The financial stresses brought on by inflation and other after-effects of the pandemic are starting to damage consumer satisfaction with payments apps, according to the results of a series of J.D. Power surveys, results of which were released early Thursday. Indeed, consumer satisfaction seems to be dropping even as app usage is increasing, the research firm says.
“Based on their experiences with other consumer apps and Web sites that anticipate their needs and offer a highly personalized customer experience, bank and credit card customers are expecting more from their digital solutions,” says Jennifer White, a senior consultant for banking and payment intelligence at Troy, Mich.-based J.D. Power, in a statement. “The tough economic climate has amped up the urgency of those expectations.”
The latest set of surveys, which queried more than 16,000 bank customers and credit card users from February through April, showed declining satisfaction scores over the past year for banking apps, bank Web sites, credit card apps, and credit card sites. Scores for the Web sites and apps of regional banks also dropped. National bank apps recorded the steepest drop, at 17 points.
Consumers’ financial condition appears to play a major role in their diminishing confidence in card apps and sites. The proportion of consumers who see themselves as “financially healthy” fell from 53% to 43% over the course of less than a year, J.D. Power says. Those who see themselves as “financially vulnerable,” on the other hand, registered at 32%, up from 25%. Those who see themselves in this category register retail-banking satisfaction scores that are, on average,113 points lower than the scores given by “financially healthy” customers.
Partly as a result, consumers are registering lower scores for digital channels. This is particularly true among users of banks’ Web sites and apps, J.D. Power says. Among customers who use a bank’s branch, 73% say they “have a personal relationship with that bank,” while 53% of users of the bank’s digital channels say so.
Among national banks’ mobile apps, the top-scoring product belongs to Capital One, which registered at 868 points out of a possible 1,000 on J.D. Power’s scale, with Chase coming in second (855) and Wells Fargo third (846). These were the only banks to score above the industry average for this category (843). Among credit card mobile apps, the top scorer is Discover, with 876 points, edging out Capital One (875) and besting Bank of America (868). The industry average in this category is 862.
The scores reflect the results of four studies measuring consumer satisfaction with bank mobile apps, credit card mobile apps, online banking, and online credit card sites. The survey covers satisfaction with navigation, speed, visual appeal, and content.