It is evident that the Covid-19 pandemic and the rise of fintechs have increased the number of traditional banks shifting towards digitalisation. As mobile banking apps become more popular, Davies Hickman has researched 20 mobile banking apps, including fintech and traditional banks, to get a deep insight into the UK mobile banking sector. Research findings show what is currently missing in the sector and what the future will bring.

Consumers need more support

30% of global consumers are planning on using banking apps more. This creates a shift away from traditional banking, and the demand for customer support is greater than ever. Consumers’ knowledge about the use of technology differs greatly and support needs to be adapted to individual needs, however it is important not to forget about app malfunctions.

Making the use of mobile banking apps as easy as possible for the consumer is the goal. This can be achieved by adapting handy in-app customer support features. Covid-19 has made people feel comfortable using video call services, and this should be increasingly implemented in banking apps. Additionally, many banks are lacking live chat features that effectively solve customer problems. Developing more advanced AI, such as chatbots, can offer more personal services and could partly replace the need for phone support. However, research evidences that there will always be demand for phone support and the process needs to be improved for the consumer, namely by decreasing the number of identification checks. Identification recognition or even voice recognition when calling the app support could be an efficient solution. Social media platforms like Facebook could be used as an additional communication channel.

Excellent customer support should always be provided, yet it is vital to give consumers a platform to raise complaints. In-app complaint services will solve problems and decrease complaints overall, specifically on external platforms. As previously outlined, the increase in digitalisation does not mean that customer service can be neglected. The opposite needs to occur – more support in online banking should be provided, and digital tools can help that.

Improvements to app functionality

Customer support plays an important role; but in-app customer experience is just as vital. Basic app functions such as ATM finders are currently very rare, with only one out of 20 of the researched apps offering this service. As banking apps usually have high security measures in place, core functions such as viewing and changing the PIN or opening accounts could increasingly be utilised in banking apps. Only one out of four of all researched banks apply these functions, but it proves the possibility of implementing such features.

Several advanced app functions are on the rise including Open Banking, availability of budgeting services, as well as spending insights and reports. Five of the 20 banking apps already offer gambling restrictions, and numbers will most likely rise in the future. Generally, customer experience can be improved by high personalisation and proactivity. To achieve this, each innovation mentioned above needs to be personalised for every customer. The importance of this cannot be stressed enough, as 74% of consumers feel frustrated when the service is not personalised.

Ultimately, the improvement of customer service and app functions that shape customer experience is crucial to satisfy customers and maintain an excellent customer experience in an ever-changing digital banking world. The full report can be downloaded here

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Davies Hickman provides the latest consumer and market trends by conducting in-depth market research. We help our clients to compete and satisfy their customers’ needs as technologies evolve. Our innovative research methods and data analysis provide valuable customer insights that help our clients thrive.