Brits happy with online banking; mobile uptake slow, social media a no-no

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Customer satisfaction with online banking in the UK is high, far outstripping other channels such as branches, ATMs, call centres and mobiles, according to a survey from ForeSee Results.

The poll of around 1000 customers at RBS, Lloyds, Barclays, HSBC and Santander shows an aggregate satisfaction score for online banking of 80 out of 100. There is little difference between the five, with a range of just 77 to 82.

When asked which channel they are most satisfied with, 70% choose online, compared to 17% for the branch, 10% cash machines, two per cent call centres and one per cent for mobile banking.

The poor support for mobile is partly accounted for by a lack of awareness – only 15% know of apps or mobile sites for their bank. Just 10% of respondents are using their mobile phone to bank, and less than one per cent have actually used an app.

There is even less curiosity about the much-hyped social media sphere, with 97% of respondents saying they have no interest in friending, following or liking their banks on sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

In fact, the survey reveals some old fashioned preferences, with 42% wanting their banks to use the post to contact them, compared to 38% who want e-mail, 11% the web site and three per cent text messages or mobile alerts.

The satisfaction with internet banking is good news for providers, says ForeSee Results CEO Larry Freed, because happy customers are 63% more likely to continue to use the web site instead of other, costlier channels, 39% more likely to purchase additional services and 76% more likely to recommend the bank.

“For online banking the web site is a critical touch point, so it’s essential that they master that art of customer satisfaction and invest their time and energy into measuring the different elements of customers’ online experience,” says Freed.

In response to this survey there was much chat on the blogs with one or two particularly poignant comments: ‘What does matter – and this is what banks need to keep in mind while allocating their multichannel dollars – is customers’ perception that “the branch and internet (have) different strengths. According to the report, customers all over the world believe “The internet excels in information gathering, transacting, and looking up account status … The branch is the preferred channel for solving problems, indicating the value of having a human touch in certain situations.”