NetApp, a cloud-led, data-centric software company, has revealed that a year on, UK consumers still do not trust their banks to protect their data. 78 per cent of Brits say they feel their money is safe at their bank, but only 60 per cent feel the same when it comes to their personal data.
The survey of 1,200 consumers across the UK, Germany, France and Spain, Switzerland and the Netherlands found that whilst convenience is crucial, security concerns and a dislike of AI-based services are barriers to technology adoption in the financial services sector.
“In the UK we’re continuing to see increasing consumer adoption of online services across the financial services industry. It’s now standard to have the convenience of online banking and associated services at our fingertips. However, when it comes to the most important financial decisions there is still a significant demand for in-person face-to-face services,” said Martyn Wilson, head of UK financial services sector, at NetApp. “This suggests UK consumers don’t feel automated services such as chatbots or robo-advisors meet the level of service they require for some of their most critical needs. It’s clear that more innovation is needed to build trust between UK consumers and automated financial services technology.”
In the current economic climate and with the spiralling cost of living, consumers want convenient services that give them more control, reflecting post-pandemic lifestyle changes. Many have adapted to online-first methods for almost everything, from shopping to virtual counselling. The financial services sector is no different. As we navigate living with covid, UK customers are now comfortable with virtual banking and the overwhelming majority (72 per cent) prefer to access information or services from their banking provider via their website.
Trust is an issue for UK banking services
Despite convenience being key, consumer trust in online banking continues to be an issue when it comes to financial services. NetApp’s survey reveals many UK consumers still feel held back from the convenience of online banking with almost half (48 per cent) saying that if they knew more about the safety of online banking, they would start to use it or use it more often. In addition, while 82 per cent of UK consumers like the convenience of paying through a third-party provider such as PayPal or Apple Pay, 67 per cent are afraid their personal account data may be stolen by criminals if they use third-party providers.
UK values in-person financial services over convenience
In all countries surveyed people preferred to talk to humans, but the UK came highest, with 73.5 per cent of respondents ranking an in-person face-to-face service as the most important when it comes to making serious banking decisions.
Despite Which? finding that 4,911 bank branches have closed since 2015, the survey found that almost half of UK consumers still prefer to go into a branch (46 per cent) to access information or services and a chatbot was not seen as any replacement for human contact – it found that voice chatbots were low on the preference list.