,000 banking customers.

The survey asked, “If you had to give up one aspect of your relationship with your bank, the digital (you would no longer be able to interact with your bank through mobile or online channels) or the personal (you would no longer be able to visit a branch or call a call center), which one would you give up?”

The respondents slightly favored digital banking, with 47 percent  saying they would give up their digital relationship, compared with 53 percent who would give up their personal banking relationship.

“Given the amount of time the industry spends talking about moving everything to digital, it is easy to think that to better engage our customers we must keep evolving digital at the expense of everything else,” writes senior consultant Beth Youra. “And yes, it is true that digital channels must continue to evolve, both from a customer experience perspective and from an internal bank IT and operations perspective.”

Youra said customers were then asked if their current banking relationship was mostly digital or mostly personal in nature, and if they would prefer their current relationship to be mostly digital or mostly personal. That’s where the real story is, she said.

While 62 percent of customers had a preference match — that is, their current relationship is as much digital or personal as they want it to be — 38 percent had a mismatch.

“Customers who wanted a personal relationship but who had a digital one (or vice versa) were less likely to be fully engaged with their bank by 47 percentage points than those whose preferences matched,” said Youra. “Not meeting customers where they want to be leads to disengagement — and has a serious impact on a bank’s bottom line.”


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