The financial services industry can give itself a pat on the back.Customers are seriously happy with the digital services on offer from banks, building societies, insurance companies and other financial institutions and they also love doing their banking online just as much as they love doing shopping. The surprise findings from a new report show the finance industry is leading the way when it comes to providing the best digital services, beating those on offer from other sectors, including retailers, the government, media and telecoms, utilities and transport companies.
Finance services were the most popular in terms of usage, with 82 per cent of people regularly using one of their digital offerings. In a rating of the single most popular digital service used by consumers, online banking was the most used service as well as the most valued by consumers, alongside online shopping.
Finally, consumers felt financial services needed the least improvement.
Some 40 per cent of those surveyed said they always opted for digital when dealing with their bank or financial institution, the most of any sector.
The findings are a strong sign that the finance sector is really nailing digital services, as banks in particular are turning to digital products in order to reach new customers and cut down on operating costs by moving away from branch banking.UK consumers are embracing banking's digital move, with 78 per cent of banking customers using online banking. The latest figures from the British Bankers Association show nearly £7bn transactions were made online in 2013, a 40 per cent rise since 2009. By the middle of 2014 it was estimated that nearly £1bn transactions were processed through online and mobile banking each day.
It's not just traditional financial services companies, such as Barclays' video banking service, cashing in on this consumer desire for digital transactions. Twitter partnered with French bank BPCE, letting users transfer money via the social network while Snapchat has developed Snapcash for transferring money between users. “Speed and simplification are of paramount importance when it came to digital services, according to consumers," said Fujitsu UK and Ireland chief executive Michael Keegan. "By bringing services such as payments, transfers and balance checking online and then to mobile, banks have succeeded in meeting these demands, providing customers with an enhanced, seamless experience across multiple digital channels. “The financial services industry was an early adopter of digital services, recognising the potential it had to help the industry evolve in sync with human behavioural changes. The positive research results are a reflection of this," added Keegan. "To continue on this path, the sector must ensure it focuses on both external applications while it also ensures there is a robust internal infrastructure in place. This will ensure it can cope with this increased demand while providing the same level of excellence to employees as it does to customers.”